By Linda Fisher Thornton Have you noticed the steady increase in the complexity of navigating our daily lives? It feels like we have too many choices, too much information, and not enough time. More information and more choices would be great if we had the time to research and decide, but the reality is that it's difficult and time consuming to sort out which information is reliable and which is not. Seeing and appreciating other ways of doing things is not just a nice-to-have ability. In a connected global society, it's an essential skill. To achieve mutual benefit and collaboration, we will need to see the world from other perspectives that differ from our own, respect those perspectives, and work together toward shared goals. Leaders who don't know how and don't make the effort to change can be thought of as intentionally "unseeing" important aspects of the context and their leadership responsibility.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Differences of opinion can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. We may be in a discussion with someone who has very different views from ours on a topic of great importance to us. How we handle it shows others the inner workings of our character.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Ego-driven leaders want to be "right" even when the evidence shows otherwise. They see rightness as something fixed that they can control. Of course, it isn't fixed and they can't control it, but they may not want to be confused with the facts. Conversely, when ego is not driving the thinking process, leaders can adapt to changing information and circumstances and change their minds.
By Linda Fisher Thornton What is a Paradox? "A paradox is a statement that contradicts itself, or that must be both true and untrue at the same time." --Literaryterms.net. Just like the many facets of a cut gem, there are multiple dimensions to issues and problems. Each facet reflects one particular element of the issue. When we encounter a paradox, we need to step back to get a broader view of the various facets.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leadership isn't something we can ever say we've fully accomplished. It's not about arriving at any particular place, or about achieving a certain level of knowledge. Just knowing about ethics and leadership won't get us very far in an information-flooded, globally shifting, and unpredictable world where we are under time pressure and held accountable for making ethical choices under ever-more-extreme conditions including the current global pandemic.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Whether it's cute cat videos or shocking (and sometimes untrue) headlines, we've all found ourselves "down the rabbit hole" of distraction. We suddenly realize how much time has passed, and that we have abandoned important tasks to take an "infotainment journey."
By Linda Fisher Thornton Developing ethical leaders and building ethical cultures have become critical business priorities. As if that weren't already challenging enough, managing ethics well also requires systems thinking and a broad understanding of ethical responsibilities. Why is ethics such a challenge for organizations? It has many dimensions, and while we are sorting them all out, expectations for how well we handle day-to-day challenges are increasing. Keeping up is a formidable challenge.
By Linda Fisher Thornton What kind of leadership legacy will you leave? It's a powerful question that we don't often stop to think about. Here are some questions to reflect on to assess your legacy, as it stands now, and determine whether that's the "message in a bottle" that you want to leave for future generations.
By Linda Fisher Thornton We need to get leadership right because so much depends on it. Many global factors are driving changes in ethical leadership expectations, and in high-stakes times, how we handle ethical leadership development can make or break our success. This week I've created a graphic that brings the expectations and priorities into clearer focus.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Our responsibilities as a citizen, worker, leader, family member, and friend require us to choose ethics over loyalty. Yet, when we do, it can surprise people. Maybe that's because it is not the easiest path to take. Here's a story about a situation I faced very early in my career, when I was in my 20s.
By Linda Fisher Thornton How well is your organization navigating the ethical pitfalls of the working world? If you're finding it to be a major challenge right now, you're not alone. Why is it so hard to navigate ethical minefields now? There is currently a "toxic soup" of factors at play...
Things are not always as they seem. Technology has advanced to the point that we can't be sure whether or not what we're seeing is real. There are many new ways that bad actors are usual digital sleight of hand to trick us. And the list is growing. It will take a healthy dose of skepticism, critical observation and research skills to find out if what we see is as it appears. Educate yourself and your teams about these methods of trickery and how to spot them:
By Linda Fisher Thornton The Top Post Series for last year on the Leading in Context Blog reflected the ethical challenges of decision-making during COVID-19. Truth and Misinformation: How To Spot False Narratives This series addressed the fine points of how to tell the difference between a false narrative and a message that is true. Here's a highlight quote from each post in the series that provides an overview.
By Linda Fisher Thornton We'll remember this year for a long time and we will tell future generations about the challenges we endured as we tried to stay safe and well during a global pandemic. One lesson we can take away from this experience is the power of connection.
By Linda Fisher Thornton It's been a tough year for everyone, and much of the strain has fallen on leaders. They have had much more to think about and juggle than they usually have to consider in a typical year, and the stakes have been much higher. Today I'm sharing a collection of curated resources that will help leaders achieve a leadership reset for adapting to COVID-19.