Navigating Paradox: Shift Your Perspective

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.

Truth and Misinformation: How to Spot False Narratives (Part 2)

This is Part 2 in a Leading in Context blog series sharing information on how to spot misinformation and false narratives. In case you missed it, Part 1 explored truth and narrative. In Part 2, I will explore how data relates to the truth.

Interview on the Leveraging Thought Leadership Podcast

By Linda Fisher ThorntonToday I'm sharing my recent interview with Peter Winick on the Leveraging Thought Leadership Podcast.  We had an interesting conversation about my journey including how I got my start, challenges I faced and "growing into" this important work.

Systems Thinking: Using the 5 Whys

By Linda Fisher Thornton

In my Applied Ethics Class last fall, I introduced my students to the Five Whys. This is a simple and valuable tool for getting to the root cause of problems. We may think we understand why something happened but when we "fix" whatever we think is the sole cause we don't always get the intended result. The reason for that is that problems tend to have multiple causes. They happen in the context of multiple processes. Singling out one "cause" is rarely sufficient for understanding what really happened.

Grey Areas: Our Choices Define Us (Part 3)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

There will always be grey areas that aren't covered by the ethics code. In grey areas, leaders "paint the boundary" of ethical choices others will make by how they navigate the ethical complexity when the boundaries are not clear.

Part 3 of this series Grey Areas: Our Choices Define Us includes cases to get you talking about interpersonal grey areas, and related articles for learning.

What is Ethics?

By Linda Fisher Thornton

We are globally connected and becoming more aware of the complexity of our connections. We need a robust understanding of ethics - what it means, what it requires of us, and what we need to know and do to be ethical.

As we learn about ethics, we need to understand it in a multidimensional way. One-dimensional definitions lead us down a single path and prevent us from seeing our broad responsibilities as citizens and leaders. Here is a quick tour of ways to think about ethics.

Leaders: Can Rights and Responsibilities Be Separated?

By Linda Fisher Thornton

This week I take a moment to reflect on the question "Can rights and responsibilities be separated?"

If we fail to live up to our responsibilities, we have a negative impact on others.

If we assert individual rights without also taking responsibility, we are asking for more than we are willing to give.

Leader Development 2015: Human Growth Required

By Linda Fisher Thornton When we want to prepare leaders for success in the trenches of business leadership, we don't get very far by providing a cushy "spa-like experience." We can easily focus too much on creating "events" for leader education and…

Leaders, Keep Your Sense of Wonder

By Linda Fisher Thornton

This holiday season I wish you wonder - the joyful, expectant mindset that comes with not knowing how things will turn out, but thinking they're going to be good.

I don't mean the ordinary type of wonder, such as wondering what you'll have for dinner. I'm talking about the magical kind of wonder. This type of wonder refreshes our hopefulness, and keeps us open-minded and expectant. It is positive and exciting.

What happens when we lead with a sense of wonder?

Civility and Openness to Learning

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Author's Note: In a previous post, Civility is an Ethical Issue, I explained why civility is an ethical issue. In this post I'll explore the connection between civility and openness to learning.

Moving From Tolerance to Civility in Conversation

It seems that "civility" has come to mean something closer to the word "tolerance" in everyday conversation. Civil behavior now seems to imply an aloof stance that doesn't step directly on anyone's toes, but that is not nearly enough. According to W. Jason Wallace, we should be "moral agents" who "share moral relationships."

Why We Need A Strong Moral Center

As we deal with increasing work complexity, connection and speed, we need a strong moral center to guide us. We can think about it as having a strong character, being principle-centered, having integrity, or following an ethical compass. No matter what we call it, we need a strong moral foundation.