22 Quotes to Inspire Leaders in the New Year (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Are your leaders prepared for the year ahead? Each day will bring new challenges, and to succeed within ethical boundaries, we’ll all need a clear picture of “good leadership.” This series is an annual tradition and this year’s posts include 22 quotes (each linked to a post with leadership guidance) to inspire you to grow your leadership skills to be ready for whatever 2022 may bring. Part 1 includes the first 11.

Seeing Past Our Point of View

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.

Leadership, Blurred Lines and Sliding Scales

By Linda Fisher Thornton Leadership has entered a new realm, leaving the space of knowns and certainties (which was an illusion anyway) and entering the space of deep uncertainty, blurred lines and sliding scales. What it takes to succeed as a leader in this new realm is completely different from the leadership of ages past.

Digital Deception: Unethical Sleight of Hand

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:

Ethics is Acting Beyond Self-Interest

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethics is fundamentally about acting beyond our own self-interests. Can we be ethical without considering others and acting in ways that benefit them?

“Ethical Thinking Isn’t Automatic”

"For ethical leadership to stick, the culture needs an infrastructure that consistently supports acting on stated values...Ethical cultures treat ethical thinking as something that must be cultivated, demonstrated, and practiced over time."

Truth and Misinformation: How to Spot False Narratives (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Sifting through mountains of information, people who want to do the right thing are finding it harder than ever to find the truth. We find ourselves dealing with the challenge of too much information and too little insight. This timely series will explore truth and misinformation. In each post, I will share a different way to spot misinformation and false narratives.

In Part 1, I will explore the concepts of truth and narrative.

10 Tricky Questions About Ethics and Leadership Answered

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Go Into the New Year With Answers

This week I'm sharing answers to your burning questions about ethics and ethical leadership - What is it? How do you stay up to speed in spite of rapidly accelerating expectations? Why is ethics such a contentious topic, and defined in so many different ways by different people?

The leader groups I work with find that clarity on these and other questions informs their leadership and their decision making. Use this curated collection of posts to shore up your knowledge for the new year:

The End of Ethical Compartmentalization

By Linda Fisher Thornton

That Was Then

What people did in their spare time used to be private, allowing them to assume varying personas in their different roles. Someone could be buttoned up and ethical at work, but make really bad decisions elsewhere. People could choose to think about their lives as made up of separate roles that had separate rules.

How Are You Using Your Influence?

By Linda Fisher Thornton With leadership responsibility comes a certain amount of influence. We can impact how people think. We can advise them on the choices they make and invite them to follow our lead. “Leadership is not about titles,…

Nature Moments Offer Cognitive Renewal

By Linda Fisher Thornton

The last time I had to stop to let a flock of geese to cross the road, they were in no apparent hurry. Most likely, part of their territory had been turned into a housing development, and they were just travelling from point A to point B. The driver of the car in front of me enjoyed the nature moment - watching them quietly as they crossed.

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." William Shakespeare

The driver in the left lane, though, was clearly not happy with the interruption. The car inched forward, closer and closer to the geese, and the driver honked repeatedly to hurry them along.

Shallow Thinking

By Linda Fisher ThorntonThe question of the day is "How does "shallow thinking" leads to ethical mistakes?" By shallow thinking, I mean thinking that is limited in breadth and depth. Think about taking a stroll on the beach as you read the characteristics of shallow thinking below. Think about how these characteristics describe the kind of thinking that leads to ethical mistakes and decision gridlock. 

Your Culture is Not A Secret (So Protect Your Ethics)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

One of my favorite concepts for understanding how social media is changing the visibility of organizational culture is Trendwatching.com's report Glass Box Brands. As Trendwatching.com elequently explains, "In an age of radical transparency, your internal culture is your brand." The key point I take away from this important report is that we can no longer assume that our culture is private. In fact, it's completely public and it defines our brand.