What is Meaningful Leadership? (Part 4)

By Linda Fisher Thornton What is Meaningful Leadership? Seeking the Truth & Excavating Grey Areas Using Ethical Values In Part 1 of this series we looked at how leaders generate meaningful environments where others can thrive. In Part 2 we explored a leader's own quest for authenticity. In Part 3 we looked at the role of powerful conversations and a focus on collective success. In Part 4, we'll examine how meaningful leadership requires truth-seeking based on ethical values. 

The Future of Education: Ethical Literacy For Handling Global Complexity

By Linda Fisher Thornton We are not preparing students for success in the world where they will have to live and work. Some of the ways we currently think about "teaching" need to be scrapped and replaced. It will be increasingly important that teachers and other learning guides dig into complexity in order to help prepare students who need to handle increasing complexity in their lives and work. A focus on "knowing" must be replaced with a focus on "how to think, problem solve and successfully navigate global complexity using ethical values."

50 Trends to Follow in 2018

By Linda Fisher Thornton What trends will impact your leadership and your business this year? Get settled in with your favorite morning brew and review these 50+ trend reports on what to expect in 2018. Adapting to these changes will require constant shifts in direction and focus, while staying grounded in positive ethical values.

Trust: The Force That Drives Results

By Linda Fisher Thornton When leaders trust and are trustworthy, this brings out their best and fuels a virtuous cycle that brings out the best in others and releases the potential of the organization for great performance.  Ethical Leaders Are Trustworthy and They Choose to Trust Others When we choose to trust, we access a higher level of capacity in ourselves and our organizations. When we are consistently trustworthy, people know they can count on us to support their success. How Does Trust Drive Results? Once thought by business leaders to be "soft," trust is now proven to be a "results-changer." Here is a sampling of the many ways trust transforms organizations:

Seeing The Nuances Of Ethical Leadership (A Developmental Model)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Leadership is not a position or a task. It is a complex array of roles, relationships and processes, and yet we use one term, "leadership," to talk about it. And in using that term, we often mean different things. What Then is Leadership?

Fear is a Poor Advisor (Moving Us Away From Ethical Thinking To Protect Us)

By Linda Fisher Thornton When we make decisions based on FEAR, our brains switch on the lower-level processor - which makes decisions based on a FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT response. The decision-making power of that part of our brain is extremely limited, turning our thoughts to lower level responses like "RUN!" or "HIT THEM FIRST." Obviously, ethical decisions must be based on better thinking than "RUN" and "HIT THEM FIRST." Our fear response takes us into PROTECT and DEFEND mode, and that mode causes us to shelter in place, retrench and protect our own interests. It drastically restricts the breadth of our thinking and doesn't give much energy to our impact - what our choices will do to others.

5 Years of Top Posts: Leading in Context Blog

By Linda Fisher Thornton This week I'm sharing selected Top Posts By Year from the Leading in Context Blog. It's a time capsule of the issues you thought were most important over the last 5 years. For each year, I have selected a theme that reflects the topics and focus of the top posts.          

Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 3)

By Linda Fisher Thornton To celebrate 7 Lenses going into its second printing, this is the third post in a special series focused on Why Ethical Thinking Matters. In case you missed them, take a look at Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 1) and Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 2).  I’m hoping the strategies shared in this series will give you a fresh perspective on your plans for developing leaders in 2018. You may already realize that ethical thinking is important, and if you do, I ask you to spread the word. To help you champion the cause in your organizations and on social media, I have included the business case below.

Lead With Questions, Not Answers

By Linda Fisher Thornton Leaders Ask The Hard Questions While it's tempting to try to "have the answers," good leaders instead ask the hard questions. They may be questions for which the world does not have workable answers. They may be questions that help reinvent a company or industry. They may be questions that must be answered now to prevent problems in the future. They may be questions that generate a much needed dialogue.

Are You Leaving a Positive Legacy? (10 Questions Across 5 Dimensions)

By Linda Fisher Thornton When we think about leadership in the "here and now" we tend to think about what will be most effective in the short run. When we think about our leadership over decades, though. we can turn our attention to the longer-term impact we have on others - our positive legacy. 

Rethinking “Smart” Leadership in an Ethical Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton This week I'm looking at what it means to be a "smart" leader through the 7 Lenses (introduced in the book 7 Lenses) to get the full ethical context. Take note: You can do this with any idea, concept or project to better understand the ethical nuances.

The Trouble With Certainty

By Linda Fisher Thornton Leaders may think that being decisive and "sure of things" helps them succeed, but if they do, they may be harboring an outdated view of leadership. What has changed about how we see leadership and certainty?  Being certain carries with it the connotation of not engaging others in the conversation and using one-way communication. It evokes images of an iron fist pounding on a desk, not a leader who enjoys "working beside" a talented and diverse team.

20 Quotes To Inspire Leaders in the New Year (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton In the New Year, we will deal with leadership challenges we cannot predict in advance. To be ready, we need to set our leadership and learning on the path to success. This series includes 20 quotes (linked to posts with leadership guidance) that will help you leverage your leadership planning. Here are the first 10: