What is Research?

By Linda Fisher Thornton What is research? The answer depends on your perspective. Some people believe the definition is very narrow, and only if you "do it right" in the scientific sense does it meet the requirements of proper research. Others believe that it includes paying attention to messages from all areas of our lives and using that information to achieve insight and understanding.

What is “Good Food” (In an Ethical Sense)?

By Linda Fisher Thornton What is "Good" Food? I was reading an article that ranked food products, and I began to think about how many different variables define "good" or "best" when we're talking about food products. One variable is…

Leadership Development S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-S To Prepare for the Future

By Linda Fisher Thornton In a recent post, I acknowledged that "leaders face information overload, globalization and increasing complexity. And they hold the key to your organization’s future. Make it a priority to help them be ready." How can we prepare leaders to succeed in a socially and globally connected world? What are the strategies that will help them handle a wide variety of unpredictable situations while making ethical choices?

Trust is a Relationship (Not a Commodity)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Waiting For Trust to Be Earned I sometimes hear leaders say that they think "trust is earned" and that we should not trust others until they have earned our trust through their behavior and choices. I see several big problems with this way of thinking about trust.

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?

Global Sentiment About Taking Responsibility

By Linda Fisher Thornton A clearer picture of global ethics is coming into view. In this clearer picture, we know what's important and see how far our responsibilities extend into the global community. We understand that business leadership includes responsibility for much more than just making a profit and obeying the law. Ethical leaders have begun to realize how connected our global community is. Customers for our products may live in 50 or more countries. Product parts may be made in multiple countries, each with different laws and regulations.

7 Definitions of “Good” (Why We Disagree About Ethics)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Why is it so difficult to agree on the right thing to do? One of the reasons we may not agree is that each of us may be using a different definition of what is "good." Here are 7 different interpretations of what is ethically good, based on the framework in 7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership (2013). Which ones are you using in your leadership?

“Hearing” All Stakeholders (Even When They’re Not in the Room)?

By Linda Fisher Thornton A quiet group of stakeholders is being considered in leadership conversations. They can't weigh in on major decisions, but they have a lot at stake in the decisions that get made. They are silent stakeholders, and the decisions we make in our meetings every day affects them directly.

Critical Roles of the (Ethical) CEO

By Linda Fisher Thornton There have been many stories about unethical CEOs in the news, but not as many about the good ones. That's a shame, because the ethical CEO is a positive powerhouse - devoted to serving employees, customers, and communities. I thought it would be helpful to describe some of the critical functions of the ethical CEO that enable organizational success. Intentionally investing in these roles creates the kind of workplaces that attract top employees and devoted customers.

5 Leadership Development Priorities

By Linda Fisher Thornton The recent post "It's Not About Us" was the most popular post of all time on the Leading in Context Blog. It described how our understanding of leadership has moved beyond a focus on the leader to a focus on creating shared value for others.

It’s Not About Us

By Linda Fisher Thornton You may have noticed that people's expectations of us as leaders have increased exponentially. Consumers are choosing companies that care about their well-being. Employees are choosing companies that do meaningful work and give back to the community. To survive in this new land where ethics is key to success, we must confront the situation with a clear realization that it is not all about us. As leaders, we are not the center of the universe.

Wishing You Joy

Extending Joy to You This Holiday Season Joy is not something we simply hope for or wait for. It's something that we create through our everyday actions and relationships. As we celebrate the Holidays and enter the New Year, I hope that you enjoy the timeless quotes about joy that follow. Notice how these reflections on joy tend to focus on gratitude, imagination, open-mindedness and service.