By Linda Fisher Thornton With all the inappropriate behavior in the news, I thought it would be a good time to explore the difference between actions that are CONVENIENT and those that are APPROPRIATE. Instead of saying "I'll know appropriate when I see it" it seems necessary to break it down and articulate the difference clearly. So here goes...
By Linda Fisher Thornton Every leader has a values equation. It can be calculated by the day, week, year and lifetime. In the ideal situation, a leader's values equation is consistently positive. How do you calculate your values equation?
By Linda Fisher Thornton I recently started studying the German language again, relearning it a little bit every day. I studied it for years as a teen, and lived in Austria for a summer as a young adult. While I was once fluent, I haven't practiced regularly and have become rusty over the years. It doesn't take long to begin to lose vocabulary, grammar and confidence if we're not using a language regularly. Losing fluency gradually over time brings to mind what happens to our leadership if we're not learning new things every day.
By Linda Fisher Thornton On October 2nd, Krista Tippett gave a talk on "The Adventure of Civility" at the University of Richmond. One of the important things I gleaned from her talk was this recommendation: Instead of trading in "competing answers or statements made to catch, corner, incite or entertain" we should "share the questions we have in common" and "live into the answers." Here are my observations on her important words: The big questions we are trying to resolve together cannot be understood using one-way broadcasts.
By Linda Fisher Thornton In a previous post Talking About What Matters (Part 1), I explored how talking about ethical values engages people, helps them find meaning and improves the organization's metrics. This week I want to begin to explore what the conversation should include. You may be surprised to learn that it’s not all about what WE COMMUNICATE about values - it's their questions that will help us bring values to life.
By Linda Fisher Thornton How do you make decisions? Do you consider a series of important questions? Do you find out the needs of the people involved? Do you consult a diverse group of advisors? Or do you just wing it? Some of the ways we may be tempted to think through our challenges (how to stay within budget or how to be most profitable, for example) leave ethical values out of the equation. Ethical thinking helps us make good leadership decisions. When we use intentional ethical thinking, we make decisions based on ethical values. Using ethical thinking doesn't just help us do the right thing. It also helps us resolve our most difficult leadership problems by broadening our awareness.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Great leadership is often defined based on efficiency, effectiveness or profitability, but that's no way to define a journey of character building and authenticity. There's much more to the story that needs to be told.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Leadership is not easy. Leaders need to be inspired to lead with positive values while dealing with the goals and expectations of multiple stakeholders. Here are the previous posts in the series if you missed them: Ready to Change the Ethics Quo (For Good)? Part 1 (Improve Accountability) Ready to Change the Ethics Quo (For Good)? Part 2 (Improve Leader Impact) Ready to Change the Ethics Quo (For Good)? Part 3 (Manage the System) The focus of this week's post is on Ways to Inspire Leaders to Lead With Positive Ethical Values. Here are 3 ways to inspire leaders to reach for positive values - that also help you "do good" in your organization, community and world.
By Linda Fisher Thornton The first post in this series addressed ACCOUNTABILITY. In this second post we'll take a look at IMPACT. Here are 3 ways to Change the Ethics Quo (For Good) that improve the impact of your organization and your leadership.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Reflections on Truth We've heard the expressions "truth is in the eye of the beholder" and "the truth shall set you free." What is this truth that so many have spoken of? How do we find it? How does it relate to ethics? Ponder those questions as you explore this collection of quotes about truth.
By Linda Fisher Thornton There is no place for disrespectful behavior in a "good" society. We can disagree calmly in ways that help us solve problems together, or we can show our stripes by using aggressive behavior under the banner of "with all due respect." Whichever approach we use, how we interpret respect impacts the people around us.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Grateful For The Conversation Many thanks to Leading in Context friends and followers for a wonderful 2015. I am grateful for the lively global conversation about the leadership we need for a better future. I appreciate your active involvement in the movement. Special thanks to all of you who have shared my blog posts and let me know what you want to learn more about in the future. Some thoughts as we head into a new year:
By Linda Fisher Thornton My Applied Ethics students asked a great question that I want to answer in today's post: "Which Values Are Ethical Values?" Quick Overview Not all values are ethical values. Some values, such as efficiency, do not have an ethical component. Some ethical values involve qualities of an ethical self (such as honesty and integrity). Others describe positive and ethical behavior toward others, the environment and society.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Our future success is in the hands of our leaders. They will be the ones to notice and remove roadblocks, mentor employees and foresee future opportunities. They will be the ones to tackle the seemingly unsolvable problems of the future. Are they ready?
By Linda Fisher Thornton Trustworthy leaders know how to create a workplace where everyone is valued, where leadership is sincere and respectful, and where great work can get done. How do they do it? What is it in particular that trustworthy leaders do?