Senior Leaders: Set Clear Expectations For Values

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Senior leaders set the tone for an organization’s ethics, but the responsibility for values leadership includes much more than that. Today, I’ll look at the senior leader’s responsibility for sharing clear expectations, and explore other important roles that go well beyond just setting the tone for expected behavior.

Setting Clear Values Expectations

What top leaders do typically becomes the accepted norm for behavior in organizations. So senior leaders need to do much more than keep themselves on the right side of ethics. They also need to ensure that values consistently drive the engine of the organization.

“Few companies set clear expectations for senior executives on ethics and compliance,” stated the LRN report. “Unless senior leaders regularly insist that business decisions incorporate company values, the correct tone at the top will never be set.”

Ben Dipietro, LRN

Championing the Use of Ethical Values

In a previous post, Critical Roles of the (Ethical) CEO, I wrote about these important senior leader roles: Ethical Leadership Role Model, High Level Trust-Builder, Champion For Ethical Values, Ethical Prevention Advocate, Highest Leader Accountable For Ethics, Accountability Consistency Monitor, Ethics Dialogue Leader, Ethical Decision-Making Coach, and Ethical Culture Builder.

The roles I’ve named include many different approaches to setting and monitoring expectations. They show just how broad the responsibilities of senior leaders are when it comes to ethical leadership:

Advocate

Model

Monitor

Guard

Catalyst

Communicator

Coach

These roles include a number of functional categories that require different skillsets. Take a moment to ask yourself this important question – “Are your senior leaders ready?”

                                                                                                     

Pluralism: 9 Elements Required For Ethical Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Pluralism is required in our leadership thinking as a positive force that informs how we treat people and make decisions. It’s the expansive mindset that is the key to important ethical leadership responsibilities such as respect, inclusion, and cultural awareness.

“If you know whether a man is a decided monist or a decided pluralist, you perhaps know more about the rest of his opinions than if you give him any other name ending in IST. To believe in the one or in the many, that is the classification with the maximum number of consequences.” ― Will James

Merriam-Webster defines pluralism as “a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain and develop their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization.”

Pluralism, by its nature, is many things:

  1. Inclusive
    • Including everyone without losing the uniqueness of traditions or people
  2. Listening
    • Listening with care and attention and honoring a diverse group of voices
  3. Accepting
    • Being comfortable with different backgrounds, styles, traditions, approaches and ways of thinking
  4. Collaborative
    • Seeing the importance of diversity of thought in creating powerful solutions together
  5. Unafraid
    • Talking about our shared challenges, and seeing those conversations as a step toward solutions
  6. United
    • Working with individuals to build trust and educate each other on cultural traditions
  7. Evolving
    • Changing our minds and behavior willingly because we will never know everything about everything and expectations change over time
  8. Whole
    • Including everyone of every background, regardless of their life story
  9. Learning
    • Staying open to learning because we will make mistakes as we work together and learn about each other at the same time

A leader who embraces pluralism will not be afraid to go into the spaces where diverse groups of people meet, get to know each other, and work together.

“I thought about the meaning of pluralism in a world where the forces that seek to divide us are strong. I came to one conclusion: We have to save each other. It’s the only way to save ourselves.” — Eboo Patel

Ethical leaders know that we are stronger and better together, and they do everything possible to leverage that strength to solve our shared problems.

Ethical Leadership: Beyond Insight to Action

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Have you had an insight while attending a conference? While listening to a speaker, you hear a new idea that strikes you as important, and you jot it down to follow up. But do you ever follow up?

As a follow up to speaking at the recent CUPA-HR Virtual Conference, I wrote a post for the CUPA-HR Blog about ethical leadership and moving from insight to action.

Author Richard Bach says that “any powerful idea is absolutely fascinating and absolutely useless until we choose to use it.” In other words, ethical leaders don’t just talk about insights, they act on them.

Linda Fisher Thornton, Three Ways to Put Ethical Leadership Into Action at Your Organization, cupahr.org

When we get a spark of inspiration and suddenly see something more clearly, the most important thing we can do is put that insight into action in our organizations.

The insights that take our thinking to a higher level will fall flat if we don’t use them to change people’s experience of our leadership.

Read the Full Article at cupahr.org

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