Leading in Context

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

Leading in Context

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."

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Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 1)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton To celebrate 7 Lenses going into its second printing (big news!), this is the first post in a special series focused on Why Ethical Thinking Matters. I'm hoping the strategies shared in this series will give you a fresh perspective on your talent development plans for 2018. Ethical thinking drives ethical choices and behavior. Marcus Aurelius said "Our life is what our thoughts make it." According to Buddha, "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts.

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Guest Interview: Stay On Top Of Your Work Podcast

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton This week you can listen to a brand new interview I did with Kate Kurzawska, host of the Timecamp Stay on Top of Your Work Podcast! Complexity Context Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking Trends 7 lenses of ethical leadership complexity ethical business ethical leader ethical leadership ethical thinking ethics

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Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 2)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton To celebrate 7 Lenses going into its second printing, this is the second post in a special series focused on Why Ethical Thinking Matters. In case you missed it, last week's post was Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 1). . Complexity Context Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking Trends ethical leadership development ethical leadership model ethical thinking ethical thinking model ethical thinking skills

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Seeing The Nuances Of Ethical Leadership (A Developmental Model)

Leading in Context

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? Complexity Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking 7 lenses of ethical leadership ethical leadership ethical leadership development ethical thinking ethics Leadership leadership development what is ethical leadership

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5 Years of Top Posts: Leading in Context Blog

Leading in Context

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. .

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Talking About What Matters (Part 2)

Leading in Context

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.

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Everyone is a Stakeholder at Some Level

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton "Everyone is a stakeholder at some level, and all stakeholders are important. We should consider all stakeholders as we lead – those we serve, those we lead, the powerless, the silenced, the planet, and all of humanity." I shared this important statement in a previous post - it was an aha moment from a Tweetchat I guest-hosted on Leading With Ethics.

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18 Quotes To Inspire Leaders In The New Year (Part 1)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Are your leaders prepared for the year ahead? Each day will bring new challenges, and to succeed within ethical boundaries, they’ll need a clear picture of “good leadership.” This series is an annual tradition and this year's post includes 18 quotes (each linked to a post with leadership guidance) to inspire you to grow your leadership skills to be ready for whatever 2018 may bring. .

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Talking About What Matters (Part 3)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton I have heard from readers that this topic is timely and they hope this series will not end with just 2 posts - so here is Part 3! Talking About What Matters In the 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.

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Leaders, Why You Need Disequilibrium (Part 2)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton This post is Part 2 in a series. In case you missed the first one, here is 450th Post: Leaders, Why You Need Disequilibrium (Part 1). In the first post, I explored why leaders need to embrace disequilibrium. In Part 2, I explore how disequilibrium helps leaders deal with catastrophic change. Disequilibrium Drives Adaptation Accepting disequilibrium instead of trying to fight it, we can turn our attention to figuring things out as the landscape changes around us.

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Yes, Leaders. Behavior Matters

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton As leaders, we are expected to uphold the highest standards of ethical behavior, and that includes interpersonal behavior (HOW we get the results we get, and how our behavior impact others). This week I'm sharing a review of behaviors that are a "NO GO" for ethical leaders. Click on each link to learn about why the behavior is outside the bounds of ethical leadership.

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Leaders: Does Your Values Equation Add Up?

Leading in Context

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? Context Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking business ethics blogs ethical leadership and complexity leadership and values leadership blogs positive ethical values values based leadership

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Ethics-Rich Leadership: Why We Need It

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton I was originally going to used the words "ethics-infused leadership" in this post, but I realized that would treat ethics a little bit like a lime twist in a cold drink. The drink would hint of lime, but it wouldn't be FULL of lime. So I chose to use "ethics-rich" leadership instead. I think you may already be looking for the ethics-rich leadership I'm talking about. .

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Talking About What Matters (Part 1)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton This post begins a series on talking about what matters. Great attention is often paid to values in defining and marketing an organization. But what happens after that? It's the ongoing dialogue about how to apply those values that brings them to life. Some leaders assume that if the values are written down, they will be followed. The problem with that assumption is that while people may WANT to follow the organization's stated values, they may not know how.

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Lead With Questions, Not Answers

Leading in Context

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.

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18 Quotes To Inspire Leaders in the New Year (Part 2)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton This series includes 18 quotes (linked to posts with leadership guidance) to inspire you and help you develop an ethical leader's mindset. Part 1 included the first 9. Here are 9 more: Complexity Context Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking Trends ethical leadership trends ethics trends inspiring leadership leadership development and ethics leadership skills

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Ethical Leaders Take Time To Think

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton What sets ethical leaders apart from other leaders? They take the time to THINK before making decisions. And that's not all they do that sets them apart. Complexity Context Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking avoiding ethical messes developing ethical leaders ethical awareness ethical context ethical thinking

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How Do You Recognize a Trustworthy Leader?

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton I'm hearing people talking about trustworthy leadership everywhere I go. We all crave it. We seek it out because trustworthy leadership allows us to be at our best so that we can make a meaningful contribution. To identify a trustworthy leader, look for all of these tell-tale signs: Ethical Leader 7 Lenses of ethical responsibility positive ethical culture trustworthy leadership what is ethical leadership

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Never Underestimate The Power of Trust

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Trust is powerful. It is being recognized as a pivot point in business and a powerful catalyst for financial success. This updated Harvard Business review article connects trust with ROI and risk management: Ethical Leader Ethical Organization ethical leadership behavior positive leadership taking responsibility in leadership trust and leadership

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450th Post: Leaders, Why You Need Disequilibrium (Part 1)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Disequilibrium is the sense of imbalance we feel as we deal with increasing complexity and change. This post, the first in a series, starts by exploring why leaders need to embrace it. Avoiding Disequilibrium Is Harmful Disequilibrium is not harmful to our leadership, unless we try to avoid it. That can cause us to retrench when change demands that we adapt.

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Untangling (Social and Mainstream) Media Ethics

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Anyone can post content on social media. In the UNESCO report "The Media: Operation Decontamination," Aidan White notes that "Today, it’s not just journalists who need to watch their language and show respect for the facts; everyone with something to say in the public information sphere needs to show some ethical restraint." Today, I'm sharing resources for understanding the ethical responsibilities of media leadership. There are many variables complicating media ethics.

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Great Leaders Are Other-Focused

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton There are many important roles leaders play. They are supporters, developers, guides, team builders, and imaginers. They are culture caretakers, roadblock removers and inspirers. Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking ethical culture ethical leader leadership development what is a leader

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Dealing With Complexity? Use Ethical Thinking (Guest Post)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton We all need better ways to deal with difficult situations. Thinking on autopilot won't guide us through the grey areas. Michael McKinney published a guest post I wrote that digs into how to understand complexity. It is a timely topic, and as I shared in the article, "many leaders I talk with have a feeling that there is a more meaningful way of thinking and leading than what they’ve been seeing. " .

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Ethical Leaders Understand the Context

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton In a previous post, I addressed some of the risks of not taking time to THINK before making decisions. Today, I want to explore why it is so important for leaders to understand the CONTEXT before they make decisions. . Complexity Context Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking 7 lenses of ethical leadership business ethics blogs complexity and ethics ethical leadership behavior ethical thinking Leadership leadership context

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400th Post: The Journey to Meaning (Growth Required)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton I didn't set out to become a top blogger or thought leader. I set out to answer a question. In the process of answering the question, I started a journey that has changed my life. There's no fairy tale story here (is there ever?). It wasn't all by conscious choice, and it wasn't always a logical progression. It happened the way that life happens to all of us.

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Leaders Are Culture Caretakers: 10 Actions For Success

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton There are many ways to understand culture, and some of the definitions are very complicated. My favorite way to think about culture is as an infrastructure or scaffolding that supports the behaviors we want. Culture drives what people do, and is the setting and framework for great work. Ethical Leader Ethical Organization CSR ethical culture ethical leadership context how do you build an ethical culture what is ethical leadership

Leaders Are Culture Caretakers: 10 Actions For Success

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton There are many ways to understand culture, and some of the definitions are very complicated. My favorite way to think about culture is as an infrastructure or scaffolding that supports the behaviors we want. Culture drives what people do, and is the setting and framework for great work. Ethical Leader Ethical Organization CSR ethical culture ethical leadership context how do you build an ethical culture what is ethical leadership

Do Laws Set the Standard For Ethics?

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton "Do Laws Set the Standard For Ethics?" may be a simple question, but the answer is complicated. They do and they don't set the standard. . Complexity Context Ethical Leader Ethical Organization 7 lenses of ethical leadership ethical business laws and ethics leadership development leadership skills

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Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 5)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton To celebrate 7 Lenses going into its second printing, this is the fifth 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), Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 2), Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 3) and Why Ethical Matters (Part 4). I’m hoping the strategies shared in this series will give you a fresh perspective on your plans for developing leaders in 2018.

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Use It Or Lose It

Leading in Context

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.

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Will 2018 Be The Year?

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton As a global community, we have learned some things this year. Business leaders have learned that ethical leadership transforms organizational metrics. Global citizens have learned that values are the most important defining characteristics of nations, and if we don't operate from a base of values we descend into conflict and chaos. Perhaps 2018 will be THE YEAR.

Values Drive Business Success (But Only If They’re Clear and Applied)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Deloitte's 2016 Millennial Survey Executive Summary reported that according to responses from 7700 employed millennials from 29 countries, "the values that support long-term business success are people treatment, ethics, and customer focus. While people treatment, ethics, and customer focus may be the values that drive business success, that only works if they're applied across the organization.

Ethical Leadership Interview on Culture Hacker Podcast

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton I am delighted that Shane Green, author of Culture Hacker, invited me to be a guest on his podcast to talk about ethical leadership and culture. Culture is what we make of it. As leaders, it's our job to make it an engaging, ethical, high-trust environment where people can do the very best work of their lives. And while we're doing that, the world is watching. .

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Leader Competence: Will it Be A Multiplier or a Divider?

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leadership competence is an issue that is gaining attention. Expectations of "good leadership" are increasing and leaders and organizations are scrambling to keep up. While sometimes people disagree about implementation, there is a strong consensus among scholars and research organizations that today's leadership requires broad, high level thinking.

Prevention or Cure? Your Choice

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Senior leadership teams and boards have a choice. In their ethics strategy, they can focus on prevention or cure. The cure approach is reactive and messy. It involves waiting for something bad to happen, then scrambling to do damage control. Then you have to build an ethical support system (perhaps at the insistence of a regulatory body) to prevent it from happening again. The prevention approach is proactive and positive, and it helps prevent those messy problems.

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Is Our Leadership “Good?”

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton How will we know if our leadership is "good?" Since there are conflicting opinions about what good leaders do, we need an understanding of the context to answer this important question. Complexity Ethical Leader 7 lenses book complexity and leadership ethical business leadership good leadership

A Message of Gratitude

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton There have been several great leaders who helped me find my best self, and who inspired me to want to lead others. This message is for them: "Thank you for being a great leader. You may never know just how deeply your kindness and support have impacted my life. Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking ethical growth ethical leadership gratitude and leadership what is positive leadership

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Great Leaders Unite

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton. The most capable and ethically competent leaders reach for unity, which represents the highest levels of interpersonal and global responsibility. While it would be much easier, the best leaders don't just aim for "getting along" or "getting by.". Complexity Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking collaboration leadership blogs positive leadership what is ethical leadership

“Great Leaders” Find Gold Within

Leading in Context

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. Context Ethical Leader leadership growth leading with values the inspiring leader values based leadership