Leading in Context

16 Answers To What is Good Leadership?

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton The theme I noticed in the most viewed posts on this blog in 2018 was Looking For a Better Kind of Leadership. Google reported that the most popular Google searches in 2018 were about how we can be good people. It sounds like it's a great time to explore the question "What is Good Leadership? While it's tempting to over simplify leadership and think about it as any one thing, good leadership can only be fully understood by thinking about it in multiple ways.

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Mindset or Competency: Which is More Important?

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton How we think about something will impact what we do about it. To be ready to handle difficult challenges, our thinking needs to stretch to help us adapt. Nick Petrie, Center For Creative Leadership, writes in Vertical Leadership Development Part I that "In terms of leadership, the stage from which you are thinking and acting matters a lot. To be effective, the leader’s thinking must be equal or superior to the complexity of the environment."

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Ethical Thinking For Challenging Times

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher ThorntonAlbert Einstein said "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Yet many leaders try to unravel increasingly complex issues using the same thinking process they have always used. . Complexity Context Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking Trends "seeing ethical leadership" "ethical lenses" "managing complexity" "complexity and leadership" "what is ethics" 7 Lenses leadership The 7 Lenses of Ethical Leadership

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Research: Moving Beyond Cause-and-Effect Thinking

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton The traditional view of research in the U.S. has been that something has to be proven to a statistically significant degree using established research procedures. It should be able to be replicated to confirm that the results are accurate and true. The problem is that established research procedures generally call for isolating one thing at a time to prove cause and effect, but we live in a world of complex, connected systems.

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Ethical Thinking: 5 Questions to Ask in the New Year

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Each year I raise questions that help leaders stay current as ethical expectations change. Here are 5 new questions to tackle as we head into a New Year. . Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking ethical leader ethical leadership and complexity ethical questions ethics good leadership Leadership

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5 Things Grateful Leaders Do

Leading in Context

Today I'm exploring two important questions: "What do grateful leaders do that sets them apart from other leaders?" and "How does expressing gratitude benefit them? Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking complexity and leaderhsip ethical insight ethical leadership insight ethical lenses ethics insight seeing ethical leadership what is ethics

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They’re Trying to Tell Us Something

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher ThorntonSince I started researching ethical leadership, I have begun to notice just how many different people are trying to steer us in the right direction. Their ethical messengers cross geographic and time boundaries and professions. The messages they leave are compelling. They are trying to tell us something important.The messages are packaged in a multitude of different ways including books, music, quotes and stories.

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Thinking Beyond Polarities To Both/And Thinking

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton In this video, Michael DePass of CCL gives a brief introduction to polarity thinking and how it affects our communication and relationships with others. Polarity Thinking Risks and Limitations Thinking in an either/or way about a problem that has multiple sides/variables/perspectives limits our effectiveness.

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Systems Thinking: Using the 5 Whys

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton In my Applied Ethics Class last fall, I introduced my students to the Five Whys. This is a simple and valuable tool for getting to the root cause of problems. We may think we understand why something happened but when we "fix" whatever we think is the sole cause we don't always get the intended result. The reason for that is that problems tend to have multiple causes. They happen in the context of multiple processes.

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Top Post Series of 2018: Leading in Context Blog

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton The Top Post Series this year reflects a concern I have that many other people must share. It is a concern about what can happen when we don’t use ethical thinking. This series answers the important question “Why should we take the time to think intentionally about the ethics of our […].

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Your Culture is Not A Secret (So Protect Your Ethics)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton One of my favorite concepts for understanding how social media is changing the visibility of organizational culture is Trendwatching.com's report Glass Box Brands. As Trendwatching.com elequently explains, "In an age of radical transparency, your internal culture is your brand." The key point I take away from this important report is that we can no longer assume that our culture is private. In fact, it's completely public and it defines our brand.

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Respect, Interpreted Part 1

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton I believe that respect is a key structural beam supporting the organizational "house." Without it, trust falls, productivity falls, engagement drops and turnover increases. It becomes harder to attract top talent for open positions in organizations where respect is not a minimum standard. Without respect, an organization's culture becomes structurally unsound and devolves into "a house of cards" at risk of many negative impacts beyond those mentioned here.

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Ground Rules for Talking About Controversial Topics

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Talking about controversial topics has become a daunting task. There are some things we can do, individually and collectively, to improve those difficult conversations. Use the important points below as ground rules for discussing potentially emotionally charged issues: Complexity Context Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking coherent ethics ethical conversations ethical leadership development ethical schema ethical thinking relevant ethics

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3 Steps For Dusting Off Your Leadership in the New Year

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton When we start a New Year, it's is a wonderful time to take stock of our leadership. The intense, conflicted global environment we face is formidable. Sitting still won't keep our leadership up to the task. It's definitely not a good time to let our leadership get dusty from a lack of attention. It's time to take action. Here are three things you can do to dust off your leadership and discover your best capabilities this year: .

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Ethical Thinking Requires Dialogue

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leadership requires us to understand the context and embrace the natural complexity of issues. One of the pieces that we can't be successful without is learning from the widely varying perspectives of others. Complexity Context Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking ethical insight ethical leadership insight ethical thinking model ethical thinking tools holistic ethics integral ethics principles of ethical leadership

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5 Things I Learned From a 6th Grade Bully

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton October is Bullying Prevention Month. Most of the people I know were bullied at some point in their lives. As I look back on dealing with a 6th grade bully, I realize that I learned some things from that difficult time. Today I share that story along with resources for preventing bullying. . Context Ethical Leader Ethical Organization bullying ethical interpersonal behavior ethical thinking skills ethics Leadership leadership development

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Respect, Interpreted Part 2

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton This is the second post in a series called "Respect, Interpreted." Respect, Interpreted Part 1 described respect as a "structural beam" in organizations that holds the culture together. This week we'll look at how to take two very different kinds of leadership actions that are both required for building and maintaining a culture of respect.

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500th Post: Index to 500 Articles on Authentic Ethical Leadership

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher ThorntonThere are many ways to define "ethical leadership" but there is increasing global interest in learning "ethical leadership" in a holistic and authentic way. This authentic ethical leadership takes us beyond laws and regulations, beyond respect for others and beyond traditional definitions of a business "win." It generates a positive leadership legacy and a better shared future. If this sounds like the kind of leadership you want to learn, you've come to the right place.

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Top 10 Posts 2018: Leading in Context Blog

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Of the 52 individual posts published on the Leading in Context Blog in 2018, these 10 were the most popular. See if you notice a theme that connects these new topics that readers accessed most frequently: Complexity Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking 7 Lenses leadership better leadership complexity leadership ethical behavior ethical strategy

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Our Evolving Frame of Reference

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton As we weathered a hurricane on the East Coast, I remembered the uncharacteristic earthquake that affected Virginia a few years ago. That experience changed how I interpreted the world around me. It drew attention to why we all see the world in such different ways. Ethical Thinking ethical leadership ethical thinking leadership context thinking in leadership

Tis The Season

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton It's the season of giving and gratitude and celebration, and today I'm sharing a sampling of this blog's best seasonal messages. Each is meant to inspire us to become our best. Ethical Leader ethical leadership mindset global ethical leadership leader behavior leadership gifts

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Human Rights: 70 Years

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton I had the privilege of hearing award-winning author Blanche Wiesen Cook speak at The University of Richmond last night. Her topic was "Toward an Inclusive Democracy: Eleanor Roosevelt's Legacy." During the inspiring talk, she noted that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Eleanor Roosevelt championed, is turning 70 this month.

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Grey Areas: Our Choices Define Us (Part 3)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton There will always be grey areas that aren't covered by the ethics code. In grey areas, leaders "paint the boundary" of ethical choices others will make by how they navigate the ethical complexity when the boundaries are not clear. Part 3 of this series Grey Areas: Our Choices Define Us includes cases to get you talking about interpersonal grey areas, and related articles for learning.

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70 Trends to Watch in 2019

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Each year I curate a list of sites that write about trends that will change how we do business in the coming year. This year's list includes some ongoing trends from last year and some fresh ideas and new directions. Take a look at the 70+ trends at the links below and start getting ready for what's ahead! Context Ethical Leader Trends ethical leadership ethical leadership skills ethical thinking leadership thinking

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Context Matters: What We’re Learning About Food

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton A day when so many people eat too much candy seems just right for sharing new research that turns conventional wisdom on healthy eating inside out. This new research will begin to change the thinking and practices of the food and restaurant industries. Here is a sneak preview: Context Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking ethical lenses ethics trends global ethics holistic ethics integral ethics what is ethical leadership what is ethics

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A Message About Togetherness

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton In What is Meaningful Leadership Part 5 I wrote about building a better society together for future generations. When I really stop to think about what it means to live and work together, here are some of the things that come to mind: Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking ethical leadership and complexity ethical leadership in a global context ethical thinking

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What is Meaningful Leadership? – 4 Common Threads

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton What is meaningful leadership? I recently wrote a 5 part blog series exploring different facets of that question. There are four common threads that emerged from exploring the topic that I want to share today. Context Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking 7 lenses of ethical leadership ethical leadership development ethics leadership development

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Ethical Thinking is Intentional, Thoughtful and Applied

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton One of the things we know about ethical decision-making is that we need to take the time to do it. But if we fill up every minute of the day with meetings, deadlines, emails and projects, when will we have time to think about the impact of our choices? . Complexity Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking ethical model ethical perspectives ethical principles ethical thinking tools ethics schema holistic ethics integral ethics

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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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Seeing Beyond Borders and Walls

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton When you make a commitment to ethical values and ethical choices, boundaries and walls only indicate the boundaries of new places to apply those ethical values and choices. Beyond them, ethical values matter just as much as they matter within your own walls. You could argue that they matter more, because […]. Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking 7 Lenses leadership ethical leader ethical leader development ethical thinking global ethics global worldview

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What is Meaningful Leadership? (Part 5)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton What is Meaningful Leadership? Making a Difference By Building a Better Society For the Future 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 relational ROI. In Part 4, we examined how meaningful leadership requires truth-seeking based on ethical values.

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The Mind Must Move

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton We know that to stay healthy, we have to move. Many of us wear wrist bands that track the number of steps we take daily to make sure we "stay in the healthy zone." I have been increasing my steps each year, and have enjoyed more energy and a sense of improved well-being. While we can easily track our physical steps, our mental steps are more elusive. Complexity Ethical Leader Ethical Thinking ethical leadership ethical mindset ethical thinking

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Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 4)

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton To celebrate 7 Lenses going into its second printing, this is the fourth post in a special series focused on Why Ethical Thinking Matters. In case you missed them, here are the previous posts in the series: Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 1),Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 2),and Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part […].

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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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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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The Seductive Power of the Status Quo

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton Why do we have such a powerful negative reaction when we find out that we need to change? The status quo literally has a grip on us. Context Ethical Leader Ethical Organization Ethical Thinking 7 Lenses of ethical responsibility ethical decision-making ethical leadership model ethics questions holistic ethics managing complexity

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MindTools Expert Interview Podcast With Linda Fisher Thornton

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton I recently did an interview with Rachel Salaman for the MindTools Expert Interview Podcast. We had a lively conversation about ethical leadership and the concepts from my book 7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership. Click on the graphic below to read the MindTools blog post featuring highlights from that interview and an excerpt of the podcast.

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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 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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How You Can Stop The “Fake News” Madness

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton We all need to know how to tell what's real news and what's not. While a headline may be compelling, we can easily damage our personal reputation and brand if we share it and it turns out to be "fake news." It's our job to "check stories out" to be sure that what we share is real. Our "Human Software" is Buggy While it's important for us to tell the difference between the real and the fake, our "human software" comes with bugs.

If Every Leader Cared

Leading in Context

By Linda Fisher Thornton I wonder what our workplaces would be like if every leader cared. Most leaders care about their own well-being. But what if every leader cared about others? How would things be different?

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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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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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