This book focuses on the element of leadership that has largely been neglected in the literature: character. Often thought to be a subjective construct, the book demonstrates the concrete behaviors associated with different character dimensions in order to illustrate how these behaviors can be developed, and character strengthened.
Based on research involving over 300 senior leaders from different industries, sectors and countries, Crossan, Seijts, and Gandz developed a model for leadership character that focuses on eleven dimensions. The book begins by setting the context for the focus on character in business, asking what character is and whether it can be learned, developed, molded or changed. Next, the book focuses on each dimension of leadership character in turn, exploring its elements and the ways in which it can be applied in a business setting. The book concludes with a summary of the key insights, an exploration of the interactions between the character dimensions, and a call to the reader to reflect on how to develop one’s own and others’ leadership character.
Bridging theory and management practice, Developing Leadership Character will interest students and practitioners alike. Readers will benefit not only from a new, robust theoretical framework for leadership character, but will also learn how character can be developed further.
Table of Contents
1. Good Leadership: Competencies, Character, and Commitment 2. Character and Business Leadership 3. Dimension 1: Transcendence 4. Dimension 2: Drive 5. Dimension 3: Collaboration 6. Dimension 4: Humanity 7. Dimension 5: Humility 8. Dimension 6: Integrity 9. Dimension 7: Temperance 10. Dimension 8: Justice 11. Dimension 9: Judgment 12. Dimension 10: Accountability 13. Dimension 11: Courage 14. Call to Action 15. Conclusion
Mary Crossan is a Distinguished University Professor and a Professor of Strategic Leadership at Ivey Business School, Canada. She has published several books, best-selling case studies, and articles in top academic journals including the Strategic Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, and Leadership Quarterly.
Gerard Seijts is a Professor of Organizational Behavior and Executive Director of the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership at Ivey Business School, Canada. He teaches in several leadership programs, and has published in leading journals including the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of Applied Psychology , and the Journal of Organizational Behavior. He is the author of Good Leaders Learn, also published by Routledge.
Jeffrey Gandz is Professor Emeritus of Strategic Leadership at Ivey Business School, Canada. He has authored or co-authored seven books, many articles in academic journals and practitioner magazines, and over 100 case studies that are used in business schools around the world.
'Developing Leadership Character provides concrete advice on building and supporting character, an increasingly important imperative for society and business as organizations become more global and decision-making is decentralized. This book is a must-read for HR professionals, corporate leaders developing younger talent, and anyone interested in improving their own leadership ability.' - Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, UK
'At long last, leadership researchers and practitioners are focusing their attention on the critical role played by leaders’ character. The distinguished team of Mary Crossan, Gerard Seijts, and Jeffrey Gandz brings decades of scholarship and experience to deepen our understanding of leader character and its development.' - Julian Barling, Queen’s University, Canada
'Examining character is central to our understanding of what it means to be a responsible leader. The authors present a compelling framework of leadership character, supported by extensive research covering a wide range of examples. A thought-provoking text, essential reading for all aspiring leaders.' - Helen Rodgers, Leeds Beckett University, UK
'The foundation of good leadership in life and work is character. Developing Leadership Character is a conversational, research-based read that will help you understand the various dimensions of character and how to develop it in yourself and your organization. This thought-provoking book is filled with stories of real-life people and leadership experiences that will truly hit home – and help make you a better person and leader.' - Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Company, USA
'Character and Leadership go hand in hand when establishing a successful team. Individuals willing to not only make tough decisions, but act on them, are important to establishing a culture of success. Leaders shine brightest when they have the competence and commitment to achieve a goal, not for personal accolades, but for the benefit of the team. This is a must-read for anyone who wishes to escape the norm and dare to lead.' - Ron Francis, General Manager, Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Club, Canada
'Leadership effectiveness is more than what a leader knows. It depends on who a leader is, a discipline that continues to come of age, driving critical thinking and behavior. Hats off to Crossan, Seijts, and Gandz; Developing Leadership Character reveals how underlying personal values and our ability to evolve them constitute leadership character and why this is central to our effectiveness.' - Steve Mader, Board Services Practice, USA