Learning from Boardroom Perspectives on Leader Character

In May 2013, Ivey Business Journal published “Leadership Character and Corporate Governance,” which proposed that being an effective board member requires competencies, character and commitment. In that paper, which was also published by the Institute of Corporate Directors, we further noted that qualitative research indicates that character is the one fundamental requirement that poses the biggest challenge in terms of recruiting and selecting both directors … [ Read more ]

Jeffrey Gandz, Mary Crossan, Gerard Seijts, and Mark Reno

We define character as an amalgam of traits, values and virtues. Traits, such as open-mindedness or extroversion, may be either inherited or acquired; they predispose people to behave in certain ways, if not overridden by other forces such as values, or situational variables such as organizational culture and rewards. Values, such as loyalty and honesty, are deep-seated beliefs that people hold about what is morally … [ Read more ]

Leadership Character and Corporate Governance

When it comes to selecting and assessing CEOs, other C-suite level executives or board members, the most important criteria for boards to consider are competencies, commitment and character. This article focuses on the most difficult of these criteria to assess – leadership character – and suggests the eleven key dimensions of character that directors should consider in their governance roles.

Developing Leadership Character

The sum of virtues, values and traits equals good character, which, in addition to competence and commitment, is one of the 3 ingredients that make a leader effective and respected. For many, however, virtues, values and traits remain indefinable, even elusive. These authors not only define them, they also de-construct them, in the process demonstrating how character fuels people in their personal journeys to become … [ Read more ]

The Cross-Enterprise Leader

Visualize a leader with virtues such as courage and integrity, as well as five key types of intelligence, and you’ve got a clear picture of the cross-enterprise leader. So equipped, such a leader has what it takes to adopt the enterprise-wide perspective that is necessary to make the right decisions for creating and delivering value to all stakeholders.

Mary Crossan, Jeffrey Gandz, and Gerard Seijts

When loyalty conflicts with honesty, when fairness conflicts with pragmatism, or when social responsibility conflicts with obligation to shareholders, people become conflicted. And when their actions are inconsistent with their values, they either experience guilt, anger and embarrassment. People try to minimize such cognitive dissonance by rationalizing or even denying their behavior, discounting the consequences of it or simply blaming others.

Setting Goals When Performance Doesn’t Matter

Performance-based goals are commonly used to evaluate an employee, but in certain situations, goals based on performance may not be appropriate. Those situations occur when an employee is faced with new or complex task, and in this case, says the author, it may be better to set goals that are based on an employee’s progress in learning a task, than on his or her actual … [ Read more ]

What engages employees the most or, The Ten C’s of employee engagement

Practitioners and academics have argued that an engaged workforce can create competitive advantage. These authors say that it is imperative for leaders to identify the level of engagement in their organization and implement behavioural strategies that will facilitate full engagement. In clear terms, they describe how leaders can do that.

Walking on water or sinking without a trace? Six behaviours that describe strong crisis leaders

Many agree that the true test of leadership is being able to take people in a direction where they would not go on their own. Passing that test, and enabling the organization to live another day, is never more critical than in a time of crisis. This Ivey professor has found that great leaders exhibit six types of behaviour in a crisis, and in this … [ Read more ]