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.

On Leadership: Cherish the Resistors

Smart change leaders identify, listen to and engage potential skeptics and resistors early in their change planning process if, indeed, the change is planned. They ask the key questions: “Who is likely to support this change, and why?” “Who is likely to resist and, and why?” And, “What can I do to overcome your resistance and build your support.” They recognize that many people in … [ Read more ]

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.

Go To People: What Every Organization Should Have

Every organization has a few people — very few people — who are its “Go-To” people…those to whom you can turn when you want a difficult situation sorted out, who will get the job done on time and on budget, and who won’t come up with a dozen reasons why it can’t be done but will discover how to do it.

Who are these “Go-To” people? … [ Read more ]

Talent Development: The Architecture of a Talent Pipeline that Works

Not all talent pipelines are created equal, nor do all talent pipelines operate effectively. There are cracks, blockages and breaks that prevent the right talent from rising to the top and reaching their own – and the organization’s — potential. This Ivey professor describes the architecture that allows an organization to build and maintain a talent-rich pipeline and to become a talent magnet.

Compelling Visions: Content, Context, Credibility and Collaboration

The “vision thing” is still with us, but while leaders insist in having a compelling vision, the fact is that many – both the leaders and the visions – leave people standing still, unmoved. A leader who engages stakeholders when developing a vision will, in the end, articulate one that resonates strongly and impels people to act.