The Case for Character-Based Leadership
In strategizing the most expedient way to address the bottom line and profitability for investors, it is tempting to look for shortcuts and loopholes to give competitive advantage in the marketplace. Fred Kiel ran the numbers in statistical research over seven years to document the return on investment when character is front and center in corporate life. His study, as discussed in his book, Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win, involved 8000 employees, 100 CEOs, and their executive teams at Fortune 500 and 100 companies, privately held firms, and nonprofits. The research gave insight into public documents, behavior, and performance by leaders.2 In his book, Kiel reported results showing that CEOs of high integrity generate superior financial returns.
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