Make the leader persona your competitive advantage

Research indicates companies can measure, identify and leverage leadership character as a strategic asset

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., October 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — According to a study published today in MIT Sloan Management Reviewcompanies that measure, identify and leverage the character of the leader have a competitive advantage and can foster a culture where character is valued in the same way as competence, resulting in better decisions, better well-being and best results.

Leader character framework

Companies that measure, identify and leverage leadership character have a competitive advantage.

“In more than a decade of investigating leadership character in organizations ranging from border services to banking to professional sports, we have found that leaders underestimate and misunderstand the concept of character” , said Mary Crossanprofessor of strategic leadership at the Ivey Business School.

“They marginalize it as simply being a matter of ethics rather than recognizing that the critical underpinning is its impact on judgment and the choices we make minute by minute, day by day – the micro-moments between stimulus and response. It is this character – a judgment based on superior performance, and the lack thereof that accounts for both poor conduct and poor decision-making.”

Crossan and the Ivey team of researchers set out to address the underlying science of leader character: what it is (and isn’t), why it is important, how it can be developed, and how it manifests itself in the actions of people and therefore in the organization. Culture.

Their Leader Character Framework examines how 10 distinct character dimensions (such as motivation, humility, temperance, responsibility) interact with an 11th central quality of judgment. They identify that any dimension can be problematic both in excess or in deficiency and confirm that character is a habit and can objectively be observed, assessed and developed like other human behaviors.

Building on the framework, organizations can begin a strategic approach to implementing leader character development and improving policies and practices across enterprise, risk management and change management. culture to selection and diversity, equity and inclusion. By contributing directly to these important initiatives, leaders can make character a strategic asset while promoting well-being.

“The most immediate and practical approach for organizations looking to harness the power of the leader persona is to simply start the conversation,” the co-author added. Bill Furlong, Executive in Residence at Ivey Business School. “In the turbulent times we live in, elevating character alongside skill is not only a strategic imperative but also a social responsibility.”

The MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) article “Make Leader Character Your Competitive Edge” published on 8 a.m. EDT on October 19.

about the authors

Mary Crossan is Professor of Strategic Leadership at the Ivey Business School. Bill Furlong is Executive in Residence at the Ivey Business School. Robert D. Austin is a professor of information systems at the Ivey Business School. Ivey Business School in Western University is from Canada leading provider of business training based on real cases. For seven of the past eight years, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Ivey the #1 MBA program in Canada (2014-2019, 2022). Renowned for its case-based learning method, Ivey Business School is one of the largest producers of business cases in the world.

About MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR) is an independent research-based magazine and digital platform for business leaders, published at MIT Sloan School of Management. MIT SMR explores how leadership and management are transforming in a disruptive world. We help thoughtful leaders seize the exciting opportunities – and meet the challenges – created as technological, societal and environmental forces reshape the way organizations operate, compete and create value.

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