A study of world leaders over the past 150 years asserts that managers who possess strong character will create a better world for everyone, while leadership generally is vital to the social, moral, economic, and political fabrics of society.
This paper is based on that study and in it we identify the three underlying dimensions of leadership character – universalism, transformation, and benevolence.
We also suggest ways of further enhancing these dimensions and their constituent attributes.
Transformation is a situation-specific process that relies on the competence and self-reliance of the incumbent in their delivery of inspired and values-driven strategic direction for the enterprise.
Benevolence is a micro approach to work, and focuses on concern for the welfare of others through one’s daily interactions.
Fairness is treating people equitably and in a just manner.
Max De Pree, the former CEO of furniture maker Herman Miller, is guided by a deep concern for others.
Transformation is consistent with the concept of transformational leadership as an activity that inspires others in the achievement of long-term, visionary goals.
The character attributes of courage and passion best represent this factor.
Juliana Chugg, the former Managing Director of General Mills Australasia, illustrated respect for her workers by dramatically altering the time employees needed to spend at the workplace by closing the doors at 1pm every Friday.
Against the board’s advice, this decision allowed the company’s executives and factory workers to start their weekends earlier.