In January 2013, Fred Kiel presented his research on TED, proving that character matters in leadership, and high-character leaders achieve three times more than low-character leaders when it comes to ROA (return on asset) and employee engagement. The performance swing went from –.57% in loses due to low-character leadership, to 8.39% gains from high-character leaders. The trend was consistent in both ROA and employee engagement levels. The study defined high-character leaders as having high integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion.
The study was completed over 6 years, on 100 CEOS from fortune 500 and 1000 companies, and sampled over 8,000 employee observations—a ton of data that produced undeniable hard facts. The study also surfaced a remarkable data point—character can be taught. The question is no longer “Does character matter?” The question is now “How do we make sure that high-character leaders are running the businesses that impact humanity and our world?”
Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.