Virtuous Leadership

Date post:07-Nov-2014
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Which virtues matter most to leadership effectiveness and why? How are these virtues identified, selected for, and/or developed? Find out how leader virtues can "make or break" an organization, and how they can create a positive contagion effect for mutual employee-employer benefit. From a [email protected] seminar presented by Dr. Rick Hackett on April 25, 2014. More information:
  • 1. Leadership Character & Virtues Ethics Ron Joyce Centre, April 25, 2014
  • 2. A Road Map Rick D. Hackett 1. Context for focus on Leader Character 2. What is Character? 3. What is leadership? 4. Role of Character in leadership effectiveness 5. Virtues of effective leaders 6. Leader virtues and the contagion effect 7. Building and sustaining a virtues-laden culture
  • 3. Context: Spotlight on Character Rick D. Hackett WorldCom, Enron Crumbling textile factories in Bangladesh Pratt & Whitneys Exporting of Military software to China Failure of TD Bank to report suspicions on a Florida Ponzi Scheme Brazeau, Duffy, Wallin, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Resignations by MP Bev Oda, Premier Alison Redford Journal retracts articles of prominent ethics researcher
  • 4. Admiration Rick D. Hackett Think of the person in your lifetime that you most admire and aspire to. What is it about that person that you admire? What attributes come to mind when thinking of this person?
  • 5. What is Character ? Rick D. Hackett Seldom do people say, rich, powerful and famous! Character is what we want others to admire in us Building character = building foundation of who you are It is exemplified in the way people think, feel and act Reflecting ones core values and comprised of ones virtues
  • 6. Character Rick D. Hackett Resilient Courageous Compassionate Respectful Persevering Fair Benevolent Prudent Wise Trustworthy Integrity Humble Self-disciplined Decisive Empowering Consultative Honest Authentic Attentive Temperance Loyal Tolerant Spiritual Considerate
  • 7. What is Leadership? Rick D. Hackett Process of social influence, getting things done through others Ideally toward an end promoting the common good Reflecting shared values Emerging from confluence of competence, the situation and character Lapses in character is much more difficult to repair (trust) than an incidence of incompetence!
  • 8. No leadership without followership! Rick D. Hackett Influence = power Power sources: expertise Authority/position Coercion Referent (Character-based) But, how to achieve sustainable influence of a non- transactional basis
  • 9. Character Based Leadership: How it works! Rick D. Hackett Role Modeling Moral identity: Moral ownership Moral efficacy Moral courage
  • 10. Building a Virtuous Organization Rick D. Hackett Amplifying Effect: Escalating positive effects Buffering Effect: Inoculation against adversity Virtuousness is self-reinforcing and fosters resiliency against negative and challenging obstacles. Overtime, recognition and rewarding virtuous behaviour builds a strong normative culture: of respect, helpfulness and enjoyment, fueling a self-reinforcing spiral that builds social capital
  • 11. Virtues, culture and performance Rick D. Hackett Abundant research shows exposure to unexpected acts of goodness (virtuousness) triggers affiliative behaviour a tendency to repeat the good deeds, thereby building social capital People are more helpful to others after being induced to feel positive emotions, thereby priming the very prosocial behaviours that build social capital Social capital is premised on trust, which is nourished through acts of virtues, reducing transaction costs, building loyalty, community, shared values, knowledge sharing, org performance
  • 12. Aristotle: Virtues Ethics and Eudemonia Rick D. Hackett Virtues reflect character strengths, comprising ones moral identity, and that give rise to moral agency Virtues are strengthened through self-learning and repetitive practice (habituation) Virtues are voluntarily and behaviorally expressed and are contextually embedded Expression of virtues in the extreme (either too little, or two much, is not a good thing). Virtues form a unified whole moral compass
  • 13. Virtues Rick D. Hackett Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
  • 14. Virtues and leadership effectiveness Rick D. Hackett Prudence Courage/fortitude Temperance Justice/Fairness Humanity/compassion Truthfulness/integrity Wisdom/knowledge Transcendence/spirituality
  • 15. An Evidenced Based Approach Rick D. Hackett & Gordon Wang Hackett & Wang (2012): Developed Virtuous Leadership Scale Administered to 230 leader-follower pairs Across manufacturing, public administration, oil, gas, business services Leaders independently rated reports on job performance and citizenship behaviours Reports rated their leaders on virtuous leadership scale
  • 16. Example survey items Rick D. Hackett & Gordon Wang My leader/supervisor expresses concern for the misfortune of others My supervisor/leader resolves conflicts in a fair and objective fashion My supervisor/leader leads fundamental change though it may entail personal sacrifice and personal risks My supervisor/leader is a careful custodian of organizational resources
  • 17. Results Rick D. Hackett & Gordon Wang Virtuous leadership predicted: Subordinates job performance Subordinates citizenship behaviours Leaders self-reported happiness Leaders self-reported life satisfaction Subordinates happiness Subordinates life satisfaction So, virtuous leadership positively predicts the well-being of both leaders and their followers, and the performance and citizenship of reports (employees)
  • 18. Accumulating independent research Rick D. Hackett Virtues-based leadership positively predicts: Empowerment Organizational identification and commitment Moral identity Organizational citizenship behaviours Employee trust in leader Subordinates psychological and physical well-being Executive performance, as rated by board members Firm profitability (organizational virtuousness scale)
  • 19. An action plan Rick D. Hackett Selecting: Decisions: reference checks, background checks, Behavioral situational interviewing Situational simulations/work samples Some companies resorting to social networking analysis Shaping/developing Position descriptions with built in accountabilities Orientation and workshops, case analyses, review of behavioral examples of virtues as expressed in the workplace Reflect character in performance reviews discuss not only what was accomplished, but how it was accomplished
  • 20. Supporting and Nourishing Culture Rick D. Hackett & Gordon Wang Link goals and aspirations of the organization with its principles and values Link virtuous behaviours to value creation & protection Managers and Supervisors must walk the talk Recognize and reward individuals for virtuous behaviours Create culture in which ethics and values of the organization are discussed, understood and reflected in actions of employees at all levels Tie performance to values and ethics
  • 21. Four Seasons Hotel Rick D. Hackett & Gordon Wang What we believe Our greatest asset, and the key to our success, is our people. We believe that each of us needs a sense of dignity, pride and satisfaction in what we do. Because satisfying our guests depends on the united efforts of many, we are most effective when we work together cooperatively, respecting each others contribution and importance.
  • 22. Four Seasons Hotel Rick D. Hackett & Gordon Wang How we behave We demonstrate our beliefs most meaningfully in the way we treat each other and by the example we set for one another. In all our interactions with our guests, customers, business associates and colleagues, we seek to deal with others as we would have them deal with us.
  • 23. Q & A Rick D. Hackett & Gordon Wang Thank you!
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