Mission & Moral Leadership

The HOW Institute for Society builds and nurtures a culture of moral leadership, principled decision-making and values-based behavior that enables individuals and institutions to meet the profound social, economic, and technological changes of the 21st Century to elevate humanity.

Working within and across all sectors, HOW-IS undertakes and participates in a variety of educational, research and convening activities to collectively strengthen and scale norms, practices and behaviors so that truth, trust and shared responsibility guide our actions and interactions. We are on a journey to a world where capitalism is dynamic, communities and society are healthy, and democracy is vibrant – a world where HOW we do anything means everything.

In this reshaped world, moral leadership has never been more important.  The Institute’s founder, Dov Seidman, describes four pillars of moral leadership that guide behavior and help build and sustain moral authority.

  1. Let purpose lead.
    All of us should be leaders in our own lives.  Leaders gain moral authority when they define a worthy and noble purpose for themselves and their organizations – a purpose connected to human progress.
  1. Inspire and elevate others.
    Moral leaders help others succeed by creating an atmosphere where people feel trusted and are willing to take the risks that go with trying big things.  They create space for others to lead and to carry out their work in the ways they believe will be most effective.
  1. Be animated by values and virtues.
    Instead of focusing on doing the next things right, moral leaders focus on doing the next right things.  They speak up for their principles, even when it makes them uncomfortable, or is difficult or inconvenient.  They move forward with both courage and patience.
  1. Keep building “moral muscle.”
    Being a moral leader requires constant wrestling with questions of right and wrong, fairness and justice, and with ethical dilemmas.  Leaders should never stop asking if what they are doing is compatible with their purpose and mission, and should regularly invite everyone to join in these discussions.