Employees who do strongly agree that their most senior leader creates opportunities for thoughtful dialogue among and between colleagues are 3X more likely to strongly agree that their organization adapts quickly to change.
Implications for leaders include:
Leaders have an obligation to strengthen their moral leadership, inspire it in others, and scale it in their organizations.
Moral leadership is something that can be learned and invested in by organizations. Leaders need frameworks for when and how to engage on social issues.
Strong team cultures are animated by deliberate pauses of reflection.
“We believe at The HOW Institute that the single greatest leadership challenge of the 21st century is to nurture and develop moral leaders who lead with moral authority and ensure that these, and only these leaders, occupy positions of formal authority at every level, sector, and dimension of society,” Seidman said.
The full report is available here.
Defining Moral Leadership
As defined in the study, moral leadership goes beyond the narrow focus on ethics and compliance. It is a constellation of behaviors that relate to putting principles and values before self-interest, extending trust to colleagues rather than micromanaging them, listening and learning from perspectives that challenge one’s views and assumptions, and more.
When asked to give an example of this kind of leadership at their organization, one public-sector employee said, “Because of the recession we’re currently experiencing, hours have been cut and we’re all suffering financially. My manager has assisted with that burden proactively by helping us find other positions in and around our hospital. We’re all experiencing strain during these dark times, and his actions as a moral leader help elevate the culture of our organization.”
To determine the presence of moral leadership among respondents’ managers and leadership, we applied a tiered framework. Depending on respondents’ reporting on a variety of behaviors associated with moral leadership, we assigned managers and executives to one of five tiers. For simplicity, we’ve used the term CEO loosely in this report to mean an organization’s most senior leader regardless of industry and the actual survey questions were more agnostic to the specific name of this leader.
Leaders were assigned to the top-tier if they very frequently exhibited more than 75% of behaviors, to the second-tier if they received this rating for 51-75% of the behaviors, to the third- tier for 26-50%, to the fourth-tier for 1-25%, and to the bottom-tier for 0%.
About The HOW Institute for Society
Founded in 2016, The HOW Institute for Society (www.thehowinstitute.org) seeks to build and nurture 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.
About Dov Seidman, Founder and Chairman, The HOW Institute for Society
Dov Seidman is a successful entrepreneur and CEO, best-selling author and writer, and a teacher. He has devoted his life and professional career to making philosophy and philosophical frameworks practical in the business arena and across all sectors of society on a global scale. Learn more about Dov here.
The HOW Institute for Society