Return on Character

Return on Character

Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win.


Fred is the sole author of this book. Following the publication of Moral Intelligence in 2005 he received some criticism from a reviewer who challenged him to show his data that demonstrates the importance of character in business success. This reviewer claimed that Fred and Doug were simply wrong – that while “character is nice to have, it’s simply icing on the cake.” This reviewer went on to claim that as long as management “stays legal” everything will be fine. The reviewer told Fred that without data to support his claim, the Moral Intelligence book was not worth the paper it was printed on.


After a gloomy two or three weeks when Fred was wondering if he’d devoted his career to producing only “icing on the cake” he decided that he needed to find out if, in fact, character is important.


This led him to launch a research project that ultimately took seven years to complete. But that research showed an astounding connection between the character habits of senior leaders and the bottom-line – nearly five times better financial results came from leaders who are viewed as having strong character habits compared to those who are not viewed that way by the workforce.

Harvard Business Review Press published this book in 2015 and it has sold more than 15,000 copies to date.


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