Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $30.00
  • Save: $5.60 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Return on Character: The ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win Hardcover – April 7, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$24.40
$15.45 $14.93

$24.40 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win
  • +
  • The Road to Character
Total price: $41.39
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

2016 Axiom Business Book Gold Award in LEADERSHIP

“A great sales book . . . With thoughtful, clear, and engaging examples, Cespedes provides a framework for diagnosing and managing the core levers for effective selling in any organization.” — Sales Pro Insider

“It’s rare to find a business book, let alone one on leadership, that is well researched, well documented, well written, convincing, credible, and imbued with a voice that one grows to both trust and admire” — strategy+business magazine

“The book is filled with compelling case studies …. You'll walk away with new ideas for improving employee morale, engaging customers and earning their loyalty, and gaining respect for your organization from your community.” — TD magazine (Association for Talent Development)

“In business, nice guys finish first. Yes, really” — Fortune

“Every entrepreneur needs to understand the importance of character and leadership is to their growth and success, as well as their ability to attract investors. The return on character in business is well worth the investment.” — Forbes

“Does having excellent character contribute positively and sustainably to the bottom line? Unsurprisingly, the answer is in the affirmative but Kiel also presents a wide body of hard evidence for this proposition...The work involved in exploring your own nature and ways to overcome problems can be difficult and painful but is ultimately worth it.” — Irish Times

ADVANCE PRAISE for Return on Character:

Irvine Hockaday, former President and CEO, Hallmark Cards—
“This book breaks new ground. Its central finding: organizations led by a CEO and executive team of high character will, on average, produce a materially higher ROA than other organizations. Readers will find the results convincing and the suggestions for how to attain that kind of leadership quite valuable.”

Shane S. Dikolli, Associate Dean for Faculty Engagement, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University—
“This book is an extraordinary source of insight about how the personal characteristics of leaders translate into significant economic consequences for the organizations they lead. The examples are concrete, the chapter takeaways are penetrating, and the guidance for becoming a ‘Virtuoso leader’ is essential reading for anyone with leadership aspirations or responsibilities.”

Yvonne K. Franzese, Chief Human Resources Officer, Allianz of America—
“Fred Kiel's breakthrough research demonstrates that character is a leadership differentiator that resonates with employees and has a positive impact on business results. His findings clearly illustrate that greatness need not be achieved at the expense of virtuosity, and that the self-focused CEO will always be part of our history but does not need to be part of our future.”

David Kenny, Chairman and CEO, The Weather Company—
“Fred Kiel provides inspiration for both current and future leaders to live and act on their values and to empower their organizations to do the same. A great contribution to the study of leadership.”

David G. Bradley, owner and Chairman, Atlantic Media—
“Fred Kiel, the global dean of CEO coaches—in the masterpiece of his career—argues two truths gleaned from his practice and scholarship: 1) High personal character in corporate leadership yields far higher ROI and ROA for the company; and 2) Growth in character is a matter of choice and discipline and, as such, available to us all. Thirty years of clinical practice built into a playbook for leaders and their teams.”

About the Author

FRED KIEL, PhD, is a founding partner of the leadership development and strategic analytics firm KRW International and a pioneer in the field of executive coaching. For more than thirty years, he has helped Fortune 500 CEOs and senior executives build organizational effectiveness through leadership excellence and mission alignment. His rigorous data gathering and customized development process provide executives with transformative feedback.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (April 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1625271301
  • ISBN-13: 978-1625271303
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not since I wrote Business Success Through Self-Knowledge have I read a leadership book that gives equal value to "who the leader is" and "what the leader does". Dr. Kiel is correct in observing that "trust flows from strong character habits", and I would add, these habits flow from self-knowledge. As long as your basic mental models (supported by neurobiology) and fortifying habits remain in force, you will only achieve a more efficient existence, not true freedom. I would add that self-knowledge brings forth "moral intuitions", modulates the expression of the "Big Five", and integrates the slow brain and the fast brain in a way that balances drives. In short, "the truth will set you free." I recommend this data based book highly and have purchased multiple copies for several top executives in the business world.

William D. Ant on, Ph.D.
6 Comments 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those landmark books you occasionally encounter. It is a bit like an iceberg, most of its power and mass is hidden from view, yet you soon feel its impact!

The author presents the findings of a major study conducted into seeing what makes (or breaks) really top-flight leaders in American companies. It is not the lightest of reads but it is a very informative and fascinating academically rigorous deep-dive. The research has sought to examine the interconnected world of character, leadership excellence and organisational results, taking direct evidence from over one hundred CEOs as well as interviewing nearly 9,000 employees to gauge their own reactions and valuations.

Being a strong, confident, considerate leader has its benefits, especially on the company’s bottom line. The good news is that even poorly performing, weaker leaders can transform and transition into a stronger, higher performing character. It is just that they must accept the need and endure a possibly rigorous series of procedures.

The author pulls no punches, starting the book with this fairly stern yet valid paragraph: “Just seeing the words character and business leadership in the same sentence brings to mind a seemingly unending list of ineffective leaders who periodically sweep through the business world, draining organisations of all real value, leaving nothing behind but angry investors and an unemployed workforce. These “greed is good” proponents can make for great headlines, but that's where their contribution to any common good ends.
Read more ›
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition
Does a leader’s character really contribute to the organization’s bottom line, or are strong business results simply a reflection of a solid business model and positive macroeconomic forces? That is one of the questions asked by Fred Kiel in this book. The findings of the book are based on a large number of surveys of employees of substantial organizations, concerning their leaders, as well as interviews with the leaders themselves, and also financial information relating to those organizations.

So do organizations whose leaders show high levels of integrity and moral character do better or worse financially than other organizations?
According to the key research findings, character-driven leaders deliver nearly five times the return on assets delivered by leaders near the bottom of the character curve. Moreover, it is possible to develop the habits of strong character and unlearn the habits of poor character.

The research methodology used in the study necessarily relies on subjective interpretation, so the outcomes are unlikely to impress a hardened statistical skeptic. Nonetheless, the book does create a persuasive argument for the business benefits of integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion, and the surprisingly high correlation between those attributes and effectiveness in decision making, strategy, and other leadership skills.

As the author says, people are hungry for information that allows them to believe that we can and in fact must demand more from our leaders. This book is an excellent step in that direction.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
As I began to read this book, I was again reminded of Einstein's observation as well as one of my favorite Warren Buffett insights: "Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don't have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it's true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy."

It is no coincidence that most of the companies annually ranked among the most highly admired and best to work for are also among the companies annually ranked as most profitable with the greatest cap value in their competitive marketplace. Some of their leaders may lack charisma but none of their leaders lacks the character and integrity to which Einstein and Buffett refer.

Fred Kiel wrote this book because he saw a need to offer "concrete reasons for rethinking our ideas about effective leadership and to map out the direct connection between strong character, principled behavior, and sustainable business results." He would be among the first to agree that leadership without character has a very short duration. Character-driven leadership - at all levels and in all areas, especially in the so-called C-suite - is essential to the "sustainable business results" to which Kiel refers.

These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of his coverage:

o ROC Is for Leaders -- At Any Level (Pages 8-9)
o Coming to Terms with Character (15-18)
o Profiling the CEO Character, and, Plotting the Character Curve (18-20)
o Connecting the Links in the ROC Value Chain (28-32)
o Updating to Leadership 2.
Read more ›
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win