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.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win Hardcover – April 7, 2015
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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 coachesin the masterpiece of his careerargues 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
Top Customer Reviews
William D. Ant on, Ph.D.
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 ›
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The old adage that "nice guys finish last" is lost in the dust here, as Fred Kiel, and his associates,in an exhaustive multi-year study of 100 CEO's and nearly 1,000... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ghostwriter
Fred's book is such an important addition to the research on workplace effectiveness that I felt compelled to write about it in Forbes. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Rodd Wagner
Whereas David Brooks explores the intrinsic rewards of character, Fred Kiel seeks to tease out a more tangible payoff. Read morePublished 6 months ago by strategy+business
In “Return on Character (ROC),” author Fred Kiel offers an antidote to Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer’s “Leadership BS”, in which Pfeffer criticizes the oft-made prescriptions... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Thomas M. Loarie
Thoroughly enjoyed this book
Has given me many take aways I can use in my business
Recommend this book to all aspiring CEOs
A study by KRW International surveyed employees and CEOs in 84 companies about the character of their leadership teams and compared the results to their financial performance. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bob Vanourek
Brilliant book. Well written and extremely helpful. A must read for all leaders.Published 9 months ago by Llewellyn de Jager
When you’re the CEO or senior leader, bottom-line results matter. Especially when the going gets tough, the conventional assumption is that the big boss should push profits by any... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jesse Lahey