One morning last summer, an exhausted crew of students from Western University's Ivey Business School forgot to put out a tray of bacon while serving breakfast to instructors giving them a course on leadership. No big deal, right? That's what they thought -- but not for long.
The next time you feel overwhelmed at the office, try Googling the name Steinthór Pálsson for a bit of perspective therapy. Few business leaders will ever confront the challenges Pálsson faced as the new CEO of Landsbankinn in mid-2010.
When Gerard and I were discussing the upcoming talk with the Right Honourable Paul Martin, he told me he had already interviewed former premier of Ontario Mike Harris, and sought to balance this through interviewing a respected leader from another area of the Canadian political spectrum: Mr. Martin.
The idea that you have to be a jerk to win was popularized in 1946, when legendary major league baseball manager Leo Durocher insisted the New York Giants were destined to lose against his Dodgers because they were too nice to have that "killer" instinct.
Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin was the Commander of the Canadian Army. He retired in 2013 after 35 years in uniform. Peter now serves as the president of Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and graciously took time to provide a capstone talk to the graduating MBA class at Ivey.
Character is a critical element of leadership, but it does not get the attention afforded to competency. Research by Ivey Professors Mary Crossan and Gerard Seijts is changing the nature of the conversation about good leadership by elevating the value of a leader’s character.