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Character is critical: Ivey and SIGMA develop tool to define and measure leadership character

  • Communications
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  • Jul 7, 2015
Character is critical: Ivey and SIGMA develop tool to define and measure leadership character

Leadership character – it’s a critical aspect of leadership, but why isn’t it getting the attention and respect it warrants? The Ivey Business School and SIGMA Assessment Systems, Inc. have partnered to create the Leadership Character Insight Assessment (LCIA), a tool to measure leadership character and help recognize the importance of character for effective leadership.

The LCIA is designed to measure leadership character and provide leaders and potential leaders with practical insight regarding:

  • What leader character is and why it is essential for building strong leaders and organizations
  • Key dimensions of character, their corresponding elements, and how they interact to influence leadership effectiveness
  • Character strengths as well as information on how leaders can grow and develop on each character dimension

“Character fundamentally shapes what leaders notice, how they interpret and react to information and events,” said Gerard Seijts, Executive Director of Ivey’s Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership. “Nowhere were the failures of leadership more obvious than during the 2008 financial crisis, in which instant gratification triumphed over temperance.”

Pioneering research after the 2008 financial research by the Ivey Business School found people who knew that bad risks were being taken did not have the courage and/or confidence to speak up, and people without integrity sold mortgages to those who could not pay them. Leaders of large, global companies knew about these types of practices yet did nothing to stop them. Still others were unable to create the honest, transparent corporate culture that would enable them to be in touch with what was happening deep down in the organization. 

The importance of leadership character

For character to find the spotlight it deserves, it needs to be illuminated. We can see some light shed on character in organizational statements of values and leadership competencies, but the practice is not widespread. 

“We believe organizations should move beyond statements of organizational values to anchor leadership development in profiles that enhance leaders’ understanding of their character strengths and development areas,” said Julie Carswell, Vice President of SIGMA Assessment Systems.

The Leadership Character Insight Assessment is a great place to start making Leadership Character a priority.