Is there a relationship between strong character and business performance? Can integrity and empathy lead to better management?
According to a recent research by Fried Kiel (KRW), YES!
In an article called Measuring the return on character based on the research by Kiel, recently published on the Harvard Business Review (link) they show the connection between 4 character traits and business results.
In a nutshell the finding of this reasearch is that managers who show Integrity, Responsibility, Forgiveness and Compassion are more likely to achieve success and keep it in time.
I agree with them and I believe that nowadays all businesses should be carried on with an ethic mind and a sustainable approach.
But if we dig a little deeper in the reason why Virtuosos managers behave in a – let’s say – ethical manner, we will probably find that they do because they can!
This ability of behaving that way is enabled by managerial competences that are available to everyone if they want to learn them. But you need to study and you need experience .
An example: you don’t need to be a filantropist to treat the people who work with you with honesty and respect, but you need to have specific competences and theoretical notions regarding human resources management for example the motivational theory, assertiveness, active listening, NLP, just to name some.
The second consideration is that a manager will never be able to communicate transparently and assertively, if he/she doesn’t have a clear company mission and vision in mind. Company goals and Individual goals need to be formally stated and written with a S.M.A.R.T. approach, beacuse without these elements, manager’s will never be able to motivate people and communicate in an effective way with them.
In conclusion, Character doesn’t exist IMHO in absence of hard skills and soft skills but I would say that Hard skills + soft skills can enable Character