Leading with character

What kind of character strengths must leaders develop in themselves and others to create and sustain organizational growth and performance? John J. Sosik answers this question by reviewing what is known about the connection between transformational leadership and positive psychology.

Sosik’s approach illustrates 23 principles of leading-with-character strengths and virtues, using examples from the lives of well-known individu- als who personify each. Some are obvious — the courage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, the humanity of Mother Teresa and the commitment of Nelson Mandela. Others are less expected — poet Maya Angelou and NFL star-turned-Army-recruit Pat Tillman. Through these lat- ter examples, Sosik suggests that good leaders do not have to be saints, nor do they have to be elected to high office.

Each possesses the virtues of wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, tem- perance and transcendence, as well as their associated character strengths. Besides generating astonishing results for their purposes, these individuals reaped numerous physical, mental, social and spiritual benefits from their character.

By portraying the varied and interesting mix he has chosen, Sosik offers future leaders a means to fill what some have termed “the leadership vacu- um.” This summary helps to turn the tide away from the many recent high- profile failures and ethics scandals and return focus to the positive, success- ful styles he describes.

In this summary you will learn:

✓ Why character counts and how to become an authentic transforma- tional leader of character.

✓ How to achieve performance excellence while avoiding ethical fiascos.✓ How to use innovation, inspiration and role modeling to develop fol-

lowers in ways that bring about positive change.

✓ How to recognize and deploy the virtues and character strengths asso- ciated with authentic transformational leadership.