September 29, 2005
News & Opinion: Moral Intelligence -- The Key to Enhancing Business Performance and Leadership Success
Strong moral principles and business success are powerfully correlated with each other. Two globally respected leaders introduce the tools for business leaders and organizations to harness the power of moral intelligence and enhance business performance. Backed by extensive research, Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel, Ph.D., have tapped into the power of moral intelligence an individuals mental capacity to determine how universal principals are applied to personal values, goals, and actions. The concept focuses on four principals that are vital for sustained personal and organizational success: integrity, responsibility, compassion, and forgiveness. The business advantages of moral intelligence may be hard to quantify, but the business costs of moral ignorance are undeniable, said Lennick. Weve all seen more than enough images of corporate executives being carted off in handcuffs. Moral intelligence is a leaders secret weapon for lasting personal and organizational performance. Lennick and Kiel invested more than 10 years of concentrated research to refine the concept of moral intelligence as it relates to business success. In their new book, Moral Intelligence Enhancing Business Performance and Leadership Success, Wharton School Publishing, Lennick and Kiel demonstrate how the best performing companies are guided by leaders with both a strong moral compass and the ability to follow it. In the book, Lennick and Kiel provide realistic guidance on being a moral leader in both large organizations and entrepreneurial ventures: guidance reflecting decades of executive coaching with high level leaders. "Moral intelligence is the foundation of moral authority, which alone enables leaders to work and be sustainable over time, said Dr. Stephen R. Covey, Author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. Building universal principle-centered values into our lives and cultures is critical. Moral intelligence is an outgrowth of living in alignment, the interconnection of an individuals moral compass (basic moral principles, personal values, and beliefs); their goals; and their behavior, including inward thoughts, emotions, and external actions. Living in alignment means an individuals behavior is consistent with their goals and that their goals are consistent with their moral compass. Living in alignment is not accidental. It requires understanding and building on each component while maintaining alignment among all components. Facilitating the individual exploration of moral intelligence, Lennick and Kiel are introducing moralcompass.com, an innovative Web site that features the Moral Competency Inventory (MCI): an indispensable metric to assess where an individual and an organization stand right now with regards to moral intelligence. The MCI featured on the Web site enables people to understand and capitalize on their moral strengths while addressing the moral skills that are most challenging to them in order to achieve personal and business success. Common values, based in the universal principles, can knit together a diverse global workforce, said Kiel. In an era marked by international conflict, we believe it will be in the world of business, rather than in the political arena, that people from different ethnic, racial, and religious heritages will discover their common path. Moral intelligence is the key to that path.