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By Darryl Stewart

Is good character good for the bottom line?

Here is a typical slide in a presentation about leadership:

…research shows that promoting leaders who truly seem to care and do the right things for their people reduces turnover, reduces stress in the workplace, and increases profits over the long term.

Prior to being exposed to leadership trainer Linton Sellen, I often nodded right along with this type of statement. And it never occurred to me to ask why people felt it necessary to justify doing the right thing from a profit point of view.  But I have questions now:

  • Would we all learn how to become tyrannical, over-controlling, and spiteful if research showed that such behaviour was more profitable?
  • Will an uncaring, manipulative, mean leader try to change their ways to increase profits?

Hardly. In my experience people either have good character or they don’t. For the most part, people are who they are.

Good leadership involves caring about people and doing the right things. So when selecting leaders, remember that the toughest thing to change in a person is character. Select for character and develop their leadership wisdom over time. When your organization is led by such people, good results inevitably follow.

IBEX Payroll extends our profound respect and immeasurable gratitude to all the ancestors and keepers of the land on whose traditional territories our work takes place. We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people. This land is sacred, historical, and significant. 

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on the wrongs of the past, what we do in the present, and what we can do to continually honour the people whose lands and water we benefit from today. 

This statement only acts as a first step in honouring the land we reside on and its peoples, and must be paired with education, understanding and informed action.