High character leaders and their teams average 30% fewer legal incidents than their lower character counterparts
Every business must effectively monitor and manage the risks it faces, and a culture of accountability is an organization’s strongest risk-management tool. Our research shows that high character leadership teams automatically create a culture where accountability is strong. In high character cultures, leaders and the workforce are more likely to tell the truth, act consistently with their principles and values, stand up for what is right, and keep their promises.
High character senior leadership creates the kind of culture where people monitor their conduct, welcome being held accountable and are eager to collaborate and innovate. With fewer illegal and improper conduct issues, high character organizations have a significantly lower risk profile.
Our research found that high character leaders and their teams have on average 30% fewer legal incidents and lawsuits than did the lower character leaders and their teams. On average, low integrity CEOs have as much as 3.5% higher audit fees than high integrity CEOs. Auditors spend more time at low integrity CEOs’ firms and thus charge more for both professional time and additional risk for the auditor.
Our Return on Character® benchmark identifies the one behavior—the Keystone Habit—that will have the greatest impact on risk mitigation and will result in cascading benefits in other areas such as financial performance, innovation, collaboration, business skills, and employee engagement.