Providing the global corporate world a roadmap for developing personal leadership accountability.

Timeline of the Research Journey
Leading to the Publication of Return on Character

  • From EQ to MQ

    American Express Financial Advisors pioneer the application of emotional competence training for financial advisor trainees. Discover that a subset of applicant score high on emotional intelligence but low on integrity leading Doug Lennick, EVP of American Express and Fred Kiel to conclude that a deeper form of intelligence was foundational to emotional intelligence – they called it “moral intelligence.”

  • Grounding in Neurosciences & Cultural Anthropology

    Lennick and Kiel extensively review the literature in the fields of philosophy, moral development, evolutionary psychology, child development, genetics, cultural anthropology and the neurosciences to discover what had been previously written on this subject.

  • Test Moral Competence Model with C-Suite

    Lennick and Kiel create the Moral Competence Model and Inventory. They research its application by interviewing over 70 senior leaders and CEOs.

  • Biz World Demands

    Moral Intelligence: Enhancing Business Performance & Leadership Success is published by Wharton Business School Press by Lennick and Kiel. Positively reviewed by New York Times, Harvard Business Review and many others.

  • Biz Press Demands Hard Evidence for MQ

    When a business journalist challenged the Lennick & Kiel with: “Your claim that moral intelligence produces long term sustained business results is interesting, but you have no quantitative data to support your claim,” this led Kiel to design an ambitious research program to determine if the claim could be supported with hard data about business performance.

  • Costco & Weyerhaeuser Beta Sites for ROC Research

    Jim Sinegal, of CEO Costco Wholesale and Steve Rogel, CEO of Weyerhaeuser agree to participate as beta sites for the research on CEO character and financial results. Survey and interview protocols developed.

  • 120 CEOs enroll in ROC Research

    Data collection phase begins. One hundred twenty one North American CEOs enrolled in the study over the next 7 years..Eighty four complete the full study. Survey data gathered from ~8500 randomly selected employees.

  • Duke Fuqua School and Predictive Analytics Experts Join ROC Research

    KRW Research Institute and the Research Advisory Board formed:

    1. Josh Birkholz, Partner at Bentz, Whaley, Flesner and an expert in predictive analytics

    2. Dr. Shane Dikolli, Associate Professor of Accounting, Duke University Fuqua School of Business

    3. Richard Harrington, Former CEO, Thomson Reuters

    4. Mark Gorman, Consultant in information systems and analysis

    5. Richard Aldersea, Consultant in professional service firms and thought leadership

  • ROC Database Cross-Validated by Duke Fuqua CEO Integrity Index

    Dr. Shane Dikolli and graduate students launch companion research program at Fuqua School of Business on CEO Integrity by conducting a linguistic analysis of 30,000 letters to shareholders.  They successfully create a CEO Integrity Index from publicly available data and cross-validate it with the KRW Research Institute’s database.

  • 5X Difference Between Virtuosos and Self-Focused Leaders Discovered

    Data analysis and research findings accumulated.  Surprising finding about the powerful connection between senior team character habits and financial performance – strong character leaders enjoyed nearly 5X the ROA over the weak character leaders.

  • Harvard Business Review Press Outbids Rivals for Manuscript

    Book proposal submitted to all major publishers.  Harvard Business Review Press outbid four other major publishers for the rights to the manuscript.

  • ROC Published & Movement Launched

    Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win published by Harvard Business Review Press, Fred Kiel, Ph.D.

While the ROC research is based on principles drawn from anthropological studies of universal human values, we expect that there may be very different ways each culture expresses them.

The KRW Research Institute seeks partners in the UK, Germany and France to pilot ROC research outside of North America.

Be on the leading edge and help bring European perspectives to the ROC Revolution.

  • Join the Advisory Board
  • Pilot a study in your organization
  • Create an industry-specific ROC profile
  • Suggest a research project appropriate for your culture/region

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