3. Character and Leadership

  1. Al Gini1 and
  2. Ronald M. Green2

Published Online: 25 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118551653.ch3

10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character

10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character

How to Cite

Gini, A. and Green, R. M. (2013) Character and Leadership, in 10 Virtues of Outstanding Leaders: Leadership and Character, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118551653.ch3

Author Information

  1. 1

    Loyola University Chicago, USA

  2. 2

    Dartmouth College, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 9 APR 2013

Book Series:

  1. Foundations of Business Ethics

Book Series Editors:

  1. W. Michael Hoffman and
  2. Robert E. Frederick

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470672303

Online ISBN: 9781118551653



  • character;
  • disposition;
  • integrity;
  • intelligence;
  • leadership;
  • motivation;
  • training


The character (intelligence, disposition, motivation, and training) is the elemental ingredient in leadership. Wilson argues that, when we describe people we admire or like, we rarely define them by any one trait. Rather, we make judgments based on a set of traits: their character. By character, said Wilson, we mean two things: (1) a distinctive combination of personal qualities by which someone is known – that is, his/her personality; and (2) a distinctive combination of moral strengths, moral values, and integrity. The kind of character that, in regard to others, always tries to do the right thing, for the right reason, on purpose. Kant argued that the good will or character, a person's good moral disposition, is the precondition for achieving the moral life. Leadership is about growing and developing the collective human experience.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

character; disposition; integrity; leadership; motivation; training