Lead Like A Woman

Lead Like A Woman


Creating a Culture of Character

Mary Crossan is the Co-founder of Leader Character Associates and Virtuosity Character, which enhance organizational leadership characteristics. She is also the Professor of Strategic Leadership at Western University’s Ivey Business School.

Recognized on the global list of the top 2% of the most cited scientists in her discipline in 2021, Mary received the Lifetime Career Achievement Academy of Management Distinguished Educator Award in 2023. Her research includes leadership character, organizational learning, strategic renewal, and improvisation. A prolific author, Mary has contributed to over 100 articles and books and is the co-author of The Character Compass.

Mary Crossan
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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [3:30] The anatomy of character through 11 dimensions and 62 behaviors
  • [4:09] How to apply the concept of character to an organization
  • [7:43] Developing and identifying your character strengths and weaknesses
  • [11:13] Mary Crossan talks about the Virtuosity Character app, a tool for personal character development
  • [17:25] Character development’s impact on leader effectiveness and employee engagement
  • [22:06] How can embedding character into your organization’s culture sustain growth?

In this episode…

Is “character” a mere buzzword, or does it hold tangible value for those in leadership positions? Cultivating a specific set of behaviors can improve your personal effectiveness and enhance your team’s performance and commitment. How can you define and develop your character to uplevel your organization?

According to leadership researcher Mary Crossan, leaders must develop and hone 11 character disciplines, including integrity, humility, and courage, to empower their companies. Each discipline holds a set of behaviors that leaders can self-assess to identify strengths and weaknesses. By promoting a culture that nurtures and rewards positive characteristics and reflecting daily on actions and behaviors, you can increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

In the latest episode of the Lead Like a Woman Show, Andrea Heuston sits down with Mary Crossan, the Co-founder of Leader Character Associates, to talk about developing leader character. Mary discusses The Character Compass, an innovative approach to shaping leadership character, and explains the implications of character on organizational culture, performance, and commitment.

Quotable Moments:

  • “Wherever competence resides, character belongs.” – Dr. Mary Crossan
  • “We judge ourselves on our intention, and we judge others on their behavior.” – Dr. Mary Crossan
  • “You’re always becoming something; you can be more courageous or less courageous, more humble or less humble.” – Dr. Mary Crossan
  • “In between stimulus and response, there is a space… In that response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Dr. Mary Crossan
  • “The moment you start to move the needle on the development of character… you move everything that matters to an organization.” – Dr. Mary Crossan

Action Steps:

1. Self-assess your character dimensions using tools like the Virtuosity character app.

  • This step helps to identify areas of strength and weaknesses, which is essential for balanced leadership growth.

2. Integrate character-focused questions into your hiring process.

  • Effective alignment of character traits with company values can enhance team coherence and reduce turnover.

3. Encourage daily reflections on actions and behaviors to cultivate desired character traits.

  • Reflection increases self-awareness, which is pivotal for continuous personal development.

4. Promote a culture that values and rewards demonstrations of positive character.

  • A supportive culture can lead to increased employee voice, commitment, and engagement.

5. Equip yourself to navigate unfamiliar systems with character confidence.

  • Recognizing and utilizing one’s character strengths can alleviate the effects of impostor syndrome.

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Artitudes Design by Andrea Heuston. Artitudes Design is an award-winning creative agency that has been creating visual communication for Fortune 500 companies for over 25 years. They have worked with notable companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Expedia, and have also served startups and nonprofit organizations.

They specialize in connecting speakers with audiences by creating visual value with presentations and through the creation of motion graphics, video, and content.

To learn more about Artitudes Design, visit their website today. Checkout their portfolio to see their previous projects, and contact them today to find out how they can help you bring your business a cut above the rest.