Leadership Character Model

The Leadership Character ModelSM is a prescriptive leadership theory developed in 1995 by Robert Turknett and Carolyn Turknett of the Turknett Leadership Group. This model was described in their Decent People, Decent Company: How to Lead with Character in Work and in Life, published in 2005. The character necessary for leadership can be visualized as a scale, where integrity is the strong and solid base, and respect and responsibility are balanced on either side. People with integrity are honest, trustworthy and authentic. They are also respectful of others and have a strong sense of personal responsibility. Respect is developed by the component qualities of Empathy, Emotional Mastery, Lack of Blame and Humility. Responsibility is developed by the component qualities of Accountability, Courage, Self Confidence and Focus on the Whole.

People who demonstrate
Respect show unconditional high regard for others, acknowledging their value as human beings, regardless of their behavior. The respect comes through in all situations, even during times of conflict or criticism. Demonstrating respect for others requires developing and refining the following core qualities:

Treating everyone in the organization with
empathy helps leaders earn trust. Leaders who are empathetic create strong bonds and are seen as less political. A person who demonstrates the core quality of empathy:
Can understand others’ points of view, including the views of those who are different
Shows genuine concern for others
Listens with understanding
Is respectful even when he or she has nothing to gain from the relationship

Lack of Blame
People who don't
blame others are not defensive. They are able to reflect honestly on their own behavior and are willing to admit mistakes. When things go wrong, they don't spend time assigning blame; they spend time fixing the problem. A person who demonstrates the core quality of lack of blame:
Admits fault when appropriate
Does not look for a scapegoat in a crisis
Spends time fixing problems, not assigning them

Humility is a lack of pomposity and arrogance. It is the recognition that all people are fallible, that we are all combinations of strengths and weaknesses. People who demonstrate humility, as someone has said, "don't think less of themselves; they just think more of others." Arrogance derails more leaders than any other factor.
A person with the core quality of humility:
Listens to others with an open mind
Doesn't brag or name drop
Clearly sees and admits their own limitations and failings
Is not afraid to be vulnerable

Emotional Mastery
People who have developed
emotional mastery recognize that, as Epictetus said 2000 years ago, "It's not the facts and events that upset man, but the view he takes of them." For those in positions of formal power, the most important aspect of emotional mastery may be controlling anger. Outbursts of anger have no spot in the workplace, and can quickly destroy a sense of organizational equity and partnership. A person with the core quality of emotional mastery:
Says what he or she thinks, but never berates others
Stays calm even in crisis situations
Doesn't let anxiety interfere with public speaking or with other things that need to be done
Reflects before reacting and is able to consciously choose an appropriate response

Responsibility is the acceptance of full responsibility for personal success and for the success of the project, team and organization. Becoming responsible requires developing and refining the following core qualities:

People who are truly accountable expand their view of organizational responsibility. At all levels, accountable people do what they can to get done what needs to get done, no matter where in the organization they have to go. They NEVER say, "It's not my job." They also hold themselves accountable for making relationships work - they don't say, "Well, I'll go halfway if they will." They take 100% responsibility for making any relationship work. A person with the core quality of
Takes the initiative to get things done
Is not afraid to hold others accountable
Is willing to cross departmental boundaries to help with a meaningful project
Takes personal responsibility for organizational success

People who are self-confident feel that they are the equal of others, even when those others are in positions of much greater formal power. People who are self-confident also recognize the value of building the
self-confidence of others and won't be threatened by doing so. Self-confidence in everyone builds a sense of partnership and helps the organization get maximum effort and ideas from everyone. A person with the core quality of self-confidence:
Has a self assured bearing
Is flexible and willing to change
Easily gives others credit
Isn't afraid to tell the truth

People with
courage are assertive and willing to take risks. They ask forgiveness rather than permission, and are willing to try even though they might fail. They are willing to risk conflict to have their ideas heard, balancing that with the respect that makes constructive conflict possible. A person with the core quality of courage:
Champions new or unpopular ideas
Talks to others, not about others, when there is a problem
Accepts feedback and really hears what others say
Takes the ball and runs with it, even when there are obstacles

Focus on the whole
People who focus on the whole think in terms of the good for the entire organization, not in terms of what's good for them, their team or their department. They can see interdependencies and can see beyond what is immediately observable. They have an understanding of and enthusiasm for the
business and an understanding of their industry. For example, if working on a software project, they consider the implications of the whole project and commit to an outcome that works for the customer rather than focusing on just their piece of the project. A person who demonstrates the core quality of focusing on the whole:
Realizes that they represent their
company to customers
Sees how the work in their area affects the entire project and the entire organization
Gathers information from all stakeholders when making decisions
Shares information throughout the company and understands the value of a knowledgeable workforce