Ivey Publishing
Why Fighting COVID-19 Requires Character
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11 pages
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Ivey Business Journal
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders across all sectors worldwide face enormous challenges. How they behave and the decisions they make will separate the bad from the great. In 2010, the Ivey Business School established the Ian O. Ihnatowycz Institute for Leadership with a mandate to focus on leader character. Its research resulted in a framework consisting of 11 dimensions of character and supporting behaviours that were identified as foundational to good leadership. COVID-19 is revealing things about the citizens of affected nations as well as their leaders. The singing Italians, for example, serve as a powerful reminder that we can find creative ways to remain connected as medical experts urge us to remain apart. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the dimensions of character with concrete examples of the behaviours that leaders and citizens alike are manifesting during the pandemic. The authors believe it is of paramount importance to raise awareness of the construct of character and its dimensions—not just to ensure it is brought to the forefront of leadership education and development, but so it can be used by citizens in their everyday lives and as a tool by which they measure, vote for, and follow leaders.
General Management/Strategy
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