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Moral Intelligence

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Moral Intelligence

Enhancing Business Performance and Leadership Success

Wharton School Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

You can do well in business by being good, if you have the moral competence to act on your moral intelligence.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


This book maintains that morality is a sure route to management success and, implicitly, to riches. Authors Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel use stories and examples to support their explanation of the role of moral intelligence in business. They provide an abundance of anecdotes in a style that will be familiar to readers of the "Chicken Soup" series, while conveying a serious management message, if sometimes vaguely. A leader needs a moral compass to steer an organization; it is as necessary as a budget and a business plan. To evaluate your standing, see the appendix for useful questionnaires and forms. getAbstract recommends this book to those who are interested in applying their moral values to their work. If you are a person of integrity, honor and good character, you will find that this book is a practical affirmation that these sterling traits are essential in business. And if you are not such a person, well, you may need it even more.


Moral Intelligence

Moral intelligence is the ability to apply universal ethical principles to choosing and acting upon your beliefs, values and goals. Moral intelligence is not arbitrary or idiosyncratic. On the contrary, certain fundamental moral principles occur in all great religious and cultural traditions.

Some basic level of morality seems to be hardwired into the human genetic makeup. Perhaps that is why people who have high levels of moral intelligence seem to excel as leaders, and why it is no exaggeration to say that moral intelligence is a competitive asset in business.

Of course, business leaders need ordinary cognitive intelligence and technical aptitude. However, these characteristics do not distinguish someone as a leader. They do not account for exceptional success. They are merely the minimum qualifications without which a candidate cannot hope to enter the ranks of leadership.

Moral intelligence and emotional intelligence are closely related. In fact, many of the attributes of emotional intelligence also require moral intelligence, including:

  • Consciousness of your values and goals.
  • Willingness to speak unpopular...

About the Authors

Doug Lennick is an executive vice president of a leading international financial services and credit card company, and headed its retail distribution business. Fred Kiel, Ph.D., is a prominent executive coach.

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