Review of Moral Intelligence, by Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel, Ph. D.
4 out of 5
What makes humans human? "Morals," says Doug Lennick and Fred Kiel, Ph. D. in Moral Intelligence. Understanding morality and putting it to work in leaders' lives is the premise of this easy-to-read work. The components of a moral compass (comprised of principles, values and beliefs), goals (including purpose and wants) and behavior (through thoughts, emotions and actions) interact together to form moral intelligence.
With a genuineness that comes from describing their direct conversations with scores of leaders, the authors make a case for driving business performance through responsible, moral conduct. They believe there is a set of universal expectations about how other human being should be treated and that "they apply to all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religious belief, or location on the globe." Moral Intelligence features copious detailed stories; most include real names versus using pseudonyms, which lends authenticity. Models describe processes, mental schemas and frameworks. To ensure that readers are able to internalize and apply their learning, a series of worksheets guide leaders through the process of defining and refining their own morality.
Conspicuous by its absence is a clear warning about the insidious role of self-deceit in the role of leadership. For more on this topic, try Leaderhip and Self-Deception by Arbinger Institute.
One quick "Huh?!" moment: The previously-mentioned Moral Compass Inventory uses the unfortunate acronym, "MCI," 25 times in the book. Unfortunately, this acronym shares its letters with a company, MCI (formerly MCI WorldCom), known for its accounting scandal in the early twenty-first century and its subsequent bankruptcy.
Moral Intelligence makes a case for establishing a moral compass, for setting goals related to that compass and for monitoring one's behavior constantly to assure overall alignment. Practical and documented, while remaining approachable, it could appeal to leaders at all stages of their careers.