Character and global leadership

This report presents findings from a survey of character-based leadership education and research in 137 low- and middle-income countries

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To advance positive change and human flourishing in the face of significant global challenges requires courageous and purpose-driven leadership - understood in this report as ‘character-based leadership’. Such leadership must be effective and ethical, joining the knowledge and skills that enable leadership competencies to fundamental qualities of character such as integrity, purpose, and hope.

This report focuses on the 137 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) around the world, which are home to 6.65 billion people, over 80% of the global population. A multicultural group of researchers from eight countries examined academic literature and educational programmes focused on character-based leadership, with particular attention to five regions: Southern and East Africa, Central and West Africa, Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, and South and Central Asia. In each region, we investigated prevalent values, reviewed leadership literature, and analysed leadership development programmes. The leadership challenge in these nations goes beyond raising GDP to address poverty in all its dimensions, including health, education, and well-being alongside socio-economic indicators. Local leadership and contextual knowledge are essential to engage these challenges, yet leadership research and investment in leadership education have often been led by organisations in high-income nations.

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