Throughout his book Return on Character Fred Kiel addresses the importance of business leaders maintaining high moral standards and incorporating those standards into their businesses. Kiel addresses the ways in which leading with strong values can have a positive impact on a companies bottom line. He explains ways in which many companies fall short in bringing character to the front of their organization, and what benefits they miss out on when they fail to think beyond the numbers. One of the big points in the book is Kiel’s focus on how the leadership team’s character translates into a happier and more engaged workforce. He writes, “A workforce that feels cared for is more productive than one that feels neglected, and that translates into bottom-line financial results.”
Through self-awareness and respect for everyone within a company, meaning everyone from the executive team to the newest employee with the lowest hourly wage, a CEO can begin to understand the human elements of the workplace to see how important it is that everyone feels secure, welcomed, and valued. If someone does not feel this way about their position in the company, Kiel would argue that they would not perform at their best. By thinking about others and trying to show ways that you value everyone as a human being, you can create the sense of caring that Kiel addresses in his quote. When a leader makes an effort to show their respect and works to treat their employees like human beings then everyone wins. The employees feel as though they contribute in a meaningful way and they are willing to continue to work hard and become more productive.