Questions of Character

Questions of Character Cover

Questions of Character

Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature

By Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.

Harvard Business School Press, Hardcover, 9781591399681, 221pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2006


The hardest tests for leaders challenge their character as much as their skills, and a growing body of research shows that the self-knowledge gained from such tests is critical to leaders’ success.

In Questions of Character, Joseph L. Badaracco outlines eight fundamental challenges that test a leader’s character, and proposes exploring them through the lens of literature. Badaracco argues that serious fiction provides us with memorable characters facing compelling challenges similar to those that confront business leaders. Through rich analysis of the main characters in The Death of a Salesman, The Secret Sharer, The Last Tycoon, and other stories, Badaracco addresses complex issues leaders face, such as the soundness of their vision, their readiness to take on responsibility, the depth of their compassion, and their ability to manage success.

Presenting classic leadership dilemmas in a novel and valuable light, Questions of Character helps leaders and aspiring leaders prepare for the opportunities and tests before them.

About the Author
Joseph L. Badaracco Jr. is the John Shad Professor of Business Ethics at Harvard Business School and the author of several books, including "Leading Quietly" and "Defining Moments," both published by HBS Press.

Praise For Questions of Character

Named one of the Best Leadership Books of All Time - Inc. Magazine (