By Alan Murray and David Meyer
January 11, 2019

Good morning.

Do business leaders need to be moral leaders? Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN, says the answer is yes, and has some new research to back that up. He provided an early look to members of Fortune’s CEO Initiative in a phone conference yesterday morning. Top line: in a survey of 1,100 executives, managers and employees, 87% agreed the need for moral leadership in business is greater than ever. And nearly three-quarters said they felt their companies would perform better if their leaders displayed moral leadership.

Why does it matter? Because in today’s fast paced world, Seidman says, the job of effective leaders has changed from “doing the next thing right”—something, increasingly, machines can handle—to “doing the next right thing”—which involves moral choice.

“There are unprecedented forces out there that are drastically reshaping the world,” putting greater demands on business leaders. As a result, “the business of business is no longer just business. The business of business is society.”

Seidman has been making this case for a number of years—including during this appearance at the Fortune Global Forum held in Rome and at the Vatican in December 2016. The new research shows a growing number of business leaders share his view. That’s a step in the right direction.

But here’s the rub: only 7% of employees surveyed said their leaders often or always exhibited the behaviors of moral leadership. Moral leadership may be in greater demand, but it is still in short supply.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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