Character Counts. September 10, 2019


Character plays a fundamental role in both our personal and professional development.  Tom Wright will engage the Hayek audience on the benefits of strength of character for us, our relationships, our work, as well as society at large.  First, he will provide the background for why character has long fascinated scholars and practitioners.  Next, he will briefly distinguish character from values, personality and lifestyle.   Finally, Tom proposes the Head, Heart, Hands (3-H) approach to character strength training and development. The 3-H approach emphasizes supplementing the traditional, cognitive-based or “Head”  understanding of character (“You Think as I Say”) with feeling-based or “Heart” (“You Feel as You Think”) and behavior-based or “Hands” (“You Do as You Feel”) components.


Thomas A. WrightTom Wright

Thomas A. Wright has held academic positions at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Wyoming, the University of Nevada, Reno, Kansas State University, and most recently Fordham University.  Tom has just retired from his position as the Felix E. Larkin Distinguished Professor in Management at Fordham. He has held editorship roles at the Journal of Management,Journal of Organizational Behavior and Journal of Management Inquiry. He is currently President of theWestern Academy of Management and CEO of the Wright Institute of Organizational Learning.  He now conducts research and consults on character-based leadership, optimizing employee performance, developing effective employee recruitment and retention strategies, and finding innovative ways to enhance employee health and well-being.  In recognition of his career accomplishments, Professor Wright has been awarded Fellow status in the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association and the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.  He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.   His wife Kay is his personal life highlight, and the highlight of his professional career has been publishing multiple articles with his father, Vincent P. Wright.