Uncovering character and purpose through the Oxford Character Project

2 minute read

What does character mean to you? How does character contribute to good leadership? What does it mean to lead with purpose? How can we align our personal values with the needs of our organisations, communities, and countries? These are the types of questions I get to think about and discuss with peers weekly through the Oxford Character Project’s Global Leadership Initiative (GLI). The GLI is a 7-month long character and professional development programme for postgraduate level students at Oxford.

One of the highlights of my time at Oxford so far has been getting to be a part of this programme. I was immediately drawn to it because of their mission to develop leaders of the future that embody integrity, purpose and good character, in a practical way. My driver for everything is people and learning. I want to understand why people are the way they are and what they believe in, and how their unique life experiences have impacted them. Personally, I’m learning how to harness my unique story, voice, experiences and skills to be a leader that can make a positive impact in whatever organisation I am a part of next, but more importantly, growing more into the person I want to be.

Each week we delve into a different topic from what is good leadership to leading yourself and honesty and integrity. These conversations take me out of my business school classwork and allow for discussions that aren’t usually found in everyday conversations. I love our weekly time because it allows me to learn from postgrads that are studying an array of different degrees from cybersecurity to molecular biology or engineering, something that can be hard to find as there is always so much going on at the business school.

Who we are, what we believe, and what is important to us contributes directly to how we treat others, impact organisations, lead people and make an impact in the world. It’s crucial that we find time in our busy schedules to take a step back and reflect on these topics and ask ourselves these simple, yet difficult, questions.

Learn more about the work of the Oxford Character Project and Global Leadership Institute