Alex Havard

Alexandre Havard is the founder of the Virtuous Leadership System and the co-founder of the Virtuous Leadership Institute. Alexandre was born and raised in Paris, and is a graduate of one of France’s leading law schools. He worked as a lawyer in Europe for many years before discovering his mission to ignite hearts for greatness and work to raise up a new generation of Virtuous Leaders. His books Virtuous Leadership: An Agenda for Personal Excellence and Created for Greatness: The Power of Magnanimity have been translated into 20 languages.

About us

The Virtuous Leadership Institute is an international community of Virtuous Leadership consultants who teach and promote the leadership system set forth in the books by Alex Havard, “Virtuous Leadership” (2007) and “Created for Greatness: The Power of Magnanimity” (2011).

Our Virtuous Leadership institutes in China, Russia, North America, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Finland, are legally independent organizations which closely collaborate with one another.

Our Mission

The modern world is experiencing a severe shortage of genuine leaders. Individualism and consumerism have spawned generations of small, self-centered people on the make.

Our mission is to ignite hearts for greatness and raise up a new generation of Virtuous Leaders empowered to transform the world.

I discovered my mission late in life, at age 40, when I began teaching Virtuous Leadership. To ignite hearts for greatness and raise up a new generation of virtuous leaders empowered to transform the world. I saw greatness in my parents, grand-parents, and ancestors. I saw it in my brother and sister, my friends and mentors. At the same time I saw waves of small-heartedness breaking over the world. I noted with astonishment the rise of new kinds of creatures in our midst like those in Huxley’s Brave New World: creatures without a past, without family, without nation, without God and without nature. I saw the “men without chests” of C.S. Lewis. I found it alarming and I decided to act. “Igniting hearts for greatness” became my mission, my personal answer to this human catastrophe. This personal mission is now a corporate mission: the mission of the Virtuous Leadership Institute.

Alex Havard

Our Definition of Leadership

Leadership is about achieving greatness by bringing out the greatness in others.

Management is about getting things done. Leadership is about helping people grow.

True greatness is not about conquering an empire. It is about human, spiritual growth.

Greatness is the result of the practice of the virtue of magnanimity; service is the result of the practice of the virtue of humility.

Leadership is a way of being, which can be lived by everyone no matter his or her place in society or in any given organization. Leadership is not about rank or position or being on top of the heap. Leadership is not reserved for the elite. It is a vocation not of the few, but of the many.

Virtuous leadership is a vision of leadership which corresponds to the highest demands of human nature and the noblest aspirations of the human heart.

Our System

Virtuous leadership is the first systematic and holistic approach to leadership from the point of view of aretology, which is the science of the virtues developed by the Ancient Greeks.

Virtue is more than a value. It is a dynamic force which allows us not only to achieve human excellence, but also to become effective as human beings. Virtue means excellence in being (aretē, in Greek) and effectiveness in action (virtus, in Latin).

Virtue makes you an effective human being, because it gives you a specific spiritual power: the power to make right decisions, to stay the course, to run risks, to energize your passions and direct them to the fulfillment of the mission at hand, to give people their due and communicate effectively, to achieve great things and serve people by bringing out the greatness in them.

The virtues of prudence (practical wisdom), courage, self-control and justice constitute the foundations of leadership, and the virtues of magnanimity (greatness) and humility (service) constitute its essence.

Virtue is a habit acquired through practice. Leadership is a question of character (virtue, freedom, growth) and not of temperament (biology, conditioning, stagnation).  Leaders are trained, not born.

Leadership is a life ideal, which recognizes, assimilates and propagates the truth about man.

They said about us

“I found Virtuous Leadership a fascinating book that goes straight to the heart of the matter:  we need to base our decisions on reality and the essence of reality is man himself.”
Francois Michelin, CEO of Group Michelin (1955-1999)

“Alex Havard’s Virtuous Leadership, a plea to return to the classical virtues, reflects the ongoing resurgence in appreciation for the wisdom of the ancient Greeks, which served humanity well for two millennia.  I highly recommend this life-changing read.”
Lee Deremer Colonel, USAF, Professor of Ethics and Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College (2007-2008).

Virtuous Leadership is a timeless book. After you read it, you will find yourself citing its many brilliant phrases without even realizing it.”
Sari Essayah, World Champion in Women’s Race Walking (1993) and Member of the European Parliament (2009-2014).

“In a complicated world, simplicity is priceless. Virtuous Leadership is full of brilliant insights.  It is highly topical and relevant.”
Timo SoiniDeputy Prime Minister of Finland and Minister of Foreign Affairs (since 2015).

“Somebody has finally written a book about virtue for those engaged in the business world. Too many books spill out of the presses on being effective, on getting your way, on making big bucks quick.  This book should be in every airport across Europe and America! (And ditch all the other quick-read, make-million business books that litter the bookstore shelves.)
Benjamin D. Wiker, Author of A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, 2006.

“Alexandre Havard’s Virtuous Leadership is a book long-needed on every level of public life in the developed nations.  A vitally important and timely book.”
Michael D. O’Brien, Author of Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (1996).

Virtuous Leadership institutes in the world

Asia Center
for Virtuous Leadership

Richard Roque

Paris (France)

de Leadership Vertueux

Philippe Saussol

Helsinki (Finland)

Hyvejohtajuuden Instituutti

Santi Martinez

Brussels (Belgium)

de Leadership Vertueux

Christophe Depreter

Zaragoza (Spain)

Liderazgo Virtuoso

Juan Herminio Duarte Navarro

Lisbon (Portugal)

Virtuous Leadership Institute

Maria do Rosario Homem

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