The antidote to navigating turbulent times isn’t more rules. It is timeless virtue that creates sustainable value. Thoughtful leaders are keenly aware of the enormous challenge they face to drive high performance in a world that continues to ratchet up pressure and uncertainty. Some leaders respond by getting tough and establishing strict rules. They get people in line, but they don’t inspire excellence. Wise leaders, on the other hand, help their people practice character to navigate their way through the turbulence—without lowering performance expectations. As a result, their people are more reliable under pressure. Exception to the Rule links ancient wisdom with contemporary science on high performance, teamwork, and engagement. Building an organizational culture based on classical virtues―of trust, compassion, courage, justice, wisdom, temperance and hope―is both strategically smart and a better way to live. Exception to the Rule walks you through the steps of helping everyone in your organization focus on character defined by virtue. The word virtue means excellence, which is why each one is essential to help people perform at a high level despite uncertainty and pressure. Under character-based leadership, teams work better together, creativity flourishes and engagement increases. The most powerful idea of Exception to the Rule is this: character defined by virtue is not based on birthright; it can be learned and practiced. Everyone can develop habits to become better than they were. While character cannot be legislated, character can be cultivated. As virtue proves its value, the culture you have can evolve into the culture you need.