Welcome to Today. This week's Leadership and Personal Development tip is about Character.
Every leader worth his or her salt should have an intentional growth strategy. We do not have the luxury of remaining complacent. He who remains stationary falls behind. Why? Because as he remains inert, others will surpass him. So logically, he falls behind.
However, even with a solid personal growth strategy in place, without sound character we will experience a major limit on our growth potential. John Maxwell refers to this as the Law of the Ladder. He states, "Character growth determines the height of your personal growth." Doug Firebaugh said, "Achievement to most people is something you do... to the high achiever, it is something you are." This statement resonates with me because I live by and teach others to "be who God has called you to be so that you might do what He has called you to do." Emphasis added.
Maxwell also suggests, "the most difficult person to lead is yourself." This is even more difficult for the person lacking integrity; those without sound character. Steven R. Covey says highly effective people think "win/win". They look for positive outcomes for all who are involved. "It is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions." This statement describes leaders who have virtue. James Allen posits, "A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts."
A person with character defects will be exposed sooner of later. Consider this post by John Taft regarding Brian Williams written in 2015. "The 'fog of memory.' That’s the phrase suspended NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams used to explain his inaccurate account of riding in a helicopter that was hit by artillery fire in Iraq in 2003. Turns out that’s not what it was at all. It wasn’t a memory lapse, but a character trait that led him to embellish his journalistic accounts not once, but apparently multiple times."
Leaders are judged by the content of their character. This is good. A person of sound character will be forgiven more readily if she makes a mistake. A person of flawed character will be condemned more vigorously. My advice - for a long lasting external impact make an intentional internal transformation if you are lacking in character. Purposely live inside out. Lead well from within so that you can lead well externally.
Napoleon Hill, in PMA: The Science of Success, shares that definiteness of purpose is the starting point of achievement. There are many who have character struggles because they have yet to discover or embrace their purpose. When you know and live according to your purpose, you will know when to say "yes" and when to say "no". Unscrupulous people are eager to say yes to anything they believe will get them ahead. Principled people will say no to the offers that are in violation with their character and purpose.
In his book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, Seth Godin suggests, "Leadership... is about creating change that you believe in." Real leadership is adhering to your values, your beliefs, your passions, your principles, your character! It can be tough to stand up for what is right. But this is what true leaders do. They will negotiate many things. However, they will not compromise their character. I pray that we will all do whatever it takes to protect our character. Lead well from the inside out... from a position of sound character!
That's it for now. Until the next tip....
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