Strength of Character: The Foundation of Working Together and Getting Things Done

“Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

My favorite definition of strength of character is “a leader, that seeks out responsibility and, has a love for responsibility as well, as the making and standing by their decisions in the face of their adversary, peers and superiors.” The minute you step into a leadership position, you take on a rarely discussed responsibility. You become the catalyst by which your organization breathes life and trust with its people. As you inspire, muster and make decisions, you represent the organizations mission, intent and culture. You also must remember you embody your life experience (birth to present), beliefs and values. As a leader you will find it can be difficult or tricky representing the organization well and still, be yourself. Leadership requires that you strive for both. Otherwise you will limit what you can achieve, weaken the organization, disappoint the people depending on you, and even lose yourself in the process. Leadership challenges build character, and adaptive leaders make sure their character is sound.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Character is a cohesive approach to conducting yourself, interacting with others, and representing the organization. Character is built over time with integrity, credibility and valuing differences. You understand everyone has something to offer that will benefit the organization. The challenges that will build your character are most often complex dilemmas or difficult decisions. When you successfully pass tests of character, you strengthen the bond of mutual trust between your people and the organization. If you fail, those working for you cannot reach their potential or the outcomes we seek. It is never too late to build your character. Your people and organization are counting on it.

Stay Oriented!