Leadership Quality #1: Character – Being Bigger on the Inside than on the Outside

“Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.”  Bernard Montgomery

How a leader deals with the circumstances of his/her life tells you a lot about their character

  • Crisis doesn’t necessarily make or build character but it certainly reveals it
  • Adversity presents a crossroad; choose between character or compromise
    Choose character and become stronger; even if that choice brings with it some negative consequences
  • Not only as a leaders, as human beings, development of character is at the heart of our development.

Nobel prize-winning author, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn noted “The meaning of earthly existing lies, not as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, but in the development of the soul.”

What do you need to know about character?

  • It’s more than talk – if saying isn’t matched by consistent being and action, people stop following.
  • Talent is a gift, character is a choice – we have no control over much of life, however we do choose our character, and we do that every time we make a choice.
  • Character brings lasting success with people – followers do not trust leaders whose character they know to be flawed, and they will not continue following them.
  • Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character  – The Success Syndrome says that people who achieve great heights but lack the bedrock character to sustain them through the stress are headed for disaster. Predictably one or more of the 4 A’s will trip them up. Arrogance, painful feelings of Aloneness, destructive Adventure-seeking, Adultery

As you lead others at home, in business, in the community, recognise your character as your most important asset.

“The respect that leadership must have requires that one’s ethics be without question. A leader not only stays above the line between right and wrong, he stays well clear of the 'grey areas'.” G. Alan Bernard
Part 1 of our Leadership Series: Leadership is an Inside Job, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader


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