Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library


Character -- Why It Matters In Leaders

By Guy Harris

"Character is much easier kept than recovered."


- Thomas Paine

"The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back."


- Abigail van Buren

"Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some extent a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece"by thought, choice, courage, and determination."


- John Luther Long

Here is a simple tip for aspiring leaders "It is far better to have character than to be one.

I once heard Bob McEwen (former Congressman from Ohio) define character as the combination of morality and integrity. According to his definition, morality is not doing the wrong thing while integrity is having the strength to do the right thing.

Based on this definition, character is not something you just have. You must work to build character every day. It is something that develops over time, but is destroyed in a moment.

Why, as a leader, is character a big deal?

Without even considering the moral and legal implications of character lapses, just look at the impact on your organization. As John Maxwell says, "Everything rises and falls on leadership." By this standard, your personal character will become the character of your organization. Consider these facts:

- 58% of workers surveyed indicated that employee fraud would decrease if managers (company leaders) were better role models (Oct 2002, Ernst & Young, "The CPA Letter")

- 80% of people surveyed indicated that they decide to buy a firm's goods or services partly on their perception of its ethics (2003, Wirthlin Worldwide)

- Unethical behavior leads to more sabotaging behavior in the workplace, such as:

o Under delivering on commitments

o Over promising to win a customer or gain support for a project

o Wasting time and energy guarding turf

o Lowering goals to avoid failure rather than striving for excellence

o Padding the budget to look better

o Fudging results to stay competitive

o Hiding facts

o Skipping over details

o Withholding praise from others

o Hogging credit

o Shifting or buffering blame

o Looking for scapegoats

(Case Western Reserve University, Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science)

As you can see from the results of these studies, the character of the leader affects not only the behavior of the organization, but its results as well. I do not know all the details of the Enron or MCI WorldCom scandals, but I do know that the fallout hurt the companies and their employees. These examples are extreme cases of character failures, but many smaller ones happen in business and organizational life every day.

As usual, I have a story to relate to illustrate my point. One time I hired a man to work in a department I managed. During the hiring process, I realized that a woman in the department, working in the same capacity, was significantly underpaid compared to both industry standards and the starting salary of the man we were hiring. I immediately went to my supervisor and attempted to negotiate a resolution plan. In response to my request to adjust her salary he asked, "Does she know that he will be making more than her? This perspective floored me. It seems that her knowledge of the situation, rather than a determination of whether it was right or wrong, was the deciding factor on whether it should be addressed or not. At that moment, I remembered a statement I had heard long before: "Character is what you do when no one is watching."

Unfortunately, I was unable to persuade my supervisor to take action in this case. This response severely damaged my trust and respect for both the person and the organization. I eventually left the organization for other reasons, but in retrospect, I probably should have left sooner. When it comes to character, leaders simply cannot compromise.

You can staff your organization to compensate for skill and knowledge deficiencies. You must stand alone on character. Do not let short-term thinking entice you into small, subtle concessions on matters of character. Be a leader of high morals and impeccable integrity in everything you do.

So, I encourage you to remember this simple tip...

It is far better to have character than to be one.

Copyright 2005, Guy Harris

You may use this article for electronic distribution if you will include all contact information with live links back to the author. Notification of use is not required, but I would appreciate it. Please contact the author prior to use in printed media.

About The Author

Guy Harris is the Chief Relationship Officer with Principle Driven Consulting." He helps entrepreneurs, business managers, and other organizational leaders build trust, reduce conflict, and improve team performance. Learn more at http://www.principledriven.com.

Guy co-authored "The Behavior Bucks System TM" to help parents reduce stress and conflict with their children. Learn more about this book at http://www.behaviorbucks.com.


AND EXPLORE...

Addictions
Astrology
Careers & Employment
Communication
Creativity
Dating
Depression
Diabetes
Diets
Divorce
Education
Environment
Ethics
Exercise
Family
Goal-Setting
Grief & Loss
Happiness
Health
Kids & Teens
Leadership
Love
Marriage
Meditation
Nutrition
Organizing
Parenting
Psychology
Public Speaking
Relationships
Schools
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Spirituality
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure
Women
Writing


From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 
Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd