Thursday, May 17, 2018

Self-Leadership #4 Write Your Character

We come now to the character building stage. Character is the first requirement of self-leadership. Combined with good habits and competence, character creates the building blocks for leadership:

Good Habits + Competence + Character = Superb Leadership

The word “character” is derived from older words than mean “engraved” and “inscribed.” These etymological roots imply something important. Character is written, inscribed and engraved all over you. Everyone has a character but not all of us are “of” character. Character is founded on unchanging principles. It is your underlying core. It has unspoken power, it is solid and resolute, and it doesn’t blink.

Most important, character is a series of decisions and choices that you make as you grow and mature. Character is not something that is handed to you; it must be forged through years of hard work and discipline. It is the culmination of years of choosing to act one way rather than another, of choosing truth over deception, respect over arrogance, compassion over cruelty. There is no one prescription for character. You cannot simply copy someone else’s character. Character must fit our own personality and characteristics if it is to withstand trial by fire.

There are many techniques for “writing your character.” These include the habits of seeking truth, finding and keeping faith, practicing humility and showing respect and compassion for others. None is easy to adopt; all are important for self-leadership.

Here are three (3) techniques you can use as you write your character:

Learn From Hardship: It is at the most difficult times that we become most open to profound learning. Sometimes when we realize we don’t have all the answers, we begin to ask the right questions.

Building Character Takes Discipline: Internalizing the principles and values that you believe in means that they will surface in times of crisis. This takes daily renewal and practice.

Identify Your Heroes: Heroes (or Mentors) embody qualities of character that are important to us and compel us to examine more closely how we’re conducting our own lives. Find one (or more) and learn from him or her. Read biographies and autobiographies is one way.


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