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The Coates Perspective

Character Counts!

The Coates Perspective for February 7, 2013-2nd Blog 
“Steering Organizations To New Horizons.”
Are You Being Limited By Underdeveloped Character?

The character of a leader is seldom forged on a public platform. We are taught to perform and hide behind the masks of what we want people to see and believe. It is the personal formation of character developed in secret that will eventually be on display for all to see.

It has been said that our talent will take us to a point, but our character will make room for us in the arena of greatness. It was the British writer John Morley who stated, “No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character.” The venue does not matter at all, be it in the political realm, in the boardroom, in the icons of pop culture, or in the home.

Character matters, everywhere. With character, great things can be achieved. Without it, great dreams are dashed and people are destroyed.

All of the great leaders of the past, present and future are woven together with one great theme: they were all people of great character. They were trustworthy. There are some organizations that have leaders who have the titles that demand respect, but not all the leaders have the kind of character that earns them respect. There is a Grand Canyon size kind of difference between those who have character and those who do not.

So, when is it the best time to begin working on your character? Right about now. J.R. Miller reminds us of this sobering truth when he so eloquently said, “The only thing that walks back from the tomb with the mourners and refuses to be buried is the character of a man. This is true. What a man is survives him. It can never be buried.”

Here is the take-a-way for the leader who desires to grow in character. How is it done? What does a leader have to do in order to grow in character? Here are a few suggestions:

1.     Do not lie. If you say you are going to do something, then do it.

2.     Do not water down your convictions in order to fit in with the conventional wisdom around you. Stand up for your principles!

3.     Do look into the mirror often and ask yourself this question: “Is this who I am wanting to become?” Make a plan for the habits of the heart you need to change.
You’ve read my perspective. Now, I’d love to hear yours. What are you thinking? What one thing can you do that will enhance the attribute of personal character in your organization’s culture?

If you need help working through the process consider using the resources at Coates and Associates, Inc. We would consider it an honor to visit with you about developing a process forward.

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