The Secret to Your Future

Your character is your future.

Leadership is first about character then skill.

trials of life

Character is:

  1. Behavior you compel yourself to do.
  2. Attitudes and actions you resort to when stressed.
  3. The way you act when no one is looking.

The 6 essential character traits of successful leaders:

  1. Humility
    • Acknowledgement that you need others.
    • Openness to new ideas.
    • Awareness and acceptance of personal limitation and frailty.
  2. Integrity
    • Consistency between commitment and follow through.
    • No hidden agendas – transparency of intention.
    • Authenticity – opinion reflects personally held values.
  3. Self-control
    1. Choose language that builds up when tempted to tear down.
    2. Withhold personal attack and extend forgiveness.
    3. Explore options even when you think you know.
  4. Courage
    1. Bravery to stand alone.
    2. Willingness to state unpopular opinions and speak truth to power.
    3. Resolve to address difficult topics with kindness.
  5. Love
    1. Commitment to seek the highest good of others and organizations.
    2. Lead with empathy and compassion.
    3. Hold people to their highest potential.
  6. Optimism
    1. Keep long-term perspectives in view.
    2. Belief that organizational mission is worthy of grit.
    3. Confidence in proven teammates to deliver results.

Character development:

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller

Knowledge comes from books

but you find what you lack in the trials of life.

Character development in others:

  1. Make character part of organizational conversation.
  2. Allow others to face the consequences of their choices. Over-protection creates weakness.
  3. Provide connection with people of character.
  4. Offer help but don’t fulfill another’s responsibilities.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Maya Angelou

What is on your list of essential leadership character traits?

How might leaders develop character in themselves and/or others?