The concept of character can imply a variety of attributes including the existence or lack of virtues such as integrity, courage, honesty, and loyalty, or of good behaviors or habits. I would like to define character as our ability to display what others see. However, it is who we are even when no one is watching.
To be an effective leader, your character must convey certain things to all your followers.
First, character communicates consistency. If you lack inner strength, your followers can not count on you day after day because your ability to perform will change constantly. If you only work on the days that you feel good, not much can be accomplished in your life and your business world. If you’re not consistent with your actions, your team will not know what to expect from you and sooner or later they won’t look to you for leadership.
When you develop a strong character, people will develop trust in you and they will trust in your ability to lead them to live to their full potential. A great leader will live out their values every day. They never make a commitment unless they are sure they’ll keep it, which leads them to show integrity in their character.
Second, character communicates potential. No one can climb beyond the limitations of their own character. If you have a characteristic of alienating your team, they will eventually not trust you. Trust is built on achieving results, always with integrity and in a manner that will show personal regard for the people with whom you work with. That trust will promote hope for your team and promotes a strong belief in themselves and your organization.
Third, character communicates respect. If you lack internal strength, you cannot earn respect without. Respect is absolutely essential to continue as a leader. So how does one earn respect? You earn it by making sound decisions, admitting to your mistakes and putting what’s best for your team ahead of your own personal agenda. Are you thinking of your paycheck or the paycheck of your organization?
If you want to keep the same level of influence with your team, then don’t break your trust with them. When you violate that trust your leadership days are over.
By Alexis Dean