Strong character is often referenced when speaking about good leadership skills; however, what is strong character?
People say character means everything but rarely ever go into any detail about its meaning.
I suppose we all kind of understand what they mean, or maybe we are afraid to ask in fear that someone will think we are stupid!
So is character integrity? Or is integrity just a part of someone with strong character?
How about honesty, or is that still just a part of it?
There is no question that good leadership skills and good character are both mentioned in the same breath and so they should be! So what is it?
When I think of good or strong character I think of someone that is unwavering when it comes to doing the right thing no matter what the personal costs are.
When it comes to doing the right thing let’s get one thing very clear and that is that there is still absolute right and absolute wrong no matter what people are saying. Trust me people are trying to sell everyone on the idea that right is in the eyes of the individual person. Wrong.
Stealing is stealing! When you take something that does not belong to you without permission it is stealing no matter what. Whether it is worth one penny or ten million dollars!
Telling a lie is telling a lie!
Being hurtful to someone is being hurtful whether you feel they deserved it or not!
Ignoring your responsibility is ignoring your responsibility whether you feel it is important or not.
Cheating on your spouse is cheating on your spouse whether you will get caught or not!
Strong character is living by a set of principles that you do not waver from no matter how difficult it might become. After all everyone could have strong character if it was easy!
Unfortunately so many of our politicians have fallen into the trap of saying whatever seems to get them votes and/or fills their pocket with cash. Depending on whom they are talking to will determine what they believe for that day!
Leadership takes courage to stand behind your principles! Principles that are firming rooted in what is right! Not changing course every time the wind blows from a different direction. Not turning around when wrong is standing in the way. No, not at all! Good leadership challenges the wind to just try and change the direction they are taking. Strong leadership laughs in the face of wrong and defeats it with right when it is standing in the way!
The one truth I know about strong character is that it does not come from attending a flavor of the week leadership training class. No not even close! It comes from taking one step after the other even when knocked down, spit upon, ridiculed, laughed at, and who knows what you pick yourself up and continue going forward following the path of what is right! That is how you build and earn character! It isn’t easy nor should it be, but it is worth the battle once you arrive!