Character is More Than It’s Cracked Up To Be

Most of us were told that character is who you are and what you do when no one is looking. 

Maybe. But here’s another thought.

Character actually is what is exposed when the screws are turned down, when the heat lamps are turned up, when the decisions are uncertain, when the temptations are greatest.

In other words, character – for better or for worse – is what shows through during the hard times in life and business.

If so, then there is only one sure way to develop character: Do it the hard way. Seek out the hard lessons. Embrace difficulty. No need to be a glutton for punishment, but there is a certain discipline and satisfaction with realizing at the outset — and certainly at the end — that choosing the less convenient and even grueling path pays the higher dividend. It may not get expedient results as fast, but that’s not the goal. Expedient results are good for today, but by definition have little contribution to the future.

We live in a world of shortcuts. There is no shortcut to building character. No app for that.

Every person I know who has depth of character has a story behind it.

What’s yours?  


About paulheagen

I am an executive coach, advisor and confidant who helps leaders better understand, refresh or redirect their purpose in their business and personal lives. Over my 35-year career as a corporate executive, communications consultant and trusted advisor, I have guided executives through “defining moments” – those unique times when the decisions they make, the words they speak, and the qualities they exhibit can influence not only the destiny of their organization but also their own lives and careers. When it comes to my clients and my life work, I am ferociously passionate and restlessly inquisitive about uncovering the unique dreams, vision and purpose that lead to exceptional leadership.
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One Response to Character is More Than It’s Cracked Up To Be

  1. gina says:

    once again, a poignant post.

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