What is character? The best definition that I’ve heard for character is: the person you are when no one is looking.  When leaders have character, they are big people on the inside and as a result people follow them on the outside. John Maxwell says that everything rises and falls on leadership and I believe that statement to be true. Plus, I also believe that a person’s leadership actually rises and falls on the foundation of their individual character and integrity. In fact, the courage of one’s convictions (character) plus the peace of one’s conscience (integrity) equals the foundation of one’s leadership (influence). Any cracks in a leader’s character and / or integrity will put the leader’s influence in serious jeopardy if those cracks are not effectively addressed and resolved. 

Character Development Matters Desperately In Our Personal Lives

We only have to look as far as the headline news to see the devastating effects of failed character in life and leadership. From corporate boardrooms to family washrooms, character matters desperately. In fact, John Maxwell offers the following about character from his book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader:

1) Character is more than talk

2) Character is a choice

3) Character brings lasting success with people

4) Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character

Furthermore, author of The Enemies of Excellence, Coach Greg Salciccioli, teaches leaders what he has learned and observed over his life-time in coaching: talent most often exceeds the character necessary to support it. I believe this observation is primarily true because talent is a gift; whereas, character is developed. Unfortunately, if a person does not learn how to develop the character necessary to sustain their talent, it is only a matter of time before the enemies of excellence in their life take over and completely sabotage their success in life. The Bible states in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Developing Character Produces Personal Excellence

To safeguard our personal lives from the strategies of the devil to destroy us, we must develop character that produces personal excellence in the following 3 practical ways:

  1. Write a Personal Life Plan that includes a personal vision of the preferred future in the areas of Spiritual Growth, Relationships, Fitness, Finances, and Future.
  2. Develop daily routines to replace the energy expired each day spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally.
  3. Create a group of wise trusted advisors to give wise guidance and counsel in life.

Character Development Matters Desperately In Our Professional Lives

While character is critically important to a person’s success in their personal life, it is also critically important to success in their professional life. The influence of an organization rises and falls on the influence of its leaders and the influence of leaders rises and falls on the character of leaders. Therefore, to develop an organization with great influence, an organization must develop great leaders with great character.

Because God has kingdom purpose for organizations in the marketplace, the devil is keenly aware that he can sabotage God’s kingdom purpose in the marketplace by destroying the leaders in the marketplace. Therefore, we must understand very clearly, the stakes are high for kingdom leaders in the marketplace. In Matthew 11:12, the Bible states, “From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people have been seizing it.”

Developing Character Produces Professional Excellence

To safeguard the advancement of God’s kingdom in the marketplace from the strategies of the devil to hinder God’s kingdom purposes in the marketplace and destroy marketplace leaders, we must develop character that produces professional excellence in the following 4 practical ways:

  1. Write a Professional Business Plan that includes the God-ordained Vision, Purpose, and Values of the kingdom of God within the organization.
  2. Develop a clearly written Strategic Plan that identifies the compelling ambitions and objectives of the organization.
  3. Identify personal and specific leadership commitments for everyone in the organization that support the Strategic Plan of the organization.
  4. Implement a leadership coaching process that effectively develops people and unleashes the extraordinary God-given potential of everyone in the organization to make a real difference in life.

Thank you and have a blessed ”Make It Happen” day!

Character Development – Rx For Excellence Copyright 2012, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint Character Development – Rx For Excellence, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.