Leadership Draped on Character

When purchasing a new suit the company rep will sometimes talk about how a coat drapes or hangs on your body. Cheaper suits tend to be stiff and lack drape and conformity to one’s bodily shape. However, as you increase the wool count and quality of the suit the drape tends to increase.Drape has the intention to make a man look stronger. The greater the quality the stronger one appears.

Leadership lives and dies on the foundation of one’s character. A person’s character is the drape on the body of one’s values. A person’s character is made up of a skeleton of boundaries. They are the parameters that enclose a person’s ethics and values and become that which defines a person’s life.

Character is defined by Webster’s as:

the way someone thinks, feels, and behaves: someone’s personality

a set of qualities that are shared by many people in a group, country, etc.

a set of qualities that make a place or thing different from other places or things

Character is the sum total of our values which are established by our priorities, convictions, beliefs, and our habitual disciplines. The strength of these characteristics is what defines our integrity. Ultimately, the level of my integrity is determined by my words and actions being consistent.

Character along with its integrity cannot expect any kind of success without self-discipline. This necessary ingredient of self-discipline involves me setting priorities that ultimately determine my choices and then directs my behavior. Character is formed and shaped by our personal submission to these principles. In other words, we should be the same person behind closed doors as we are in public.

Why is character so important?

The higher you go in the atmosphere the greater the pressure. If a person goes up too fast, they will collapse because the pressure on the outside is greater than what the inside can handle. The higher a person goes in position, the more responsibility will be required of them. If a person’s character does not match the pressure on the outside, they will eventually collapse under the weight of something bigger than their character can sustain. In leadership we call this the “shooting star” syndrome. A person is gifted and they soar to the top overnight, however, their character has not been built to sustain them in that position. Charisma can get you in the room but make no mistake about it – your character will determine how long you stay!

Character is more important than intellectual prowess, gifts, orator skills, positions, and money. Character will protect your position, influence,  a person’s life, reputation, and eventually the legacy that is left behind. Not only does character protect me, but it shields others around me.

Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny. 

Protect your character and your character will protect you!

Dr. Reuben Egolf

Leading Nations

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