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Leadership from the inside out: the importance of character

Dear Editor,

Character is said to be “your moral self,” “moral structure”, or “the imprint on the soul”. I have concluded that character is the quality that defines a person. It is the basic element of all human beings. It enables the habit of will, which helps to shape oneself. The excellence of a man is his character.

Character affects every area of our lives decisions, our words, our actions, our attitudes, our goals, and our relationships. To develop Godly and leadership character you must embrace principle not people and faith not fear. A leader who leads through character is guided by authenticity, not by image. The leader who leads through character is focused on creating value and contribution rather than winning at all costs. Such a leader values openness and inclusion not control and exclusion. Quality is an important value.

Character is important for leadership because it is vital to success; it is the first thing anyone looks at. We will be judged by our character. To have an excellent one you must possess good character traits. We must be more concerned about our character than our reputation.

Abraham Lincoln stated: “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow.” Reputation and character are mirror images of each other, one being real and one being an illusion. This means that we truly are more powerful than who people think we are. One that embodies self mastery embodies self control.

Character traits determine how you will respond in any given situation, whether success or failure. Everyone’s triumphs and success are custom for their calling. To be an impactful leader one must have God within. You cannot claim God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit but enforce slavery, prejudice, lies, bribe officials, hypocrisy or force injustice on the powerless. To have good character and be a child of the most high you must do good and seek God. True leaders must accept failure and will make bad decisions at some point in their lives. Bad decisions help one to make good decisions. Circumstances mold our character.

Living your values every day is an important aspect of character in action. Henry Ford states: “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” Thus meaning don’t ever take short cuts due to challenges. Everyone has challenges and they cannot be avoided. Your challenge could be physical, emotional, relational or spiritual. It is in darkness that character is developed.

You have to become consistent in your traits for it to become your character. You have to continually audit your character. It is shaped from birth and influenced during growth. It is largely developed from suffering the trials and errors of life. Challenges create champions.

Character is the basic element of all human beings; it helps one to build specific qualities in life. When getting to know people the first thing we seek to know is their character. We watch their actions and the words they say and how they say it. It is important to have good character in leadership to be effective. To produce character it must be brought under discipline and organized into the structure of moral beings.

Honesty, loyalty, respectfulness, responsibility, humility, compassion, fairness and things of that nature are traits of good character. A person of good character is a rare treasure in this world. Good character is developed over time and through the virtues of hard work and commitment. We cannot develop our character without having to work hard and to suffer through times of conflict and challenge. We all go through challenges every day whether sickness, death of a loved one, stress, frustration, lack of finances, etc., but our character is defined by how we respond to certain challenges.

God is also calling us to protect and maintain our higher standards, and God cannot do anything in your future if you do not take care of your present. You have to be willing to change for the better because God would not give you anything before it’s time or before you are ready. You must be more interested in developing your own character, before you are going to see God bring change in your life for the future. You have to submit to the will of God. You cannot let people have power over you. You have to believe in yourself like God believes in you. This is how you face life, by surrendering to God or people will kill your spirit. We choose what and who exists in our lives. Make sure these things serve the purpose of love. God is love.

Above all you must be more concerned about your own character than in the lack of character of others. It is not your job to judge others no matter the circumstances. We all live in glass houses. It is our duty to lend a hand and help others up, help other see clearly on their journey through life. The only true goal of life is to become all that God has created you to be – 2 Corinthians 3:18. God wants us to be like him. God is love. God is constant. God is merciful. God is humble. God is trustworthy. God is righteous. God is holy. And God is spirit.

For others to follow and for you to lead we must first focus on our characters.

“Pour it all out here on Earth, die empty,” said Dr. Myles Munroe.

– Jessica Ford

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