A leader with character emphasizes integrity in every aspect of his life. He is known by his solid and transparent character as a trustworthy person qualified for leadership.
Character is the foundation of leadership.
The development of solid leadership starts with character. In today’s world, we see many cases of leaders in which a lack of character has hindered their ability to lead effectively.
An intimate knowledge of values, the ability to discern strengths, vulnerabilities, and strong communication and time management skills, are all important qualities of a good leader. Yet, none of these are as important as the leader’s character.
Character defines the leader. It determines who he is and how he continues to grow.
Leaders who invest time and effort in developing solid character will always position themselves above situations in life that try to bring them down.
Focus on integrity, not on the image.
In his book Reflective Leadership, Dr. Robert Ferry says, “Our deep challenge is authenticity, being genuine and real within ourselves, in our relationships, in the world.”
Leadership is a goal to be pursued throughout life, of which experience is a crucial part. Like every long term goal, solid leadership requires effort and perseverance.
Character isn’t weakened for no reason at all. In his book The Next Generation Leader, Andy Stanley poses a deep question: “What are those small things in my life that can potentially become something big?”
Character is weakened by the small things—like a bad habit, destructive way of thinking, or an improper relationship—we allow. These things often seem insignificant. In the end, these little details, these trivialities, become something big that dominates the life of the leader.
Twenty or thirty years of a leader’s work can be destroyed by one compromising decision. When a leader’s lack of character is exposed, the problem generally springs from a lack of integrity.