“Character, not circumstance, makes the man.” – Booker T. Washington
I want to be known as a person of character. This is hard and intentional work. Although character is not hereditary you are influenced by what you were taught to value. We can improve our character as we learn and develop our own values. The contrary is also true, our character can decline if we choose to value things that do not support positive traits.
I am not suggesting that charisma is a bad thing, in fact it is a great thing when used correctly, however it does not have the staying power and sustainability that character does. I like to say Charisma will work for a sprint, but you are going to need character for a marathon. There are days and moments when I am running short on charisma, but character is always with me.
Character – the mental or moral qualities distinct to an individual.
Charisma – compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.
Character is Rare
Like precious metals, character is rare and can be a distinguishing trait that will give you a competitive edge in your career and in life. When you are known to have good character people will trust you and trust your motives. When you make a mistake those who know your reputation will be forgiving because they have confidence in you and what you stand for.
Attributes of Good Character
What are your Non-Negotiables?
I have found that defining my non-negotiables helps me maintain my character. There are many things in life that need to be rooted in your core. These are your non-negotiables.
There are also many things that really don’t matter and should not make your non-negotiable list.
My non-negotiables will be different than yours because each of us has different values and that is wonderful, remember the definition of character – the mental or moral qualities distinct to an individual.
Non-negotiables should be clear and defined so that circumstances do not cause you to waiver from what you value at your core. I am not suggesting that non-negotiables never change, I am recommending that strong consideration is given to your current values when you review and change your non-negotiable list.
Character Builds Legacy
Wouldn’t it be great to be known for your outstanding character? (not that you were a “real character” 😊)
Of everyone in the world I sincerely want my wife and four children to respect me as a person of character. They know the behind-the-scenes version of Brian Brogen, my weaknesses, challenges, compassion and congruency. Again, if I have been a person of character they will know what my true purpose is in spite of my shortcomings.
I have been to many funerals and have observed family members being consoled by the confirmation of others that their deceased family member was a person of character. I want to encourage you to join me as I strive to be a person of character and begin to leave positive impressions for your legacy.
Brian Brogen is a Coach, Trainer, and Speaker with an emphasis on communication and team building. As a certified human behavior expert, Brian has a knack for developing teams and individuals both personally and professionally. Brian works with organizations and individuals, coaching and training using his experience, knowledge, tenacity, and sense of humor. Brian is the founding author of Voices For Leadership™ a collaboration of 40 diverse authors sounding their unique voice on leadership principles.
Getting to know yourself is a great step in character building get your DISC Personality Assessment HERE.