Character Counts: How does mine add up?

imagesHave you been watching television lately?  If so, you’ve seen them.  It’s political season.  That’s right, candidates are beginning to make his/her case for local offices.  It’s always interesting to see what those political ads say.  Does the candidate speak about his/her values and actions?  Or do they attack the lack of values and actions of the opponent?  Either approach speaks to character.  And for leaders character counts.  How does yours measure up?

For anyone in leadership role the pursuit of character is a never-ending journey… difficult to pursue and even easier to lose.  And in today’s busy workplace employees are making decisions to stay or go in companies in large part, due to the integrity and relationship with his/her leader.  In fact, a recent study by Forbes examines the direct correlation between employee trust and leader behavior.

So, what’s a leader to do?  Like any skill, character can only remain strong if it is exercised.  So in today’s article, we share three ways to ensure your character adds up to the total your team needs.

I am consistent
The biggest (and sometimes easiest) trap leaders fall into is themselves.  How consistent is our demeanor each day?  Is every day a “good” day to be approached or is it a guessing game each day leaving the team wondering “which leader showed up today?”.  Now, understandably, there is no such as perfection but our team should not wonder each morning if today is an okay day to approach us.

I entrust someone to speak truth to me
We can be our own worst critic or best excuse maker.  Every leader needs at least one person in his/her sphere who they can be 100% honest with.  This person is willing to ask the tough questions and create the accountability to keep us on track.  Sometimes it’s that person who helps us see the need to apologize, adjust or rethink an action.  Without them, we can easily fall into our own justification traps.

I can say I’m sorry
Your willingness to utter the words “I’m sorry” indicates a spirit of humility and approachability.   It also demonstrates your acknowledgement that you are –as everyone else –simply human.   This phrase tears down “power” barriers with those you lead and can build bridges with those you work alongside every day.

In reality, this list can go on and on.  Effective leaders continue to find ways to keep character on  the radar.  What are your tips?  Your suggestions will help others add where it counts.

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