Character Determines Destiny

Leaders that get the most attention tend to dazzle — they are charismatic, command attention, and know how to pull a crowd in. But the leaders that get the most done and inspire the respect of their employees have something different: They have character.

Often, employees aren’t fooled by leaders who simply command attention with showy personalities. They’re looking for something more than flash and charisma; they are looking for leaders who listen, who give credit where it’s due instead of claiming the limelight for themselves. They look for leaders that are self-aware, empathetic, and motivational. And, most interestingly, they are looking for leaders with unquestionable integrity.

These are the types of leaders that employees are willing to follow into battle during a time of crisis. These are the leaders that know how to show employees how valued they are, and these are the leaders that prove they will be honest and honorable regardless of the difficult situations and decisions that may present themselves.

These leadership traits require character, and character is what gives leaders the propensity to be truly excellent. Leaders who lack character are likely willing to put themselves over the organization and their employees, and no matter how sparkly their personalities may be, these leaders are destined for disaster. Their falls from grace can be mighty — recent examples includea business owner who allegedly gambled away $9 million he received in emergency government loans earmarked for his employees and another who used his Paycheck Protection Program funds to pay off his own mortgage instead of ensuring the financial security for his employees.

Self-interest does not a great leader make. Embrace having character — it is your integrity, hard work, and interest in helping others that will carry you to leadership excellence and earn the respect of your colleagues and employees alike.

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