Have you found yourself being caught up by one of the four A’s? Arrogance, painful feelings of Aloneness, destructive Adventure-seeking, or Adultery. Each is a terrible price to pay for weak character.
Steven Berglas, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of The Success Syndrome, says that people who achieve great heights but lack the bedrock character to sustain them through the stress, are headed for disaster. He believes they are destined for one or more of the four A’s.
Call a time-out. Do what you must to step away from some of the stress of your success, and seek professional help. Don’t think that the valley you’re in will pass with time, more money, or increased prestige. Unaddressed cracks in character only get deeper and more destructive with time.
If you’re not struggling in any of these four areas, you should still examine the condition of your character. Ask yourself whether your words and actions match—all the time.
When you say you’ll finish an assignment, do you always follow through? If you tell your children you’ll make it to their recital or ball game, are you there for it? Can people trust your handshake as they would a legal contract?
“As you lead others at home, at work, and in the community, recognize that your character is your most important asset.” —John Maxwell
To improve your character, do the following:
Search for the Cracks
Spend some time looking at the major areas of your life (work, marriage, family, service, etc.) and identify anywhere you might have cut corners, compromised, or let people down. Write down every instance you can recall from the past two months.
Look for Patterns
Examine the responses you just wrote down. Is there a particular area where you have a weakness, or do you have a type of problem that keeps surfacing? Detectable patterns will help you diagnose character issues.
Face the Music
The beginning of character repair comes when you face your flaws, apologize, and deal with the consequences of your actions. Create a list of people to whom you need to apologize for your actions, then follow through with sincere apologies.
It’s one thing to face up to your past actions. It’s another to build a new future. Now that you’ve identified any areas of weakness, create a plan that will prevent you from making the same mistakes again.
Real character is being bigger on the inside—in the qualities that make them up as people.
Are you developing the leadership character traits from the inside out?
Is the leader on the outside, you want to be, starting to show?
“Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.” —Bernard Montgomery