“Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.”
― Elmer G. Letterman
The sixth step in developing people is character. Character defines us; it’s who we are. Moral qualities such as honesty, loyalty, self-discipline, and perseverance influence how we think, feel, and behave. Growth in good character is called maturity. We all know that genuine maturity takes time. We must take time getting to know someone. In the long run, our character (good or bad) begins to emerge, and we become known for who we really are.
David Brooks observes, “We live in a culture that teaches us to promote and advertise ourselves and to master the skills required for success, but that gives little encouragement to humility, sympathy, and honest self-confrontation, which are necessary for building character.”
When we mentor others to build their lives on traits such as honesty, self-discipline, and perseverance, guided by the golden rule “treat others as you wish to be treated yourself,” they and those who do business with them will be standing on solid ground.
Profiles in Character
“In the end, it is the person you become, not the things you achieve, that is most important.”
― Les Brown
There are two types of people in the world, those who add value and those who devalue. We’re multiplying and adding value, or we’re dividing and subtracting it from those around us.
Dividers and Subtractors
“Fear driven people believe if you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, believing the best in others, people will take advantage of you.”
Dividers and Subtractors possess a scarcity mindset that sees the world around them as a battlefield; life is a win or lose proposition. Winning is achieved by undermining the competition because they’re seen as the enemy. Everything in this negative, self-serving paradigm is fear-driven.
Multipliers and Adders
“Love driven people believe if you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll be adding more value to everyone around you.”
Multipliers and Adders possess an abundance mindset that sees the world around them as a land of opportunity where everyone wins is the objective. Winning is achieved by adding value, and sometimes with the collaborative efforts of multiple organizations providing customers/clients exceptional service. Everything in this positive servant-based paradigm is love-driven.
Dividers and subtractors see the world differently from multipliers and adders, for instance, when multipliers address a divider, they take a humble approach which the divider sees as ignorance. A multiplier works at being impeccable; a divider believes that’s irrational and that it makes the multiplier an easy mark.
Multipliers and adders understand that inner integrity builds life-long relationships. Dividers and subtractors possess ulterior motives making long term relationships impossible.
Why We Must Develop People of Good Character
“It can be said that any one person’s overall character and demeanor is but a reflection of the sum total of his or her thoughts.”
― Beau Norton
I’m sure we’ve all met people we really liked, and at the same time, we had an inner warning to be careful around them. This happens because there is no connection on a deeper level. A mutually beneficial heart connection takes good character, resting on good values.
The importance of developing people of good character can be seen in the legacy we leave. Our protégés will be influencing future generations by multiplying and adding or dividing and subtracting from those around them. Orison Sweet Marden remarks, “Character is the indelible mark that determines the only true value of all people and all their work.” Develop people who possess and monitor inner integrity and leave a legacy of multipliers and adders.
“Reputation is what others think about you. Character is the truth about you. Reputation is what you are in public. Character is what you are in private”
― Dr. Myles Munroe