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Authenticity and The Power of Character

  • Have you EVER met people you liked almost immediately?

  • Have you EVER experienced an inner uneasiness after being with them for a short time?

This happens when there is no connection on a deeper level. It may be that the person is driven by personality rather than character, or they may be trying to be something they’re not. Making deep connections requires authenticity.

Why Fake It Until You Make It Never Works

Character runs much deeper than personality. The problem with faking it until you make it is that you’re faking it! And everyone knows it! Every honest person recognizes good character and authenticity when they encounter it.

Personality forms our first impression; it’s an easy read because it lies on the surface. We tend to gravitate toward people who display a degree of confidence, are sociable, and may have a sense of humor.

If they’re good listeners and easy to talk to, we may get the impression we can trust them. We mistakenly view these personality traits as character traits, which reside at our core, hidden from view.

“As a leader, if you continue building on personality, gifts, and talents, instead of good character to lead your people, you will always end up becoming manipulative.”

Character Is Who We Are

Character rests on our beliefs formed in the heart. If placing ourselves first at all costs is something we believe in, we will behave that way and lack integrity with others. We truly connect with others at a heart level, not a personality level. The cause of all corporate and political scandals is character failure.

Any good leader understands that leadership is about placing others before themselves. The term “Servant Leader” speaks to the normal function of leading others. Good leaders serve their organizations for the greater good.

  • It’s not necessary to hold a position to influence the people around you. Your leadership potential is recognized by your coworkers you before the promotion.

  • Many people mistakenly think that a position will make them successful, believing that fulfillment comes with a title. The truth is positionally minded leaders are among the most unhappy and frustrated people I know.

  • Holding a position is the starting place for every level of leadership. Positions and titles are the proving ground where character is tested, and a good reputation is earned.

Being Yourself Always Works

“If leadership were a building, character would be the solid foundation responsible for supporting the structure resting upon it.”

Just as the depth of the foundation determines the height of the structure it supports, so too,

  • The depth of character within us as individuals determines the depth of meaningful relationships we can maintain.

  • The depth of character within us as leaders determines the level of influence we can sustain.

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.

We know that strong relationships take time. Getting to know someone is a process. In the long run, our character (good or bad) begins to emerge, and we become known for who we are.

Dr. Myles Munroe said, “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”

When we build our lives on honesty, self-discipline, and perseverance, guided by the golden rule “treat others as you wish to be treated yourself,” you and those who do business with you will be standing on solid ground.

In Closing, Author Christine Carter says, “Loving and accepting ourselves—and all our flaws, including our anger and fear and sadness and pettiness—is, in the end, the only thing that enables us to be authentic. It is also the greatest gift we can give ourselves. It is the reason why authenticity makes us happier and healthier and more connected to those around us.” (1)

End Notes

(1) “Five Ways to be Fully Authentic” by Christine Carter

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co. ***


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