In today’s business environment, things such as teamwork, being productive, and workplace efficiency are hot buzzwords that keep managers up at night. While conflict and confusion characterize some organizations, those with character and integrity are wholly themselves because at the center is a firm core of clarity and purpose.
These organizations are rational and they experience the world differently. Their experience is characterized by less threat and more freedom. It inspires those within them to draw on the courage to experiment with newer and different behaviors. The fear that can discourage this experimentation is just not there.
Leadership at the Top Drives Character and Integrity
“Over the years, people described as flawed characters have afflicted a portion of the management profession” says Alex Jones, a business coach from the Coaching Institute. “They drive others through influence traits and strategies that are marked by duplicity, insincerity, and insecurity. Some have achieved short-term success and herein is the problem. If the emphasis is short term, these types of managers can appear to be successful. With a long-term perspective they cannot and they will be perceived as being manipulative.”
Where does Character Come From?
If you asked some of the top public speakers on leadership, they will tell you that character is built by being accountable and leading by example. However, some executives feel that being rich can insulate people from crucial human challenges. This richness doesn’t have to be just in monetary concerns though it certainly seems to apply there. It also means being gifted in abilities, looks, aptitudes, and intelligence etc. It just seems that self-made people seem to be the happiest. They seem to be the most grateful, the most fulfilled, and they seemed to have developed a richness of character that others are missing.
In short, the struggle between difficulty and accomplishment appears to build character. The implications from this for organizations are that they should be establishing venues for this achievement. They should be built into an organizations way of being so as to assist in the development of the character of its leaders.
The Virtue of the Long View
A longer term perspective is an essential quality to be sought out by effective business leaders for it is a strong test of character to have the foresight to be able to give up a lot of good “nows” to get a better “eventually.”
Leaders with this character trait will exhibit a willingness to be accountable for the well being of the larger organization. They will exhibit the trait of operating in service rather than in control of others in the company. Managers with character tend to choose service over their own self-interest and hold themselves accountable to all those over whom they exercise power.
When employees, investors, and community leaders look at an organization’s leaders today, their doubts about them more often are about their trustworthiness, not their talents in running a business. The big question they have for them is do they posses the character to demonstrate that they are serving the institution and not themselves? Specifically, are they more loyal to their annual bonus or to building a reputable company?