On Character

Great leaders know that character is the essence of all that they are. It is their cornerstone and statement of their life, and heard and seen in their words and actions. It is character that builds the trust and respect of people, strengthens influence on others and fortifies one’s attitude and commitment.

General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., U.S. Military Academy Class of 1956, provides a passionate statement on character: “After a lifetime of leading troops, I have concluded that the single most important ingredient of leadership is character. In your darkest hours when you must make the toughest decisions, that is when character counts! You know what is the easiest thing to do. You know what will make you look good. You know what your bosses might want. You know you won’t get the credit if things go well, and you will get the blame if they go wrong. That is when your character takes over and you stand up to do the right thing.”

“You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself one” counsels Henry David Thoreau. Your character is your self-made masterpiece of you, of all you have made yourself and of all whom you have served and touched. May your masterpiece not be sculpted in marble that people might see, but written in the hearts of people that it may live. May this be your life’s purpose and legacy… your masterpiece.

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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One Response to On Character

  1. Jack Beach says:

    “You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself one.” Like love, the proof of character is the personal cost exacted. If doing the right thing were risk free and always turned out well, everyone would do it. Leaders must be willing to pay the personal costs inherent in leadership.

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