Are You Committed to Being a Person of Character?
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Lately, I have been reflecting on two words, both of which start with the letter “C,” Commitment and Character. Two words that define us. Two words that are a large part of our success and will certainly determine our ability to be significant.
Commitment is not a sexy word. It doesn’t stir the heart and mind to action. It’s kind of like exercise. We don’t always like to do it, even though we know it is good for us. People don’t typically say, “I can’t wait to go exercise.” They say things like, “I can’t wait to go for a run,” or “I can’t wait to go workout.” Similarly, I’ve never heard anyone say, “I love to be committed.” Some may have thought, “I should be committed,” but that’s an entirely different topic. Commitment is something that is valued in others because it separates those who talk about things from those who actually do things. Commitment is a battle that is fought daily in the trenches of a busy life filled with the tyranny of the urgent. Commitment is lived out by practicing successful habits daily. Our commitment to ourselves, our families, and our organizations is lived out by doing small things daily which, over time, achieve great results.
Character. Many of my coaching clients are very successful and very powerful leaders. They have accomplished so much and have overcome the adversity that accompanies accomplishment. Abraham Lincoln said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Power is very difficult to handle. It makes us think that we can handle any situation or circumstance that pops up. Power can make us feel that we are entitled to things. The antidote to an abuse of power is always character. John Wooden said it best, “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.” The great part about character is that it is a choice each one of us can make. We can choose to be people of character. We can choose to be people with good values. People who are “committed” to doing the right things even when nobody is looking.
These two special words lived out together result in a beautiful medley of continuous growth that will add value to others and result in a life that truly made a difference.
I have said in the past that we are not human doings, but human beings. Are you committed to being a person of character?
I’m looking forward to discussing this further with Marisa on The Next Page podcast.