This will start our blog series on a book written by leadership guru John Maxwell entitled: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader. I hope that you enjoy reading these blogs on Maxwell's wisdom has to say as much as I have writing them.
Chapter 1: Character
After a short story about Bill Lear, the creator of the Lear Jet, Maxwell follows with saying, How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character. Crisis doesn't necessarily make character, but it certainly does reveal it. Loss of a job, death of a family member, a wrongdoing of someone else with the blame placed on you, bankruptcy, an error that could tarnish your name or image: how you react to such situations reveal your character. Maxwell includes four statements to character:
- Character is more than talk
- Talent is a gift, but character is a choice
- Character brings lasting success with people
- Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character.
So then, if you were to take a moment of honest self-evaluation what would it reveal? What are some areas of your character that could use a little brick and mortar? Maxwell concludes with four ways to improve your character:
Search for the cracks: Look in areas of your life that you may have compromised or cut corners.
Look for patterns: is there anything from your evaluation where problems reoccur?
Face the music: create a list of whom and where you have fallen short and apologize and deal with it.
Rebuild: You've now identified your weaknesses. Move forward with guardrails in place to keep you from making the same mistakes.
Remember, most great and humble leaders start at the bottom and work their way to the top. You may not be in a leadership position today, but if you are ready for it then you will be able to step up or into such a position when (not if) it is needed.
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