What six character-related traits do successful people cultivate?
The business of successful people is character.
Last week I suggested there are three, broad areas that successful people master:
- Competence – the ability to do something well; skills, aptitude, know-how, talent, expertise in a field or profession
- Relationships – the connection with others that allows effective partnering or informal partnerships that are mutually beneficial
- Character – the positive qualities that make it possible to achieve significant accomplishments
Recently I enjoyed lunch with a business leader in Oklahoma City to explore an executive coaching engagement.
As we sat down, he explained his deep commitment to integrity; everything would be on the table. It was one of the purest “sales meetings” I’ve ever experienced; it was great.
When do people tend to encounter performance issues, relationship challenges, or office conflict?
People “get into trouble” when they lack an ability to follow high moral principles or professional standards, we say they lack integrity. The synonyms reveal a lot about basic integrity…honesty, truthfulness, honor, reliability, and uprightness.
There is this broader expression of integrity key performers develop which leads to greater personal success. This is what Dr. Henry Cloud defines integrity as “the courage to meet the demand of reality” in his book Integrity.
This presents the truth: “who a person is” affects the successful use of talent, skills, partnerships, and life to make a difference. As Cloud writes,
“The most important tool ultimately is the person and his or her makeup, and yet it seems to get the least amount of attention and work.”
What are the essential qualities that will determine our success in business and life? Consider Cloud’s list of six character traits rooted in integrity. Successful people…
- Create and maintain trust of those they lead and capture their hearts
- Are able to see and face reality
- Work in a way that brings results, desired outcomes
- Embrace negative realities, problem people, obstacles, setbacks, failures and finds solutions
- Creates growth in their organization, their people, themselves, their business
- Achieve transcendence and meaning in life beyond their own interests, with a commitment to a larger mission
Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager writes:
“The number one characteristic that people want leaders to demonstrate is integrity – people who walk their talk and lead a life of character.”
It comes down to this: personal issues (matters of integrity) that are unaddressed will not only box you in, but also limit your success.
Which one of the six “character traits” needs your attention?
Photo by Mark Vassalo