I listened to a discussion on the importance of high character leadership to the success of a company.
I learned some interesting insights.
One, companies with high character leadership earn more and persist longer.
Two, almost all leaders report that they conduct themselves with high character. But, saying you are high character and acting with high character are different things. The companies who have high character leaders are those whose teammates and stakeholders report that they do in independent surveys.
In this study, character was measured on four measures.
Integrity. Do leaders keep their word, honor their promises and act consistently over time?
Responsibility. Are leaders accountable? Do they fulfill their duties consistently? Do they own mistakes?
Forgiveness. Is there a forgiving culture? Do leaders allow risk taking?
Do leaders respond to setbacks with equanimity? Is there a comfort that mistakes and failure will be put in a context of learning and improvement as compared to condemnation?
Compassion. Does the leader radiate caring? Are they thoughtful about the folks on the team?
That’s quite a list isn’t it? But, as I listened to the descriptions and considered great leaders I’ve encountered, the descriptions rang true.
The leaders I admire most were distinctive in their integrity, their competence, their perspective on life and their personal concern toward me.
We all lead where we stand. I encourage you to consider how these descriptions of high character fit in your daily behavior. In this case, it isn’t about what you want to be that matters. It’s what you do that counts.