With all the talk about character these days in the news, I thought I would share and expand on how I view one’s character both in life and the workplace. Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, The SPEED of Trust was an inspirational read that truly changed the way I led and conducted business. If you have not yet read this book, I encourage you to obtain a copy and read it. Truly inspiring. Lance Armstrong might not be where he is today, had he had access to this book years ago. TRUST, as defined in Wikipedia, means to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of one’s character. CHARACTER is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. Both definitions translate to me that for one to withhold both trust and character, one is truly a decent human being on this Earth and is mindful and thoughtful with every decision and action performed.
It has been my experience both in life and the workplace that once I am able to trust one’s character, a fulfilling and prosperous relationship ensues. Relationships are expanded upon with ease, efficiency, and care. When someone is not trustworthy or has character flaws, unnecessary time, discussions and research are needed to either further pursue the relationship or as in recent headlines, clean up a mess created. This time almost always equates to money spent and typically money not initially accounted for in a budget.
“The first job of a leader—at work or at home—is to inspire trust. It’s to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships, and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility.”
― Stephen M.R. Covey, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything
In the workplace, these principles set a foundation of attracting and selecting the right people for one’s business. Taking time in the hiring process to sift through applicants, conduct thorough interviews, and mindfully understand how one’s character will add value to the current team structure will benefit the business tremendously in the end. Always looking to add character and trust to an existing team will ensure longevity and productivity in the end.
In your personal life, character and trust are almost a given, yet I view as the most compromised and overlooked qualities and values. Whether choosing relationships, working to improve existing ones or moving away from relationships, always first look at yourself and judge your own character and trust. How are you measuring up to your own expectations? Are you contributing to your relationships with extraordinarily high levels of character and trust or are you part of the problem? I understand this can be a difficult one to execute although an important one.
Spending meaningful time aligning yourself and your business with individuals and organizations reflecting strong values of character and trust will open doors for your success long-term. If this topic intrigues you and you would like to discuss further, please share your thoughts.