Make Leader Character Your Competitive Edge!                                   

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Have you ever met a leader who everyone wants to work for? What made them different? Chances are, they have no problem retaining employees. They have an inspired team. They take the time to listen. And their careers thrive.

“People want to do business with people they trust and who have integrity.”

Wendy Preyssler ICF Master Certified Coach

Good character is essential for any leader or organization to succeed. Without it, organizations throughout history have faltered.

Developing positive character is an active process. As Hellen Keller said, “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

The future of your career depends on how you show up every day. I invite you to read on and share your own thoughts about how a leader can develop the kind of character that inspires others.

What is character and why is it so important to an organization’s success?

Employee character will either elevate or destroy your organization’s image. People want to do business with people they trust and who have integrity. If employees are not trustworthy or ethical, people will not want to do business with your organization, which will hinder your ability to succeed.

From an internal perspective, organizations only thrive when everyone works together towards the same goal. Employees need to feel empowered to make decisions, take initiative, be creative and have accountability. Only when leaders practice forgiveness and compassion do loyalty and teamwork grow.

How can comprised character negatively impact a company?

I have worked with an individual who swore at clients, accused employees and partner organizations, and was negative and untrusting. Because of his actions, we lost our biggest client and multiple employees. Those employees who didn’t leave were less productive.  Employee retention, performance, and engagement will suffer as a result of a leader with compromised character.

Why do competence and character go together?

Both competence and character require attention to detail. Competence implies detail regarding a task. Character requires self-awareness as well as the ability to recognize the consequences of one’s actions. The definition of good character is exhibiting good mental AND moral qualities. A competent leader must have good character because fundamental to effective leadership is judgment and decision-making.

How can good character be developed?
Self-awareness is the key to developing character. Taking the time to do the inner work is important. Listening, learning, having conversations, and seeking to understand prior to seeking to be understood. Reflecting and responding rather than reacting. Surround yourself with people who are smarter, kinder, and more compassionate than you are, who will stretch you to become a more effective leader.

How do you hire leaders with good character?
Get to know how a candidate deals with stress and how they show up every day. Ask situational interview questions to understand how a potential employee responds to challenging situations. Consider including dinner or an organizational event with the candidate and his/her/their partner as part of the interview process, so you can see how the individual treats people.

How can good character lead to a competitive edge?
In today’s VUCA world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, we need decisive leaders who lead by example. Demonstrating good character means that you exhibit both good mental and moral qualities. Having good character requires a commitment to continued growth and development, with a focus on becoming more conscious and effective, both personally and professionally.

How does coaching help develop good character for individuals and teams?

Coaching supports you in identifying your blind spots and creating awareness. Awareness is always the first step for change. Coaching requires partnership with a coach you trust – a coach who is willing to say what you may not want to hear, but what you need to hear. Effective team coaching supports effective collaboration skills and communication. It enables teams to develop a shared identity and purpose. Team coaching should also promote a team’s autonomy and long-term viability.

Developing character that inspires a team is a process. I have seen incredible results from leaders who were willing to do the hard work and commit to a plan.

Some of the things that make the biggest difference may surprise you. I invite you to partner with a committed coach who will help you develop your competitive edge. To learn more, reach out today at CoachingByWendy.com.

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