What price does a leader pay for not having the trust and respect of his or her constituents? What does an employee lose by having a careless and unreliable reputation? And, what’s the downside of being a friend who’s known as a taker? The fact is that moral character can provide a significant advantage in your life.
If you don’t think that moral character is of incalculable value, you’re not thinking.
Beyond Talent: How Moral Character Sets Winners Apart
If you’re a virtuous person or organization, you’ll be the recipient of untold benefits in all aspects of your life. Consider the following rewards:
Forge meaningful relationships. It’s not every day that you meet someone who’s exceedingly honest, caring, and giving — someone who strives for excellence, lives with honor and integrity, and brings out the best in you. Jim Rohn, entrepreneur and author, said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So, make sure you surround yourself with these folks.
Strengthen leadership performance. Great leaders achieve success by reaching for the stars, encouraging teamwork, promoting win-win relationships, and demanding everyone’s best effort. Formidable leaders win the support of their constituents by earning their trust and respect. This is achieved through powerful ideas, personal expertise, and impeccable integrity rather than through their position or by “pulling rank.” You don’t win over your constituents because you have an impressive title. Great leaders put moral character first.
Supercharge your career. Personal branding is less a marketing exercise than becoming the best person you can be. That means investing in yourself, living a life of honor and integrity, and adding maximum value where you work. As John Wooden, the legendary college basketball coach, said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Build a thriving business. Companies with a moral compass do what’s right — period! They won’t sacrifice a relationship for a mere short-term gain. As such, they don’t have to promote their business as much as others, because word of mouth does the selling for them. This translates into a significant competitive advantage.
Achieve peace of mind. Some folks are wealthy, but their relationships are poor. They have a big title at work but aren’t much of a dad or mom at home. They’re successful, but everyone knows how they achieved that success. Maybe that’s why they’re not sleeping well. What some folks overlook in their quest for power, fame, and fortune is that following your conscience, and having inner peace, clearly outweighs the material rewards received along the way. Sleep well.
Make yourself proud. The true reward for living a good life isn’t the fame and fortune that comes with success, but rather, it’s knowing that you earned it the right way. You held yourself to a high standard and never compromised your ideals. You didn’t choose the easy route, and you preferred the honorable way. You fought hard to attain your dreams, and you did so with dignity and grace. In so doing, you brought honor to your family, you earned the respect of your friends, and most importantly, you did yourself proud. Bravo!
Create a meaningful life. You have an opportunity to define your life as you see fit, or to go with the flow and let it be defined for you. Make a conscious effort to make a difference and strive to become the best person you can be. After all, moral character is the DNA of success and happiness.
Moral Character: The Ultimate Advantage in Life
While the case for being a virtuous person is compelling, it doesn’t receive the emphasis that it deserves. In fact, some folks disparage moral character by viewing it as soft and fuzzy. The truth is that moral character is not an abstract, theoretical, idealistic goal forever beyond your reach. Character, or a lack of it, is inherent in every action that you take and affects everything that you do. It’s the nerve center that controls your behavior — determining the strength of your relationships, the success of your career, and even the meaning of your life.
If we want to live in a world where there’s a clear distinction between right and wrong, where decency triumphs over evil, and where good people finish first, moral character must receive the attention that it deserves. Unleash the power of moral character. It will provide you with a significant advantage in life.
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