Living in Arizona, it’s hard to overlook the constant flow of information about the contributions of United States Senator John McCain. During his lifetime, he accomplished a great deal and touched many people before his recent passing.
Most of us heard McCain spent five “too many” years imprisoned in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War. There, he demonstrated courage through adversity while creatively communicating with fellow prisoners.
I came across this statement from McCain in his book Character is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember:
“It is your character, and your character alone, that will make your life happy or unhappy.”
A highly thought-provoking statement for all leaders to ponder.
Reflect on your character. It’s important!
We often talk about owning many leadership attributes, characteristics, and qualities. However, at the core, there is none more important than character.
Regardless of where you are in your leadership journey-at the beginning or doing your dream job- you must have unwavering character.Exceptional leaders consistently demonstrate their true character in their words, actions, and behaviors. So, ask yourself these questions:
• Do you have integrity in everything you do?
• Are you always sincere?
• Do you always tell the truth?
• Do you have respect for the rules?
• Are you ever hypocritical?
It’s important (but not surprising) to know that people want to work for someone they trust and respect. This starts with character.
As the late US Army General Norman Schwarzkopf said: “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”