I’ve found myself in conversations recently where the dominant word is CHARACTER. In particular, measuring the character of one particular leader or another. Many organizations are struggling with their leaders, which is no surprise as our workplaces are transforming through technology and generations.

Character is defined as the moral and mental qualities distinctive to an individual. And when we are looking at leaders, these character-istics are not only highly visible, they are defining for us. Think about the people you admire, your heroes, mentors, and role models. What are the qualities you are drawn to?  And how do they show up in you?

We are drawn to the traits that align with our value system, with a large percentage looking for respect, trust, and integrity in their leaders. You might also resonate with empathy and openness. There are other traits – inspiration, boldness, likability, focus and diligence. The most agile and adept leaders move among all of these with poise and grace.

The challenge for us as leaders is the fluidity, or “change”, as we surface and utilize the best traits for the situations. Empathy is balanced by boldness, and choosing to be bold can have the appearance of no empathy. Likewise, inspiration is matched by focus; likability by integrity; and trust by confidence.

When I appear most confident I may lose trust, as too much confidence is perceived as arrogance. Yet when I’m trusting everyone and everything, I’m seen as gullible. Are you mindful of delivering a message boldly and confidently so that it also includes empathy and shared success (trust building)?

One of my favorite challenges is to know when and how to balance inspiring conversations with focused ones in facilitating meetings and retreats. When people gather to hear a message they are looking for inspiration outside their daily routine.  Yet we all know that a message without applicability to your organization is lost shortly after delivery.

One of the most difficult tasks for managers and leaders is dealing with conflict. Part of this challenge is the desire to be liked, which might run afoul of your integrity. Do you write the recommendation letter for the former employee you terminated? That’s one example of how these two traits interact with each other.

High quality leaders are in short supply in our world, investing in your skills pays dividends for a long time as we navigate the last rapids of evolution in our organizations. If you are interested in developing more leadership, consider joining Elevate Your Professional Presence . In fact, if you email me now, I’ll provide you a discount code.  That’s how invested I am in your development.  How invested are you?