Your Character: The Congruence Between Values and Actions
Angie Morgan, September 12, 2016
Writing a book isn’t an easy process. It can even be downright maddening, especially when you toil over a paragraph because the words aren’t doing justice to the emotions you’re trying to describe.
Then, of course, there’s the pressure. When we sold the proposal for SPARK, we were ecstatic that we landed a great publisher, but we were also in awe of the deadline we were up against. Like any writing team, we knew we had to get going – a natural question was “Where to start?” It took us a nanosecond to agree that the first SPARK behavior we were going to introduce was character.
A leader’s character is the basis of trust with others. If you don’t believe someone has sound character, then you don’t trust them. When trust is absent from a relationship, there is no relationship.
Most professionals aspire to be people of sound character – but often have trouble defining it. I like to think of character as a manifestation of our values. Values are principles or qualities that are important to us, like fairness, family, humor, freedom, justice, humility, faith or adventure. Our values are deeply personal, and we’ve been developing them our whole life. They’ve been inspired by our families, religion or a powerful experience, like the loss of a parent, the birth of a child, or a significant accomplishment.
Our values are critically important for us – they help us understand ourselves better, know our priorities, and help us make decisions. When they’re absent in our life, or are out of reach, we find ourselves living inconsistently with our intentions. We can find ourselves in a compromising place, one in which people don’t know who we really are, therefore aren’t willing to put their trust and confidence in us.
As I write about values, are you wondering, “What are my values? Are they active in my life?” If so, you’re not alone. Many professionals feel that they don’t spend enough time thinking about the principles and qualities that matter most to them. In SPARK, we’ll give you concrete examples on how you can explore this critical concept. We’ll also provide you resources that will allow you to reflect on your values, as well as tools to help you spark a conversation about values in your professional environment.
At Lead Star, we believe that anyone has the ability to be a leader – a person who influences and inspires. We’re so committed to this belief that our work isn’t just for managers. Our work is for anyone who’s seeking to make a positive difference for themselves, for others, and the organizations they are a part of.
Being a leader all starts with you and your willingness to go on a leadership development journey. With SPARK, we’ll give you a roadmap. We’re proud to be on this path with you.