This past week I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what has been happening with potential leaders of our country but also with the Olympics getting kicked off in Rio. Each of these scenarios involves some sort of competition or race among others. And when it’s all said and done, there is a clear winner announced.
And we all love to think about the end, right? Who will be the victor and take the <insert symbol of winning here>.
But over the past several days, I’ve been thinking about what actually creates that respectable feature that bolsters an individual before a winning (or losing) decision. What is the substance that carries them forward after a substantial struggle for success?
And then it dawned on me: character.
Whether you’re running in a political race, sprinting down the track for a piece of Olympic history (and let me know if are or plan to be an Olympian!) or creating something worthwhile to impact the public’s health — in order to be successful in the long game, having depth of character is essential.
Now what do I mean by character? Well, at least how I’ve viewed it for my own life and professional career over the past few years has been focused on three things:
- what happens when the spotlight lands on you to thrust you into some sort of platform
- what happens when the spotlight then turns off
- how you respond to challenges (especially publicly)
This is where when people think about you, what words form in their minds? What situations manifest as examples for how you’ve been starting a company, leading a team, responding to criticism? These are the things that matter as someone who is striving to build something of impact.
In our world of constant connection, growing opportunities & searches for the next addictive concept – character is what gets remembered. The bumps on the road toward the goal? Someone is watching to see if this is going to be a moment when you shift your values or crumble. Stay consistent with your character building.
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past 10 years, is that solid character paves the way for ongoing success. The right people who want to support and build with you (whether you succeed or fail), will always be around. And that, is priceless.