”The nature of the person” – James Comey [Former Director of the FBI]
The phrase has been on my mind a lot these days. I am drawn to the drama that is politics in the US. The James Comey Testimony reveals a great deal about the nature of the person[s] in US politics these days. Frankly it speaks to Leadership – it speaks to Character. So we are really talking about the Character of the person.
Comey’s testimony was impressive to say the least. He was calm, collected in thoughts and actions, respectful, knowledgeable, and prepared – the ultimate example of professionalism. It was leadership at its best.
However, it is the phrase he uttered: “The nature of the person” that stood out prominently for me. Character is what he was talking about – the Character of the person. In a recent article printed in Forbes magazine, [The Most Popular but Controversial idea in the News Right now is Character] Bruce Weinstein concludes that: “high Character is cool”.
It’s always been cool – it is however very rare that we see it. But now it is in the news almost every day. We see more of the negative but Comey’s testimony was definitely a stand out story as it has been rare that we see this much leader character. Doing the right thing everywhere you go and being passionate about what you do – dedicated to bringing it all is very rare and it’s hard work and it doesn’t always reward externally but internally [staying true to self] there is huge reward.
Benefits of High Character:
- What a great role model you will make for your family, children and fellow workers. Someone to emulate and want to strive to be like. We need role models like these that ‘show’ us the way with courage, integrity, honesty and humility.
- You’ll sleep better. Maybe not at first while going through the angst of the decision and the enactment of the decision. Do you think Comey slept well before he took the oath? I’m willing to bet he did after the testimony was over. He made his decision to say what he said, took control of his message – his honest message with head held high and proud. Yup – I’ll bet he slept really well after.
- You will understand very quickly those that are your true friends. The ones who truly have your back. The rest will fall away and you will be the better for it.
- It gets easier to repeat in times of crisis [Crisis reveals Character]. The angst will go away and this will just become your way of being.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all lead with high character at least most of the times if not all the time? Being a leader is hard and finding role models of individuals that lead with leader character are rare so how do we develop our Character ‘muscle’ in the business world? We find those rare finds who are living a life that truly demonstrate high character and we follow them. Be a leader that demonstrates high character – don’t be persuaded by peer pressure, live your life and lead your way – the authentic leader being true to self. It’s not easy but it will be rewarding for you and all those around you. Lead, follow or get out of the way.
Lead when you have the ability to do so and lead with high Character; Ensure that you follow true leaders with high character – learn from them; and if you can’t lead and there is no true leader to follow…..get out of the way before it gets messy.
It’s messy in US politics right now….but who do you respect, who do you want to emulate and who would you follow?
If you want to learn more about the topic and your Leader Character, Genesis is a certified provider of the Leader Character Program developed by the Leadership Institute at the Ivey School of Business. The program revolves around the 3C’s of Leadership –Character, Competency and Commitment.