Character and Competence

July 15th, 2016 | Posted in Fit Leader, Leadership Fitness, leadership training, Reading List, success by

When asked what they admire most in a leader, 87% point to character while only 13% point to competence.

Most of us follow leaders based on who the leader is, and not as much for what they do.

If a leader is arrogant and doesn’t listen to input, she can make poor decisions by dismissing the wisdom of others.

If a leader is afraid to take disciplinary action when he, and others, know that an employee is not performing up to expectation, his lack of courage is what the team sees.

If a leader is selfish, is a hypocrite, is a liar and cheat or is always bringing the team down through his or her negativity, the competence of the leader will be drowned out by the lack of character.

In fact, three out of four employees say that they would rather have a new boss than a raise. What does that tell us?

In Becoming a Leader of Character, authors General James Anderson and Dave Anderson identify the following six habits of character:


Each of these habits, when practiced consistently, helps leaders develop the character muscle.

Winston Churchill was fond of saying that “Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones”.

Bottom line, we have to DO what we want to BE.

Competence, without Character, is not enough.

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