Good character is the first thing you must have to be a good leader. Good character breeds trust. Your character and the trust you engender will help you lead in two areas. First, and most important, it will determine how you lead yourself. This is critical. If you can’t do a good job of leading yourself it is virtually impossible to lead others.
That brings me to the second component of character, the ability to lead others. Without good character it is hard for others to trust you and to be led by you. As a personal business coach I have observed that good character in the leader of a small business is essential to its growth and long term success.
Character Communicates Consistency
Whether you are a self-employed business owner, entrepreneur or solo professional you are the leader of your business. If you are a leader that lacks the inner strength to be consistent day after day because your ability to perform changes constantly, it will be extremely difficult for others to trust you.
Without the trust you won’t have the support of others to promote the growth of your small business. Is your character communicating consistency? If not, fix it.
Character Communicates Potential
In order to lead others whether you are starting your own business or running a small business you must communicate the potential for a better future in order for others to support you and purchase your product or service.
For the self-employed business owner, entrepreneur or solo professional good character harbors the trust and belief in the possibility of achieving a better future. But poor character in a leader is like a time bomb ticking away. It’s only a matter of time before it blows up a person’s ability to perform and the capacity to lead.
A great growth strategy for successful business owners is to demonstrate good character in new areas. When they do they will experience growth in business and small business success.
Character Communicates Respect
Here are some thoughts on this from John Maxwell.
“How do leaders earn respect? By making sound decisions, by admitting their mistakes, and by putting what’s best for their follower and the organization ahead of their personal agendas.”
Admit your mistakes and here’s the key, correct them. Repeating mistakes only serves to lessen one’s character, influence and trust in the eyes of those they wish to lead. And, it is a constant reminder that you truly don’t respect others. Why? If you are making mistakes that hurt others, these same mistakes are hurting you.
It’s hard to be a leader when others see that you don’t respect yourself. Remember the three points about good character.
- Good character communicates consistency
- Good character communicates potential
- Good character communicates respect.
Work on your character daily. Good character is the result of focus and conducting your business and life on purpose. When you do that you will have the trust of others which is the number one benefit of good character.