Today’s guest post comes courtesy of an outstanding writing friend of mine, Michael Holmes.
Mike is a blogger and speaker who heads the Simple Strategies for Startups community.
If you’d like to submit a guest post here are the guidelines.
If there’s any lesson we can learn from Penn State, it’s this: character is infinitely more important than career.
Why? It’s simple.
Whatever we build is built on the bedrock of our character. If this bedrock is not undergirded by sound principles and truth everything on it, in due time, will fall.
And history is littered with example of example after example of those who put more emphasis on their careers than their characters–and then lost their careers because of faulty characters.
Is it any wonder then why God takes His time in developing His leaders? And why He puts them through such painful processes like:
- “Wasted years” and deferred dreams
- Immense amouts of failure before any level of success
- Frustration, heartbreak, and hardship
- Giving them grand visions and no resources to complete the vision
Why does He do this??!! The reason has never changed and will never change: He’s more concerned about your character than your career; because you will take your character in eternity not your career.
What Kind of Character is He Looking For
For the most part, character has been reduced to integrity. And that is true in part, but not in whole. The character that He wants (and will have) is broken down into 5 components:
- Competence–He demands competence and mastery of skill set. He never puts His stamp on shoddy work. Especially for those in leadership: sheep demand a competent shepherd; men of war demand as leader a man of war. And no one in the long run puts up with incompetence–not even God!
- Capacity–The root meaning for the word “capacity” is to hold much. Capacity simply means handling the weight of responsibility and not bursting from the pressure. Truly great people ALWAYS accept the responsibility of their actions and the actions of those under them.
- Discipline–Truly effective people understand that their spirit, mind and body are subject to their will. They’re more interested in controlling themselves than controlling everyone else. They know that true change radiates inward then outward–not the other way around.
- Maturity–We live in a immediate gratification, where people want things yesterday. But God doesn’t care how long it takes, He’ll delay His promised until He feels His chosen is mature enough to handle it. But maturity doesn’t just mean age, it also means mindset; the mindset of a child is vastly different from the mindset of an adult. The child thinks of self while the adult thinks of others–no one who thinks exclusively of self can be an effective leader in anything.
- Integrity–Integrity means “the quality or condition of being whole or undivided.” Integrity means your beliefs are in line with your actions; what you say is what you do.
Can someone be promoted without sound character? Yes.
Can they maintain it? No.
Character is necessary for keeping the promotion. For the believer, however, it is much more. Ultimately God uses time, truth and trials to fashion character; but the character that is sought is the character of Christ. That was the Apostle Paul’s life work–helping people to develop that character:
“We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.” (Colossians 1:28-29 MSG)
Question: What is your definition of character? How important is it to you?
Bio: Mike Holmes is a blogger and speaker who heads the Simple Strategies for Startups community. He is also the author of I Shall Raise Thee Up: Ancient Principles for Lasting Greatness; you can also download 4 free chapters here.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons – KHae276