Character Vs Tact

By April 22, 2013Leadership
Character Vs Personality

Character Vs PersonalitySteven Covey laid out in his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People <link>, the research he did regarding self-help literature since 1776.

 

One of the things he noted was the shift that seemed to have happened shortly after World War I. In the earlier years of his research, self-help books emphasized that success was a result of appropriately applied character: honesty, integrity, industry, courage, etc. More recently, self-help books have emphasized success through personality: image, negotiation tactics, communication skills, attitude, etc.

 

Using the self-help emphasis of personality solely to get what you want may work for a short period. However, without character behind it, the people you are trying to help progress will see you efforts as duplicity and fake.

 

In everything our business does – leading our team, marketing, interactions with suppliers, etc – it is important that you have both character and personality. The character is the foundation we establish on who we are and what our motivations are. The personality acts to smooth out the interaction.

 

We all recognize when someone’s character has a kink. I don’t believe that any of us intend to leave gaps in our integrity. But when leading others, whether it’s your employees or your customers, depending too much on personality to smooth it over or convince someone will end up feeling hollow without character behind it.