I have been learning about character my whole life. Some people would say probably that is why I am such a character today.
I was born in Wisconsin, on the first day of winter. I remember long winter nights. I grew up with month after month of cold, grey, icy existence each year.
Over and over again, I heard that “winter builds character.”
Winter taught me lessons about overcoming adversity. We can survive and flourish in the face of things that we think will defeat us. Facing adversity builds character.
The leaders who inspire me know about overcoming adversity, about character.
I have worked with leaders who were able to reach deep within me and harness my potential. They helped me recognize that I could do more than I believed I could. They knew that, as we worked hard to overcome challenges and adversity, my character was being built.
The leaders who inspire me showed me that we could do more together than I thought we could.
The leaders who inspire me know that life is more than setting goals and meeting them. They know that character is about more than doing well or winning. They know that it is in striving and struggling that we become the people we have the potential to be.
They know that facing adversity shows us our deepest core values.
The leaders who inspire me know that as our character is built and shaped, as adversity abrades what is not essential out of our lives, our potential becomes clearer.
Step by step, against great adversity, our character emerges from layer after layer of constraint and disguise.
Who we are, with all our deepest possibilities, becomes clear for all to see.
How are you building your character?
What will show you your truest self today?
[Image by kleuske]