Winning with Character

The way your employees choose to behave will determine the success of your organization. High performing companies have more employees who choose to give their best everyday and choose not to participate in behaviors that damage the organization’s morale and reputation.

Most leaders believe the success of their organizations is a result of 4 core employee traits: Skills, Knowledge, Relationships, and Intelligence. In fact, these are the elements that most hiring managers seek to measure with resumes, interviews, and reference checks. However, there is one element that is far more important than these. That element is character.

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It is a person’s character that determines his or her level of achievement and ultimately impacts the organization’s success.

The Core of Success

At Strata Leadership, we teach people what we call the C3 Concept. This concept is a formula for how we hire and develop people. C1 (Character) + C2 (Competence) = C3 (Consistency). If you want to have long-term, consistent, and high performance results – achieved in the right way – you must have both character and competence.

There are many who have a high level of competence (C2) and get hired. Yet, according to surveys, the reason people derail and get terminated is due to character (C1) issues that include dishonesty, inability to get along with others, poor work quality, refusing to adapt to change, and tardiness or absenteeism.

Here are some examples of issues or problems often found in the workplace that inhibits performance or causes termination, and the character qualities they reflect.

Issue/Problem Character Quality Character Definition
Tardiness/Late to work or meetings Punctuality Showing esteem for others by doing the right things at the right time.
Inattentiveness. Missing important information Attentiveness Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration.
Resisting change or the ideas of others Flexibility Willingness to change plans or ideas without getting upset.
Incomplete or poor work Diligence Investing all my energy to complete the tasks assigned to me.
Poor customer service. Poor attitude or energy at work. Enthusiasm Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort.
Follow-through. Not dependable. Dependability Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
Ego-driven or selfish behaviors. Treating others poorly. Humility Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life.
Cutting corners. Subpar work products. Poor quality. Thoroughness Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words, if neglected.
Poor communication. Persuasiveness Understanding others so I can effectively communicate with them.
Lack of initiative, drive, or work ethic. Initiative Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.
Not getting along with others. Handling conflict poorly. Sensitivity Using my senses to perceive the true attitudes and emotions of others

Did you ever think of punctuality, sensitivity, humility, or flexibility as personal traits that reflect character? Many people haven’t made this connection. Yet, these are qualities that greatly affect the success of the person at work and outside of work.

Ultimately, the character of each person creates the character of the organizations. Companies that emphasize educating, evaluating, and celebrating employees for both character and competence are the companies that have the greatest level of consistency and success. These are the companies that intentionally create winning cultures.

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