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Insight On Character.....Views: 865
Sep 18, 2005 8:37 pmInsight On Character.....#

Michael Lemm

"Character is not a commodity that can be purchased. It is built by the decisions you permanently chisel on your heart. Strive for a reputation that will cause people to say, 'He means what he says.'" -- Neil Eskelin

Character must be earned. It is not rewarded or taken lightly. One's whole being is affected by the quality of their character. It is, after all, how people will see and respond to your words and actions that will determine what "type" of person you are perceived as being.

Funny how we have a way of "knowing" when someone is of good or bad character. Character is not something you can touch but you can feel it, you can't really see it but you know the signs, you can't hear it but you get the verbal signals. Somewhat like the wind, you know it's there because you know.

In this Forum (Ryze) and in life....character can make or break your personal and business success. People can tell what your real motivation is by summing all of the above signals together. i.e. if you're in it only for the money, they'll pick up on this and back off. Conversely, if you are sincere and in it to help them better their situation and meet their goals they're willing to work with you at all levels.

God Bless,
Michael Lemm
FreedomFire Communication

Private Reply to Michael Lemm

Sep 19, 2005 5:04 pmre: Insight On Character.....#

Scott Allen
I couldn't agree with you more, Michael. We wrote a great deal about character in The Virtual Handshake (over 70 occurrences of the word and an entire chapter devoted just to the topic of how you build and demonstrate your character online). Here are a few excerpts that may be of interest:

p. 12:

As an absolute rule, credibility—your Character and your Competence—must underlie your network. A massive network will not aid you if you areselling an inferior product or trying to21 get a job for which you are unqualified. In fact, a big network will rapidly become a liability, as too many people will be aware of the inferior goods you are peddling. No matter how much your friends like you, they will not recommend you for a job if they see that you are consistently unethical, tardy, sloppy, or otherwise unprofessional.
p. 152:
How can you resolve this tension between strategically managing your network and not being perceived as exploitive? We think that the resolution is first, being a sincerely empathic person, and second, ensuring that your actions are correctly understood.

If you are a sincerely empathic person, then you are the lucky possessor of a very admirable Character trait. But let us say you are not; instead, you are a self-centered person who aspires to be a better person. Figuring out how to improve your Character is a lengthy, arduous process beyond our scope. The best counsel is from Aristotle, who wrote: “We are what we repeatedly do.” If you lack the Character trait of loving kindness—the sincere desire to be of service to others—then the best way to overcome it is simply to do it. Be kinder to people, and you will be a kinder person.

Stephen Covey observed that much of modern success literature is focused on the superficial: how to appear considerate. You will do better to focus on building your Character and being considerate.

We think that the best way to make sure your actions are correctly understood is to be up-front. If you are a real estate broker, say, “I think this is an excellent house for you. It’s slightly more expensive than the other house I showed you, and I admit that I have a financial incentive to sell a more expensive house. But it’s a better deal for you, for several reasons. . . .” The fact that you’re being direct will increase your credibility. For more on this point, we suggest "The Trusted Advisor", by David Maister, Charles H. Green, and Rob Galford.

The second step toward resolution is ensuring that your actions are correctly understood. Monitor closely how people interact with you, because if they think that you are manipulating them they will likely show it. You want them to see you as a professional, with a legitimate business interest in selling a quality house, who also has the person’s best interests at heart. If you sense that they are worried or tense about you, then raise it: “You seem a little concerned. Do you have any questions that I could help you with?”

p. 156:
We would add a third point to Sawyer’s two points: showing creates perceived Character and Competence that telling cannot. For example, if you say, “I am a real people person,” but you come across as arrogant, what you say about yourself will carry far less credibility than what people observe about you. One of the advantages of building business relationships online is that many more people have the chance to see how you act, and draw their own conclusions about the sort of person you are.
One of the things that has been most gratifying to me in the reviews that we've had is how many of them have made note of this issue:

Kevin Gibbs:

But best of all, The Virtual Handshake is very devoted towards promoting ethical practices and following the rules of online etiquette (or netiquette) with examples for doing better on the job and on the Internet. The evils of SPAMMING, applying the Golden Rule, plus life lessons for maintaining good business and professional practices online are heavily sprinkled throughout the book. Reasons for doing the right thing (with the rewards for working the right way) have generous coverage.
Dana VanDen Heuvel:
While the book struck me as interesting and wonderful, I was pleased to see the topic of altruism brought up thoughout the book. One of the things that I've always felt strongly about is that your efforts in business and in networking must be driven by altruistic motives in order for you to be successful. In simpler terms, the more you give, the more you get. This point is not lost on David and Scott. In fact, they call it out several times throughout the book, but more in the later chapters. In the second to last chapter on Volunteering, I think this quote sums it all up:
Some people choose not to donate because they believe that it somehow devalues them by "giving them away." In truth, there is nothing that demonstrates the value of your skills more than putting them to good use for a cause you believe in.
I believe in online networking because I believe it amplifies our ability to motivate and mobilize people, through business, non-profits, and person-to-person, to make the world a better place -- individually, locally and globally. Your character is the foundation for that. What does a better world look like to you? And how do you see your role in bringing that to be? That is the essence of character -- the will and ability to put principle into action.

Private Reply to Scott Allen

Sep 21, 2005 5:26 amre: re: Insight On Character.....#

Karri Flatla

Just a quick thought that came to mind here:

In "Guerrilla Marketing for Free," Jay Conrad Levinson reminds us that there is a business critical difference between reputation and image. ie. A solid reputation must be hard-earned over the long run but will bring you the best ROI you can hope for. Your image, however, is only as good as the reputation behind it.

Karri Flatla, B.Mgt.
snap! virtual assistance inc.
Don't just outsource. Outsmart.
Subscribe to Outsmart,
the newsletter for small business with big purpose.

Private Reply to Karri Flatla

Sep 21, 2005 1:04 pmre: Insight On Character.....#

Robert Montgomery
by Linda cowgill:


An excerpt from the link above!!!!

Conflict strips away our masks and defenses.

The essence of character is revealed in action, under stress. The only way a character shows us who she really is, what her character is made of, is how she deals with conflict.


We each must face some sort of conflict, wether in business, or our personal life. How we deal with these conflicts is a direct reflection on our character.

Some handle stress in a volatile way, while others deal with the stress in a constructive way.

Both ways show off ones character. Stress handled in a volatile way pushes others away, while dealing in a constructive way draws people to them.

People are drawn to other people because they show us that they are stronger in dealing with stress then what we are capable of showing.

Character is nothing more then how we deal with what crosses our path.

Should we say someone is wrong, just because we do not see things as they do?

Should we think we are always right, even when we are incorrect?

Creating character, is a 2 step procedure.

1. How do we see our selves
2. How do others see us

Are these 2 ways compatable with each other?
Or are these 2 ways combative towards each other?

Just like a magnet attracts another magnet, or repels another magnet. So also does our character!

Robert Montgomery

Private Reply to Robert Montgomery

Sep 22, 2005 4:49 pmre: re: Insight On Character.....#

Michael Lemm
If you are a character everyone knows it. If you have character everyone knows that, too. Take your pick.

God Bless,

Private Reply to Michael Lemm

Sep 22, 2005 5:10 pmre: re: re: Insight On Character.....#

Christina Daly
How about a character who has character...lol. Is there such a person?

Christina Daly

Private Reply to Christina Daly

Sep 22, 2005 6:37 pmre: re: re: Insight On Character.....#

Robert Montgomery
Then which is which? If you are a character, or have character?

In the first reference it appears to be charactor and not character.

Read, read, or red?

I read books everyday.
I read a book yesterday.
The color of my book is red.

Or in the first reference... everything in this post is said to be a character. Letters, numbers, things in type are characters.

Charactor in the second part is equal to an actor.
Charactor in a play, movie, jokesters. These are actors or charactors.

We need to be more defined in our question. Charactor or character?

Robert Montgomery

Private Reply to Robert Montgomery

Oct 03, 2005 1:42 amre: re: re: re: Insight On Character.....#

Michael Lemm
Sorry I didn't reply sooner folks....been kind of busy lately. All good...family and business.

Scott - as always my friend....good stuff. I always learn something from every post you make.

Karri - yep, image and reputation are crucial...and cornerstones of your character. Good or bad. Thanks for the insightful contribution.

Christina - LOL....yes there is such a thing. The best of both worlds I believe. A blessed person in my mind....full of life and giving of it at the same time.

Robert - How about both? Nice to find when you can don't you think? Although you can find one without the other of course. If you "are" a character "with" character that's a neat thing I think. Conviction, values, honesty, selfless, humorous, entertaining, thought provoking, and so forth. A person "with" character who isn't "a" character might be a tad dull maybe. Not a bad thing necessarily....still a "good person". Someone "with" no character who "is" a character in my mind is annoying at best. Worst of the possible combinations in my mind (just my opinion).

Thanks all for your inputs. Robert my friend...thanks for the dichotomy and provoking thought.

Now...next logical question: "How does character play in our business efforts?" And one more: "How does character specifically play in our networking interactions here in Ryze?"

God Bless,
Michael Lemm
FreedomFire Communications

Private Reply to Michael Lemm

Oct 20, 2005 3:35 pmre: Insight On Character.... "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything"..#

Victor S. James
"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything"..
~Alexander Hamilton

"Everyone thinks of changing the world but no one thinks of changing himself".. ~Leo Tolstoy

"The problems in life come when we're sowing one thing and expecting to reap something entirely different"..
~Stephen R. Covey


Private Reply to Victor S. James

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