Your Character Counts!

April 10th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

What really counts in life and work?

Being competent is not the only ingredient to success- your character counts. It counts a whole lot!


What makes up your character?

I have been thinking about integrity a lot this past week or so. It really defines your character – or not. It’s one of the important parts of Emotional Intelligence, according to Daniel Goleman. When looked at from an etymological point of view, the meaning if an integrated character is the opposite of having two faces or two warring parts of you. It means being integrated – “unified, unimpaired, or sound construction” (Oxford dictionary).


Are you integrated – what is your character like?

Do you say one thing to one person, and another thing to another person? Then you are not integrated, you do not have integrity. I am sure you have come across such characters. I have.

We are works in progress


If you are a person of integrity you are like this, according to Dr. Henry Cloud from his book integrity,


  • You connect authentically (and thus build trust)
  • You are oriented towards speaking and wanting to know the truth (operates in reality)
  • You get results and finish well (reaches goals, follows the mission, gets profits)
  • You are able to deal with conflict and hard truths (solving problems, transforming problems, ending problems)
  • You are growth oriented (leads to increase)
  • You see and can explain the big picture (systems are not scary, and you are able to transcend)


Of course we have gaps in the above list, but as people who want a good character – and as bosses wanting team members with integrity – we can see the gaps positively: as opportunities for growth. Take your gaps, one at a time, and work on them. If you say you have no gaps, consider these points that point to gaps (also from Dr. Cloud):


  1. Hitting a performance ceiling that is much lower than your aptitude
  2. Hitting obstacles or situations that derail you
  3. Self-destructing when you reach (great) success


When you see the gaps it allows you to grow and change and have more integrity in the holistic sense. Then you can:


  • See reality as it really is, no rose colored glasses, no morose futures, just reality. We then know there are no easy ways to reach our goals and solutions. We know we must work on ourselves and we know we are “under construction”. This gives us patience with others, too.
  • Understand and work with our characters. When we know what is wrong we are over half way to the solution, even when it comes to working on ourselves.
  • Work towards full integration of our characters. Wow!

Emotional Intelligence is key

So, let’s get going! Are you ready to start? I am! You will have to take a good look at yourself and ask some tough questions, though. But even when it takes a lifetime, an integrated character is a goal worthy of working on.


Have a great week!


Patricia Jehle              



Leave a Reply