Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It's a matter of character

One of the benefits of independent practice is that you can hire and fire your boss -- this I've done, so I speak from some experience.

But, of course, they can hire and fire you pretty readily as well -- more experience here too.

At least on the first point, character comes into play big time for me. If I can't trust the boss; if the boss is not a role model for both leadership and management; if the boss is alienating, then I pack up.

In a recent essay, I found a lot of empathy for four points as the drivers for building the character I want not only in a boss, but in colleagues as well. Here's what the essayist wrote, in part about character drivers or influencers:
  • First, habits. People who practice small acts of self-control find it easier to perform big acts in times of crisis.
  • Second, opportunity. Maybe you can practice self-discipline through iron willpower. But most of us [need] a realistic path [for] something better down the road.
  • Third, exemplars. Character is not developed individually. It is instilled by communities and transmitted by elders.
  • Fourth, standards. People can only practice restraint after they have a certain definition of the sort of person they want to be.
Character development is an idiosyncratic, mysterious process. But [close associations with role models of character may] reduce the alienation and distrust that retards ....

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