Thoughts on Leadership is the brain child of Paul Bridle. This is the place that Paul shares his monthly thoughts.

What Character Are You?

Posted: February 3rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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Who are you? No, I don’t mean that person that you think you are, I’m talking about; ‘who is the real you?’ This month’s ‘Thoughts on Leadership’ is going to be about YOU. It’s going to be about; ‘What sort of character you are?’ , ‘What makes your character?’ I know there are a lot of things that make up a character. Ok, and I know a lot influences it as well, for example, the way you were brought up, circumstances in your life, etc, etc. All of these have a great part in shaping your character, but I want to emphasize and really get you to give some consideration to some different aspects that shape you character.

One of those is about how you get along with people. You see, our character becomes defined when we look at how well we get on with people that we don’t necessarily like, or don’t necessarily agree with. You see getting along with somebody that you like, that is easy and doesn’t require you to be a genius, you can do that easily. It’s about the ones that you don’t get along with. Maybe it’s somebody on the team, or somebody that you’re leading, or even somebody that you just don’t see eye-to-eye. The defining thing is how you actually learn to get along with that person. It doesn’t mean you have to turn them into your bosom buddies, or anything like that. It’s about what you need to do to at least have ‘a relationship’ with that individual. So really a defining part of your character is how well you get along with other people. How well you learn to get along with, and deal with people you don’t agree with.

Secondly, is how you cope under pressure. When everything is going your way that doesn’t define who you really are, because you’re ok, everything is fine. But when you’re under pressure, when things aren’t going your way and when everything seems to be going wrong around you, that’s when you really become defined. As a leader, your people are watching you. When everything is going on, (and we’ve had a lot of it recently with the economic crisis, the ups and downs in the world with wars and so forth), it’s when so much is happening, you don’t know where to turn first, that you are defining your real character. It isn’t that character that you like to put on, or portray, but the real character of who you are.

So, this month’s questions are very simple:
Who are you?
How are you being defined every day and every week under these circumstances?

Think about the times when you are not getting on; when things are going wrong around you, or when you’re not getting on with things very well, when it just seems like the whole world is coming at you:

  • How are you reacting?
  • How are you behaving?

If you are loosing it, particularly if you’re blaming everybody; that says so much to everybody about whom you really are.
Also, day-to-day, even when things are going well, those people you don’t get on with:
How are you approaching them?
You may not like them, you may not agree with them, you may not get on with them; but how are you dealing with those individuals so that you can find the basis by which you can get on with them?

Of course, all of this applies to you, because that’s why I talk to you each month, but it also applies for you being a role model to your people. So the other questions have to be:

  • How good a role model are you being to them?
  • How good are you at helping them be able to do those sorts of things?
  • Are you teaching them?
  • Are you showing them an example?
  • Are you coaching them?
  • Are you making it clear to them that not getting on with people is not an option, (anybody can do that), the skill is, being able to get along with people.
  • So how are you doing in those areas?

It is a real challenge this month, about ‘who’ you are and what is your true character, the character that other people see in these situations.


It has been an incredible year and we have worked on a lot of new projects.  I would like to highlight a few to you here; first is our collection of business case study DVDs.  They are meant to inspire your thinking and help you along with your business.  Go check them out at  More are planned for next year and some improvements to the existing ones based on what we have learnt this year.

We have also just released a new DVD entitled ‘The Principle of Balance’.  It is a 15 min DVD that explains the customers expectation of us and what we need to know if we are to operate effectively.  Go to; where there is a short trailer there for you to watch.

Finally, I would like to share with you a few new activities coming in 2011.  Starting in the first quarter of the new year we will be setting up two webinars a month which will have a presentation, and then a Q&A session with the presenter afterwards.  One will be industry specific for the meetings and events industry and the other will apply to business and leadership issues.  We will also be launching the new Business Planning Retreat Session designed to refocus you and your team on where your business is going in the future.

Have a good month, and Ill see you next month.  Bye for now.

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