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The Fight - Title vs Character

Nothing can hurt a person with a bigger title than your character. Character trumps title, and the only way to win is to get rid of the character.

This is real in organisations constantly wreaking havoc.

We have seen this over and over again. You raise an issue, but the management is not doing anything. Instead, you get fired or victimised. Look at whistleblowers.....

Why is that?

You can tell much about a people's character by how much truth they can tolerate.

It will always hurt when you point out issues related to one's character. It becomes immediately personal. I always say, "It is not the feedback, it is the person's character."

People with weak characters are all around, and senior leadership is not immune to them. Up there, the power given by their title and money worsens the situation. Weak people don't know how to handle them, and they get corrupted. Power gets into their head. They are fully aware that they are weak hence confronting or exposing that type of weakness hits deep. They will get rid of you, so do it only if you are ready to leave.

Funnily enough, they get rid of you because you have something they don't. Character. Each time they look at you, it reminds them about their weakness. They know it is not something they can acquire by taking an online course, they know that they are weak.

If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone, but you are not likely to have any relationship with them. They will keep you at arm's length because your strong character is a treat to them.

Even though character is vital to leadership, we don't consider this element. We should measure the amount of truth leaders can take as it tells us everything about that person. Weak characters are the reason psychological safety doesn't exist. But instead of addressing the leaders and seeing how much of a truth they can take, we hammer employees to be open and forthcoming.

If you, as a leader, cannot take the truth, you should not be anywhere near people or at least you need to acknowledge this. When I run the "Leadership Mirror" workshop, I experience firsthand how uncomfortable leaders are with the truth.

Their body language changes, and they avoid you or attack you. They will straight insult you and blame their staff. I had leaders saying, "My staff are uneducated, poor, and ignorant. They don't understand my role and what I do for them."

These are some of the things leaders with a weak character will say behind closed doors when you ask them to look into the mirror. It is uncomfortable, but guest what? It is even worse to work with leaders like that.

Organisations need to teach leaders about this because the person who needs this type of conversation is the person who will reject it.

If you need help, let us know.

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