Charisma and character

The England football team no longer have a manager. Sam Allardyce resigned this week after only 67 days and one match in charge. His decision to step down comes in the wake of an undercover operation by a British newspaper which revealed that Allardyce used his position to negotiate a deal worth £400 000. He also offered advice on how to get around player transfer rules, mocked the former England football manager, and criticised his employer – the Football Association – amongst other things.

Sam Allardyce may well be a charismatic man, but no amount of charisma could keep him in his job or maintain his reputation. Allardyce’s character has been severely tarnished and although he may recover to some degree, it will take much longer for him to recover from this slight to his character.

A wise minister once warned me, “…the one thing you should guard above all things is your character. It can take years to recover from a decision or an action that calls the integrity of your character into question”.

How then do I protect myself against poor choices that damage my character and how do I develop a good character?

Michael Hyatt (author, blogger and speaker) wrote recently about the three forces that shape character:

  1. The input we consume: What are you reading, watching, and listening to? Your choices will either build your character or erode it. The input you consume is the raw material out of which your character is formed.
  2. The relationships we pursue. Jim Rohn once said; “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” We should therefore be more intentional about the people we choose to associate with.
    • If you want to lose weight, hang out with people who make good diet and exercise choices.
    • If you want a better marriage, socialise with people who have healthy ones.
    • If you want to make more money, associate with people who are successful.

Conversely, distance yourself from people who reinforce your worst traits. The Bible warns, “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

  1. The habits we acquire. The consistent ways we think, speak, and act in different situations. Good habits lead to good outcomes:
    • If we develop the habit of praising our spouse in public, for example, it contributes to a healthy marriage.
    • If we develop the habit of positive thinking, it can help us cope with adversity.
    • If we make healthy food choices, it can increase our energy, improve our productivity, and extend our lives.

In the same way, bad habits have the opposite effect.

Nothing is more important to our effectiveness than the cultivation of our character – MichaelHyatt.com.

Charisma is a truly wonderful thing – it’s what draws people to you. If you have charisma and good character, that’s even better. You don’t have to choose between the two, but you do need both to maintain a lifelong positive influence.

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