By Carey Nieuwhof
Moral compromise makes the headlines all the time. So how do leaders end up there? I’m convinced that it’s 1,000 little compromises that lead to the big compromise that costs someone their marriage, their ministry, and their leadership.
Competency gets a leader in the room, but character keeps you there. Many former leaders possessed the right skills, talents, and abilities. Their downfall didn’t come because of competency. It came because of character.
The Importance of Character
Character is the thing that the people closest to you care the most about. Over my time in ministry, I’ve been to numerous funerals. I have yet to attend a funeral when a son or daughter pulls out their dad’s resume and says, “Look at what my dad accomplished.”
When your family gathers to celebrate your life, what will they say? I can promise you that those stories will not be about your accomplishments. Those stories will focus on your character. “Dad always had time for me.” “My mom was so supportive of me.” “My parents never missed my games or concerts.” These are the things people remember.
I think the most successful legacy you can leave is that the people closest to you are the most grateful for you.
Three Ways to Grow in Your Character
So how does that happen? Work twice as hard on your character as your competency. Here are three ways to grow in your character.
1. A right relationship with God. If things are right with God, it’s easier for things to be right with people.
2. Spend time with a counselor or wise friends. Their insight will help you uncover the things you need to work on that lead to sanctification in your life.
3. Identify the gaps between your private walk and your public talk. We can talk a pretty good game, but if our private walk doesn’t match our public talk, it hurts or pushes away those closest to us.
The antidote to compromise is growing in your character.
Check out Carey’s online leadership courses, available exclusively on Ministry Grid, here.