Bill Green

You sacrifice and you’re a victim, or you sacrifice because it’s the right thing to do and you have pride in it. Huge difference. Simple thing. Huge difference.

Jeffrey Gandz, Mary Crossan, Gerard Seijts, and Mark Reno

We define character as an amalgam of traits, values and virtues. Traits, such as open-mindedness or extroversion, may be either inherited or acquired; they predispose people to behave in certain ways, if not overridden by other forces such as values, or situational variables such as organizational culture and rewards. Values, such as loyalty and honesty, are deep-seated beliefs that people hold about what is morally … [ Read more ]

Abraham Lincoln

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

Warren Bennis

For executive leaders, character is framed by drive, competence, and integrity. Most senior executives have the drive and competence necessary to lead. But too often organizations elevate people who lack the moral compass. I call them “destructive achievers.” They are seldom evil people, but by using resources for no higher purpose than achievement of their own goals, they often diminish the enterprise. Such leaders seldom … [ Read more ]

Daniel Goleman

The bedrock of character is self-discipline; the virtuous life, as philosophers since Aristotle have observed, is based on self-control. A related keystone of character is being able to motivate and guide oneself, whether in doing homework, finishing a job, or getting up in the morning. And, as we have seen, the ability to defer gratification and to control and channel one’s urges to act is … [ Read more ]

Marshall Goldsmith

Most of us separate character and reputation. We define our character as “who we really are” and our reputation as “who other people think we really are.” In situations where their assessment differs from our own, we generally characterize the assessment of others as “wrong.” It takes courage to realize that, in some cases, other people’s view of us may be just as accurate—or even … [ Read more ]

Dale Carnegie

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby)

The best index to a person’s character is (a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good and (b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.

Arthur Friedman

People of genius are admired. People of wealth are envied. People of power are feared. But only people of character are trusted.

Keith McFarland

One of the executives I interviewed said, “There’s no such thing as corporate culture.” His point was that the minute you start talking about corporate culture, it be comes somebody else’s problem–the leader’s problem. He said, “We don’t focus on corporate culture. We focus on character.” When you use the word character, that’s everyone’s responsibility. It’s about how we treat each other.

Jeff Ruby

Fame can be a vapor, money has wings, popularity can be an accident. The only thing lasting in life is character.


When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, everything is lost.

Nikos Mourkogiannis

We cannot achieve fulfillment simply by aiming for it, Aristotle taught; instead, we must cultivate traits of character (which he called virtues) that will lead us to behave automatically in a way that contributes to our success.

Aristotle also writes about vices. For every virtue there are usually two vices – one representing too much and one too little of the virtue in question. The vices … [ Read more ]

Stephen Covey

Principles should not be confused with values. Principles describe how things are and how they work, whereas values state where we aim to go. If principles are the territory, then values are maps. Only when we value correct principles, do we have “a knowledge of things as they are.” Practices are helpful in formalizing how to do things, but whereas “practices are situationally specific, principles … [ Read more ]

Stephen Covey

Integrity is the measure of the degree to which we have developed our independent will in our daily lives-how well we have implemented the goals chosen through personal leadership. Integrity is our ability to make and keep commitments to ourselves.

Warren Buffett

When you get out of bed in the morning and think about what you want to do that day, ask yourself whether you’d like others to read about it on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper. You’ll probably do things a little differently if you keep that in mind.

Peter Drucker

For it is character through which leadership is exercised, it is character that sets the example and is imitated in turn…The more successfully tomorrow’s manager does his work, the greater will be the integrity required of him…No matter what a man’s general education or his adult education for management, what will be decisive above all, in the future even more than in the past, is … [ Read more ]

William Shakespeare

This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, throu canst not then be false to any man.

Phillips Brooks

Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.