Great character is just one simple foundational block to building genuine relationships in their personal and professional lives. I’ve come to realize that your credit score can be used to determine your character. Our credit score is something we strive to increase and protect. When learning how to make smart financial decisions, we understand the value and weight of a high credit score. Similar to having a high credit score, we must also have a “high” value of our character. How do you view your character score? How do others value your character score? Do your words and actions align with your character?
As a Master Sergeant in the United States Army, I have been able to define the traits of a good character taught to me by my parents. Over the last 18 years, I have had the privilege of working for leaders that embody the five character traits that I deem important. The Army has its own Values and Ethics that are taught from the moment you earn the title “Soldier.” LDRSHIP, defined as L-loyalty, D-duty, R-respect, S-selfless service, H-honor, I-integrity, P-personal courage. These seven Army values coupled with my personal five below have defined my character “score.”
- Honesty. Being honest shows you can be trusted. It also shows people in your personal and business life, that you are authentic and consistent.
- Discipline. Having discipline builds character by shaping how you go about your day today. It’s one of the most important strategies in achieving one’s goals. You follow through on your goals, whether they are health or business goals.
- Tolerance & Respect. It is necessary to respect people and yourself. If you don’t have respect for yourself, then how can you expect others to do the same in return? You have to have a system in place for how you manage your relationships, despite varying ideas.
- Accountability. In today’s day and age, you have to be accountable for your actions. It’s an essential part of being human, we make mistakes. Accepting your choices and learning from your choices helps you grow, which shows those around you that you have a sense of responsibility.
- Loyalty. When you actively choose to be supportive of people in your personal and business life, you show your loyalty and trust. But if you hang with thugs, how does that look on your character? You are the company you keep, so it’s important to note that not everyone needs your loyalty for the sake of your own reputation.
Honorary mention: Humility. A modest opinion of one’s own self-importance is essential to how others view you. Don’t look at yourself as too good for others or other opportunities because this can prevent people from wanting to build relationships with you.
Ask yourself, what is my character score? Every day should be an opportunity to grow your character score. Do you live your life by your own character score? Does your action align with your character?
For more ideas, and the work that I do, check out my values focused t-shirt collection for more information.