Follow Your Conscience
One of the most surprising benefits of blogging and jumping into social media has been the number of people I have met online. Had I not started, I likely would not have had the opportunity to meet Frank Sonnenberg. Frank is a blogger and an author. His latest book, Follow Your Conscience: Make a Difference in Your Life & in the Lives of Others, is a book of principles, character and trust.
We recently had the opportunity to talk about his work on leadership, character, trust and following your conscience.
“Be more concerned about your character than your reputation.” -John Wooden
You start your book by saying, “Character matters.” It’s hard to believe anyone would disagree. Do you think they do? Why is character more important than ever?
You’re right, Skip. Everyone would agree that character matters. But then ask the same folks if good people, or good companies, finish first. I’ll bet many of them believe it’s nice to possess strong moral character, but you have to be ruthless to get ahead. They’d probably acknowledge, however, that “looking the part” yields rewards. To them, moral character is a sideshow, not part of the main act. The truth is, strong moral character builds trust, strengthens respect, promotes loyalty, and translates to rock-solid reputations. Most importantly, every day you exhibit weak character, you’re letting yourself down. Remember, you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.
“Character is the glue that bonds solid and meaningful relationships” -Tony Dungy
What’s the best way to build character?
Great question. As I say in Follow Your Conscience, “It’s not always easy to admit a mistake, persevere during tough times, or follow through on every promise made. It’s not always comfortable to convey the hard truth or stand up for your beliefs. In the short term, it may not be beneficial to do right by your customers, to put people before profits, or to distance yourself from a questionable relationship. BUT, in the long run, doing the right thing is the clear path to both success and happiness.” The bottom line is, listen to your conscience. That’s why you have one.
4 Stages of Trust
Everything is built on trust. Would you walk through the four stages of trust?
1. Relationship. The first stage of trust represents the beginning of a relationship. We generally start off with some preconceived notion about others. This is where a person’s or a company’s reputation comes into play.