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No matter how hard you try, pretend or try to impress others by your reputation, your character which is who you truly are will someday be seen. Character is the strength of leadership; character is the expression of your inner being. Without character success might be a difficult thing to achieve or maintain. I have discovered in my work and studies, that good character is the essence of leadership.

Nothing in life could be more frustrating than trying to keep up a reputation that is directly the opposite of your character. Reputation might achieve some amount of success, but character is what sustains it. No matter what you get by reputation, you can easily lose it for lack of character. True leadership is, knowing that you could never fool all the people all the time. Being in position of leadership requires character. Followers learn to trust leaders whose words corresponds with their character.

One thing most leaders forget is that, leadership is all about trust, betraying the trust of your followers is the worst thing one could ever do. As a leader, leading by example should be your priority, in your home, job or business. Say what you mean, mean what you say and do it exactly when and how you said you will do it. This is integrity.

Reputation may win sometimes but character wins all the time. Therefore, if you desire true success and accomplishment as a leader pay close attention to your character. I was once told this while growing up as a child. And this is what I was told “if two or three people are complaining about a particular attitude of yours, don’t try to prove them wrong, look in the mirror and change your attitude.” When you pay close attention to your character you will have less secrets and explanations to people about yourself.

Everyone wants to be perceived right, we all want to be seen by others in a particular way or want people to think of us in a particular manner which might not be a bad idea. No matter what you think, you have a reputation. As good as reputation might seem, you will find that you really do not have power or control over your reputation. Many times we get frustrated trying to build up reputations, by doing so much to impress people, but in the end we get frustrated in our quest. The acts of makeup many times leave people confused about our true identity as leaders and often make people lose interest and confidence in our leadership.

Reputation is good no doubt but paying excessive attention to reputation is a limitation on your leadership.  Leaders, who pay too much attention to their reputation, trying to impress people by big words or vocabularies without critically thinking of how to bring to pass what they say, always end up in self assassination of character and self destruction. I have had such leaders and have been privileged as a follower to be under such leadership in my life and many times it seems like I am dealing with a masquerade or chameleon whose true identity is unknown and is always changing color at will.

Nothing distinguishes you more than good character worthy of emulation. This is the foundation of leadership, the kind of leadership we have been looking for in Liberia, Africa and the world at large. Like Martin Luther King, Jr., I will say “I have a dream,” that someday Africa will be able to boast of leaders with character worthy of emulation. I dream of leaders who will stand for the truth and do what is right no matter the opposition, leaders willing to sacrifice their comfort for their followers. Men who will not only make laws but obey the laws they have made. I dream of a better definition of leadership in Liberia and Africa, where men and women of character will serve fearlessly and selflessly without bothering about their reputation but stand on the path of justice and make the right decisions that many generations to come will be proud of.

Join me today stand for what is right, do what is right make a decision to pay more attention to your character rather than worry about your reputation. This is not about trying hard to please people, which is what reputation is all about which mostly end up in frustration and disgrace. Character is about building the right foundation, doing the right thing, being yourself and standing for what is right always.

(Chealy Brown Dennis is a consultant and a much sought after motivational speaker and offers training in organizational leadership, and business development concept and planning, creative sales and marketing, strategic planning and team building. He also offers workbooks, on-location and train-the-trainer formats for leaders, managers, businesses and organizations. He can be contacted through email at: or on phone at: 0886-264-611 or 0776545394)

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