An Empty Bag Won't Stand up Straight‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
The Law of a Leader's Character
An Empty Bag Won't Stand up Straight

“Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.”
-John C. Maxwell

The Law of a Leader's Character: Character is a choice we make. It is not a skill we are born with initially. If a person demonstrates good character and ethics, we put our trust in them. However, when our character lacks credibility and ethics, it will obliterate everything we have done to build our reputation. While character isn’t essential to our success, a lack of it will destroy us. A good reputation requires the right choices to build.

Sacked in Vegas
Last month, National Football League coach Jon Gruden was released from his job coaching the Las Vegas Raiders. An article came to light in the New York Times about emails sent to the Washington Football Team while they were being investigated for ethical violations. The emails had absolutely nothing to do with the investigation of the Washington team, but once the emails from Gruden were published it took a mere 3 days for him to be jobless. Social media and fan reaction was swift in condemning his comments, even though almost everyone agreed he had been a good coach.

Gruden coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl victory. The Buccaneers leadership responded to the controversy by permanently removing his name from their “Ring of Honor” in the stadium. The producers of the popular Madden Football video game removed him from the program that has sold millions of copies.

His skills have been very good in coaching. Nobody would doubt his abilities to build and motivate a team to victory. He has a winning record as a professional coach. But the one skill he couldn’t master was good character. And it came out. No matter if it was written in private emails, it came out. As you read this today, his life in football and the public eye has ended with a thud. It will take years to undo what he wrote… if at all.

Here’s what I know about your character. Good character doesn't automatically make you a great leader, but a person with bad character will be destroyed by that lack in their life. It will bring you down immediately. In the blink of an eye, regardless of your stature, celebrity status, connections or influence, your lack of character or ethics will wreck your life, career and reputation. It is as simple as that.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
John Wooden

What do you want in a leader? I heard John Maxwell say this in my training to be a certified speaker and trainer with his organization,

“Most people ask three questions of every leader:"



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Walk the floors. Visit the cubicles. Go out into the “field” to visit your sales staff and customer service representatives. Spend a day with each branch manager or vice president. Spend quality time with front-line workers, sales people, customer service representatives,call center/telephone responders, supervisors, help desk personnel, etc.

Ask them what they like about their work. Ask them what improvements they wish you would make to streamline their job or please the customers. Take a notebook with you and write down everything they tell you.


Encourage their feedback. Let them know telling you is safe for them. Thank them and say you will be back to report on your progress to them.

Bold Idea: Borrow someone’s cell phone...

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"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."
-Rick Warren

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.”
-St. Augustine

“I pray for humility, honestly, because it's very easy to be caught up in this world.”
-Katy Perry

“Humility is always a good thing. It's always a good thing to be humbled by circumstances so you can then come from a sincere place to try to deal with them.”
-Michael J. Fox

“Have the humility to learn from those around you.”
-Dr. John C. Maxwell

“The unassuming youth seeking instruction with humility gains good fortune.”
-Joseph Addison

Jim Mathis
The Reinvention PRO™

52 Tuscan way
St. Augustine, FL 32092 USA

1-904-770-7578 (W)
1-404-922-8199 (M)

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Jim Mathis, The Reinvention PRO
52 Tuscan Way, Suite #202-11
St. Augustine, Florida 32092