Phillip Brooks, a 19th century clergyman once said that “Character is made in the small moments of our lives.”
Typically, the real test of character is not in one huge defining moment but is in the daily choices made every day and that includes in the mundane details of life.
In college I read a really impacting book called Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. In it, Sanders asks some really challenging questions when it comes to leadership. They have really made me think and realize that I’ll never lead anyone past how I am leading myself. This could potentially be a scary thought, but more so, it’s really challenging and encourages me to grow.
These questions have spurred me on to have a clearer vision for what it means to produce character in my life. Here they go:
Have you ever broken a bad habit? To lead, we must master our appetites.
Do you keep self-control when things go wrong?
Can you handle criticism?
Can you turn disappointment into a creative new opportunity?
Can you exert discipline without making a power play?
Are you a peacemaker?
Do people trust you with difficult and delicate situations?
Do you depend on praise from others to keep you going?
Can you forgive?
Do you welcome responsibility?
Do you “use” people or cultivate people?
Question for discussion: Why do you think it’s important to lead yourself well? What struggles have you had in leading others?