How Much Does the “Right” Character Matter in a Company?

There are two personality characteristics that make us unique: temperament and character. I am not a psychologist and, therefore, I will limit myself to reflecting on the role that a person’s character can have in the workplace only on the basis of some lived experience.

It is commonly said that to do your best in a work environment, you need to have the right character. And in truth, while many things can be learned with training, surely more difficult it is to amalgamate a person’s character with the work environment.

We must start from the principle that every human being is different from others, and it is, therefore, difficult to standardize the right one.

The concept of character enjoys a certain variety of attributions: from possessing ways that make the relationship challenging (“What a character!”), Or, conversely, making it pleasant (“What a beautiful character.”), But also being endowed with a distinctive security (“It has character.”) or lack of it (“It has no character at all.”). These different declinations of how a person’s character is evoked, however, have a recurring perspective: the way of behaving in relationships with others.

In the triad that names the psychological characteristics – temperament, character, and personality – the character is distinguished by the attention placed on ways of dealing with the other, the social space in which the ego builds its presence. Thus we can attribute to the character the imprint of one’s own identity that is imprinted on others.

Character is the behavioral manifestation of the personality, or rather, of some of its aspects.

Possessing character, in its tonic and meritorious meaning, then means possessing the ability to “impress”, to leave a mark of oneself when life is opposed, when its difficulties and its roughness make it difficult to imprint our trace.

Character also concerns the strength of the clarity of what has value for us and the consistency with which we know how to fix it in behavior. So we lose character when we weaken our imprint when our personality does not have the clarity and courage of the mark we want to leave.

Character, or its lack, is the way through which our personality, in the relationship with others, manifests itself in knowing how to leave, or not, the seal of what it is our duty to be.

Surely a person’s character is able to determine his fate. There is no decision that does not pass through the personal character.

From some of these considerations, it can be deduced that changing people’s character, or even one’s own, is the most difficult thing in the universe because it requires a constant and strong will to question and overcome very personal and often innate points of view.

Our convictions, the obstinacy on our principles, the lack of humility, and the will to justify oneself at any cost to any criticism, to any divergence of views, are our worst enemies. Even the most important person with a difficult and touchy character is destined to be avoided, excluded, or at least tolerated. And because of the character it often happens that for a trifle a friendship, an affection, a good relationship, a love are ruined.

Our true nature is not that which manifests itself in the circumstances of a favorable context in which there is harmony of relationship and sharing of ideas: it is in the trial, in the provocation, in the insult, in the offense, in the criticism, in the lack of respect, perhaps in derision, in the betrayal of trust, in the deprivation of a good or a right that reveals our true character.

In each of us, there is a saint and a “criminal” hidden, but it is the provocation that brings out one or another of our true nature, what we really are.

Having what is called a beautiful character, open to dialogue, capable of questioning one’s vision of things, one’s certainties, being open to dialogue and innovation – this is the most precious asset of a person for those who have the luck to live next to him; but a touchy, quarrelsome, inflexible person is certainly a reason for tension and discord.

A person in charge of playing a role for which he does not have the character peculiarities can be technically prepared and have the skills but will never be completely up to the job as someone who, on the other hand, has the right character propensity (attitude).

If two people with different attitudes and the same skills engage in the same activity they will get a different result, as the character side makes them perform differently. Grasping the nuances of character, attitudes, interests, and passions of an individual is essential to assigning the right job.

Creating a close-knit and motivated team in a climate that favors the improvement of the individual and therefore of the team and the company is today one of the greatest challenges and is a key to success.

However, I believe that life gives us the opportunity to improve ourselves every day, and even some aspects of the character can change, and some angularities become blunt; but this is possible only if, through a just and healthy examination of introspection, we are willing to question our closures, our personalisms.


Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

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  1. Well-written post, Aldo

    Character is a hugely important topic. You handled it right. I love your definition of character
    “Character is the behavioral manifestation of the personality, or rather, of some of its aspects”
    Is character a skill that can be learned? Good question that you asked. .

    “Surely a person’s character is able to determine his fate. There is no decision that does not pass through the personal character.”
    I simply agree. In my post on “Character Quotient- it is more than IQ and EQ” I discuss sthe same issues as you do..
    I am glad we are on the same path