The Character Formula of Super Leaders

A few years ago, I published a post onCharacter Quotient- it is more than IQ and EQ”, I explained in the post why character is more revealing than intelligence quotient (IQ) or emotional quotient (EQ).

I explained in the post using the mineral metaphor that the character quotient is more important than the sum of IQ and EQ. Character is what defines human behavior and its stability from going from one extreme to the extreme opposite.

I explained this by saying that Minerals when exposed to light show different reflection colors (luster), depending on their structure. Humans may behave similarly when exposed to the lights of fame. They reflect their internal colors. Some minerals show dull or chalky luster whereas others show metallic and bright luster. We have experience with this test. Some people when became famous and were brought into the spotlight behaved showed a luster of false pride and chalky attitudes toward others. Beware of “opaque humans” who show no transparency when exposed to light by reflecting almost nothing of it.

The post enjoyed wide attention and a very good number of quality comments. One particular comment that has relevance with this post was by Tirzah Libert. She suggested that loyalty, integrity, and honesty sum up to character.

What prompted me to share this post is reading two recent posts almost simultaneously.

The first post of Zen Benefiel interviewing Dennis Reina, PhD revealed the three Cs of trust Character, Capability, and Communication.

I commented by saying that the three Cs of trust Character, Capability, and Communication make a lot of sense. Repulsive characters do not build trust. Without proven capability, trust evaporates. Knowing something and being unable to communicate it ends in saying things in boring details.

Very shortly afterwards I came across a post by Jean Marie DiGiovanna in which she wrote, “Great leaders have the acumen, confidence, and knowledge to lead, but there is something that trumps all of that. It’s warmth”.

Later, Jean asked a very legitimate question “How will you create more warmth this week as you lead?”

I commented by linking her post to that of Zen. I wrote “It is interesting that I commented on an interview published by Zen Benefiel  with Dennis Reina, PhD in which they discussed the three Cs of leading and living with trust (character, capability, communication) You suggest here connect and lead by establishing competence (a different name version of capability), but with the emphasis that connect comes first.”

The two posts of Zen and Jean suggest that character is not enough alone. It needs reinforcement by the capability to connect first, show capability (competence), and be able to show warmth to others.

Is this what makes great leaders? Are character + warm communication + competence the most urgent traits of great leaders today?

Please share your comments.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. Taking an empirical research approach, early theorists hypothesized that leaders have a universal set of physical characteristics, personality types and attitudes that combine to form the basis of their leadership success.
    Unlike other leadership theories, however, Character Theory has failed to develop leadership styles that can be put into practice, precisely because its limit lies in the fact that one has or does not have character. However, although it is largely outdated today, it has made an important contribution to assessing those character traits that allow the potential leader or any organization to make an assessment of its leaders, their strengths and weaknesses, prompting them to take conscience and to develop their own identities. This can be done easily where there is an act of personal choice, such as honesty, integrity and increased skills and knowledge, or with more dedication and commitment for those traits where long commitment and exercise is required. , such as emotional skills, right motivation and trust in others.
    Personally I believe that the character is what can make the difference between the one who only knows the rules of leadership and the one who knows how to put them into practice in everyday life. It is personal qualities that give strength and vigor to a person’s actions, qualities such as charisma, courage, passion, responsibility and self-discipline.

    • Great and challenging comment, Aldo. It makes me think. Interesting is that a leader has a character or not. Is it like trust either you have it or not? I need to ponder on this idea.

      Qhat also caught my attention is “Personally I believe that the character is what can make the difference between the one who only knows the rules of leadership and the one who knows how to put them into practice in everyday life.

      I agree on this. Having rules of leadership and not use them is worse than not having them.

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