Individual Leadership

Leadership starts with character ethic: Approaching transformational change

Written by Maya Patel

3 Min Read

At Siegfried, we help people transform themselves into better leaders to exponentially improve their lives. Our professionals are genuinely interested in and passionately committed to continuous growth, both personally and professionally. But this growth doesn’t happen in a day – it requires thoughtful, focused time and deep self-reflection. In the Siegfried Core Concepts series, we’ll outline some of the foundational ideas that motivate everyone we interact with – clients, employees, friends of the Firm, and other stakeholders – to seek out transformational growth and leverage that growth to benefit others.

Deciding that you want to grow is easy. But actually committing to that growth and taking actions towards change is much more difficult.

Developing your character ethic might feel like an abstract idea, but you can take very real steps to become the best version of yourself (read part one for more information on character ethic). Finding a source of motivation can help clarify what you truly want and help you lay out a path for the journey ahead.

If you aren’t sure where to start, look within.

Find inspiration

You must be intentional about strengthening your character ethic – you can’t just wake up one day and be the best version of yourself. And developing your character ethic requires you to consistently work hard and bring your most authentic self to the table. How do you present yourself every day? Are the personality traits that you show others connected to who you truly are? Or is the way that you present yourself different from how you act when no one else is around? Only when you get in touch with the most genuine and honest version of yourself can you work toward true growth.

Clearly, building your character ethic and achieving exponential growth isn’t easy. To find the energy to grow, both personally and professionally, you need to intimately understand and live your higher purpose to give your life meaning and fulfillment. This higher purpose could include what you want most out of your life, what gives you the feeling of true success, and which freedoms mean the most to you (i.e., time, money, or relationships).

You might not have all the answers right now, and that’s okay – spend some time reflecting on your desires and dreams. By living in service of your dreams and your higher purpose, you will maintain the passion necessary to energize you toward personal growth.

Do the work

Once you gain sight of your dreams, you can consider the ways in which you want to become better. Who do you want to be, and how does that tie into your higher purpose? Maybe you’ve shown discipline in an overwhelming situation, but your goals require you do so more consistently. Or maybe connection is incredibly important to you and you wish that you were more of a team player, but you struggle to actually put that into action.

Improving your character ethic isn’t something you’ll do alone, and finding guidance can be as simple as looking to colleagues or mentors that inspire you with their own character ethic. Surround yourself with people who challenge you and motivate you to be exceptional. But be sure to also keep an open mind towards people who have different character ethic traits and goals than you – it’s those differences that allow them to shine.

It’s important to remember that character ethic doesn’t have to apply to just one part of your life. Maybe you’re proud of the compassion you show towards your family – consider how you can show that in your career too. Or maybe you have confidence when it comes to your career, but you lack the courage to pursue a hobby. How can you translate your professional drive into your personal endeavors?

Embrace every opportunity to practice the character ethic that you want to embody, and a higher level of fulfillment will follow. Every moment is an opportunity to act more thoughtfully and become an even better version of yourself. Again, building character ethic won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding.

The end result

Even as you achieve your goals and dreams, your personal growth journey never truly ends. Building strong character ethic is something that you should continue to work on for the rest of your life.

Rather than striving to master your character ethic and be done with it, you should challenge yourself to become better every day. By taking charge of your life in this way, you will find that there is no limit to what you can achieve. And the hard work that you put into your character ethic won’t just benefit you – just as you were inspired by your mentors, putting in the work to improve yourself will inspire those around you to do the same as well. Be on the lookout for an upcoming blog about Siegfried’s Life/Leadership Curve, the next installment in the Siegfried Core Concepts series!

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