Well, it’s finally over! The year 2020 is gone, and I’m fired up to get a new one underway. Happy New Year from all of us at View From The Top!
It’s time for a new book. We’re going through Stephen Covey’s classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in our mastermind groups. Man, I can’t believe how timely it is to review this book. Right from the get-go, it’s like he saw our time coming: the clash between the “Character” and “Personality” ethics. And boy, are we ever in need of a change in how we think.
If you haven’t read it, Covey basically says we have a “two-party system” when it comes to life, relationships and business. We can look at them through the Character Ethic, which says we’re all subject to unchanging, fundamental laws God built into our existence.
Or we can use the Personality Ethic, where we believe we succeed or fail based on personality, public image, attitudes, behaviors and techniques. You can probably guess which ethic we prefer in our online mastermind groups!
Isn’t this wild to read, especially with the times we’re living in? I mean, look at what the events of 2020 revealed about this! Nobody was totally safe from the effects of the coronavirus. I know plenty of people who lost clients, money and sleep over it. Some lost friends and relationships because of the election and social unrest.
Let me tell you something else I noticed, though. Nearly everyone I knew who built their life, marriage or business on the Character Ethic went on to do more than survive. They adapted and found ways to get even better, in every category!
The mastermind business was made for times like this, if you know what to do when they happen. We put the pedal to the metal, and cranked out a whole new level of business coaching services. We led our groups through a vision exercise called “Come As You Will Be In 2023.” #CAYWB23
WHY CHARACTER? IS PERSONALITY IRRELEVANT?
I don’t have a bone to pick with personality … I ought to know, everybody tells me how “huge” my personality is! I love learning from charismatic people who speak and teach well. You might think of it as an “added perk” - use it if you have it, but don’t worry if you’re shy and quiet.
The problem goes deeper. In my side-hustle as a Christian life coach, let me say this - you can be a pastor leading a church of thousands, and this law still applies. If you’re doing it based on personality ahead of character, you’re “cruisin’ for a bruisin’,”... as we say back home. Your personal energy has limits, and when it gets stretched thin, watch out!
I don’t even need to look for examples, I can tell you from personal experience! If you haven’t heard my story, it’s a great example of getting my priorities totally mixed up while chasing the American Dream.
Being an entrepreneur came easy to me. I wanted it from a young age, and I started out with a solid foundation. I understood how to make myself valuable to others, how to give the marketplace something they wanted and how to manage businesses so they grow.
Where I messed up was thinking I didn’t have further to grow, other than the size of my bank account. I genuinely thought Robin and I had a healthy marriage, because I brought home a ton of bacon. I thought my daughters would love me because I gave them plenty of stuff. It all seemed like it was working, until I came home one day with a pocket full of money to a house full of strangers.
I got lost thinking life is all about performance, knowing the right lines, having all the “features and benefits” of a man … but not the character. I don’t know if you can hear my voice in these words: I badly needed the help of a coach, mentor or mastermind online.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Me too,” I applaud you, and recommend you head over to our website to apply to join. If you’re thinking the opposite? Well, I lovingly submit to you … you might have only one oar in the water.
HOW TO ACTIVATE THE CHARACTER ETHIC
Buckle up, because this is going to challenge you, no matter which ethic you currently use. Being “60 going north,” I’ve learned this applies … whether you’re stuck deep in the Personality Ethic, or you roll with the Character Ethic.
For people doing life in the Personality Ethic, it’s simple. You’ve learned to treat life as a costume party, where everyone wears masks and all you can do is “guess” who you’re talking to. If you have good social skills, you can probably get by for a while. But sooner or later, someone’s going to call your bluff.
If you do life and business at a superficial level, you probably feel a lot of “pressure” to make big things happen. You also feel a lot of disappointment when they don’t move at the pace you want them to. You need to let yourself be sharpened by a group of trusted advisors, or business coaches.
Eventually, you should experience a “paradigm shift” to an abundance mentality. You’ll come to believe that not everything in life depends on your ability to “come through.” You’ll begin to have love, business and relationships “chase you,” instead of the other way around.
All this begins with what you deeply believe - about God, yourself, other people, and the world as it’s created. Let me tell you, this is where being a Christ follower has helped me the most as a businessman. I take God at his word - that he favors people who love him and are obedient to his commands. That takes a lot of pressure to perform off my shoulders.
Retraining for the Character Mindset
I want to talk to one other group of people - those already living in the Character Ethic. We also have work to do, so we don’t become prideful or arrogant toward others.
If you’ve ever read some of the more awkward moments in the Gospels, you find Jesus arguing with insiders, experts and moral authority figures of his day. If you want to know the truth, it’s possible to do life from a Character Ethic and still have “pockets” where you make judgments based on the Personality Ethic standards.
But if character is the right approach, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it includes being kind, forgiving and patient with others. When I read about Moses in the Old Testament, I’m gobsmacked by how he never hit back when his followers turned on him. Not once!
We can get impatient and write people off, when they aren’t as far down the tracks as we are. If that’s you, I say this right between the eyes, with love: that dog won’t hunt either.
But there’s hope! You need the same prescription as the guy who’s stuck in the Personality Ethic.
You need a mastermind, and it’s your lucky day because that’s exactly what we do at View From The Top. Head over there right now and apply to join one of our mastermind groups online.