5 Indicators of Maturity of Character How Can a Potential Leader Stand the Test of Time?
When all is well around us, when we feel happy, when we are celebrated by others, we naturally tend to have good thoughts and positive behaviors. But when things are not going so well, when we feel rejected or betrayed, when we experience defeat, regret, or fear, we can only master our thoughts and behavior if we have matured. Maturing of character can only be measured when stressors are present.
Let’s consider five common situations that reveal a person’s maturity of character, including our own. This is not to be used as a tool to judge others, but as a measuring rod for ourselves and those around us, then as a goal for others to aspire to.
Potential leaders must be mature. When I evaluate people for leadership positions, one of the most important criteria I consider is the maturity of their character. It’s most evident, not in an interview that goes well, but with keen observation when stress levels rise. I strive to measure myself by the same standards. Let’s examine these situations and honestly ask ourselves how we behave.
- When we have to submit to authority—The immature will rebel—just because. They do their own thing, whatever they deem fit. They want to buck the system. Those with a maturing character support their leaders, have a humble spirit and a loyal heart. They not only do what they are asked to do, they actively seek the wishes and vision of the person in authority over them. How well do you do when you are under the authority of another person?
- When we think we are right, and others are wrong—The immature will stop listening, start interrupting, and start preaching. The mature will know even if they are right they will remain humble. They know that in the past, even when they thought they were absolutely right, sometimes it turned out they were wrong.
- When we feel wronged, hurt, annoyed, bothered by others—The immature will cast dark thoughts on the other person. They will vent to others. They describe the sins of others (gossiping), and judge and condemn them. The mature fight the urge to judge others. They look upon others with mercy and grace. When I hear a leader berate others when we are discussing the issues behind closed doors, I know they are not mature enough to take the helm of leadership.
- When others fail—The immature will give up on them, disparage them, and cast them out. The mature will assess what caused failure and give people another chance. They give them training and help them on a journey of growth and maturity.
- When we fail—The immature give up and quit. They become defeated and sullen for a long time. The mature take a break, learn, and start again.
How did you do? Let us aspire to first be mature ourselves, then model grace and maturity of character to our peers and teams.
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