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Executive Coaching: The Character Choices Every Leader Makes

By Perry Holley | June 29, 2022
Executive Coaching: The Character Choices Every Leader Makes

A lot has been written about the importance of character when leading, and rightfully so. A leader without high character will breed insecurity and distrust in the people they lead. But what does character look like in a leader? We often speak about integrity and honesty, but is there more? 

Your Character Is Showing

Character shows in several ways. Obviously, if you are not honest or don’t have integrity, you reveal your character immediately. But what about other actions during your day? Do they reveal more about you than you know? 


  • Will I be patient or impatient? Leaders run at a different pace than those they lead. When working with others, you reveal a lot about your character with how you handle that difference in speed. Be patient!  
  • Will I be kind or unkind? There is no excuse whatsoever to be unkind. No matter what someone did or didn’t do, being unkind shows more about you than them. Be kind!  
  • Will I be puffed up, boastful, and arrogant, or humble? Humility is one of the greatest character qualities a leader can exhibit. Humility is others-oriented and helps build trust. Be humble! 
  • Will I be respectful or disrespectful? You would think this would not need to be on the list of choices, but when things are moving quickly, and you’re the one in charge, a disrespectful tone or words can creep in. Be respectful! 
  • Will I be selfish or selfless? What is your motivation for leading? Is it about you or others? Even though you challenge the team to deliver quality outcomes, don’t make it about your success; make it about team success. Be selfless! 
  • Will I be forgiving or unforgiving? People are going to disappoint you from time to time. Don’t allow that disappointment to linger. Keep accounts short with others. Forgive freely. Holding on to a grievance only puts emotional distance between you and others. Be forgiving!  
  • Will I be committed or just involved? Great leaders lead from the front, and they lead by example. People are watching you and will determine their commitment level by what they see in you. Be committed!   

Your character and competence will determine the level of trust others have in you. If you are not making the right choices each day, you could cause team members to pull back and not give the total effort needed to achieve the proper results. Consistency in these choices will also play a significant role in the long-term buy-in of your team. 

About Perry Holley

Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with Maxwell Leadership, as well as a published author. As co-host of the Maxwell Leadership Executive Leadership Podcast, he has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.

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