‘Character isn’t created in crisis, it only comes to life!’
- John Maxwell
By Ron Nagy, AAM, Chairman
So if you have not figured it out yet, I’m a big reader. I never used to be when I was growing up, especially in school. Why read a book when I could detail a car for my Dad’s body shop? Heck, why read it when you could just learn by doing?
But as I got older, I realized, “Why make a mistake yourself, when you could read about someone else’s and learn from it?” I have to give my wife a lot of the credit for me forming a love of reading. She is an educator and currently a middle school counselor. (Oh yea, I pity her also.) But she is one who always has a book in her hand, not a TV remote.
But back to my point. One of my favorite authors and speakers is John Maxwell. And when I read this quote in his book, I could not help but agree with how true this is: “Character isn’t created in crisis, it only comes to life!”
We all face crises from time to time, and how we react during these times is when our true character kicks in. To define “character,” Webster says: moral or ethical quality, reputation. I was always taught, “Character is what you do when you think no one is looking.” But I believe character is what you do when people are looking, and watching your reaction. Whether it be losing your cool or your temper, or knee-jerk reactions that result in losing the respect of others.
I know this is a deep subject, but I witness it everyday in work settings, with sports teams and coaches from the pro level to T-ball, and with government officials. As each of these mentioned face crisis,
do they show patience, resolve, responsibility and leadership? Or do they find blame, accusation and throw criticism around like a bad penny? Personally, my goal is the first. When in crisis, I hope to take a step back; look at the issue. Maybe discuss it with others, then respond in such a way that shows true, positive leadership with character. Now, of course, everyone reading this is thinking of three people – other than themselves – who need to read this or hear it. But look in a mirror, ask your spouse or a trusted friend. See what your true character is. Because sometimes the perception we have of ourselves may not be reality.
Now, some housekeeping. My year as your ASA chairman will be up just about the time this issue lands in your mailbox. It has been an incredible time, and I have been blessed with an incredible board. Thank you all very much, and God Bless!