Character: The Maker and Breaker of Success

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln


One of the best quotes to describe character simply and effectively is “doing the right thing when no-one is watching”. Having a high quality of character will not only set you apart in business but in life.

There is no higher compliment than being told you have a good character. Why is that? Quality of character is what divides the good from the great; the loved from the controversial and the people who make a difference from people just getting by.

When you consider the best form of advertising is word of mouth, your character is a key component to having a successful business. Potential business partners, clients, colleagues and friends will make judgements on your character based upon the way you handle yourself and dealings with other people and in turn, decide whether or not they’d like to be less or more involved with you.

Character is taught and it’s also built. Through the good times and the hard – especially in business. The way you act, how you treat people and how you run your business, despite who is watching or on what scale it is, is where someone’s true character is exposed. It differs from image because rather than dealing with people’s perception of you – it is your true, core values. Good character cannot be faked.


When describing a person of good character, there are a few words that consistently come up:

– Integrity

– Compassion

– Respect

– Trust

– Honesty



A person of good character holds these values in high regard – whether they think they are being judged or not. There is no need for recognition or praise because you know you have done the right thing, always. However, a person of strong character will have both of those find them regardless.

Do what feels right in your heart, have honour and integrity and compassion and your character will never be in question.