Strength of Character at Work

I recently met with a client who is handling a thorny challenge with impressive magnanimity. As we discussed her decision, her management of it, and the business impact, it struck me:

My client is doing a brave thing.

I sat back, looked her in the eye, and said, “I want you to know that I admire you for doing this. Most people would be less generous.” Her response was simply, “How could you not?”

That, dear readers, is strength of character.

When you witness strength of character, you should acknowledge it. Tell the person that you admire them. Doing so encourages them to continue their brave work, which will surely be difficult. Equally important, it raises your standards. Marking the moment gives you  a mental benchmark for your own difficult decisions.

Stay alert for colleagues and managers who make the tough decisions well. Thank them, and follow their lead. They deserve it, and so do you.