Personal Development and Leadership Lessons

Margaret Ross, Editor

As a leader you follow proven principles and other character focused leaders. I've seclected some of the people who beautifully tell tiny character parables lighting the way for those of us, today.

  • Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character

- Albert Einstein mathematician and public philosopher 1879-1955

  • Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.  

— Theodore Roosevelt, American adventurer and 26th president (1858-1919)

— Booker T. Washington, American educator and civil rights activist (1856-1915)

  • "The force of character is cumulative." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, philosopher and poet (1803-1882)
  • If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig.” 
— Woodrow Wilson, 28th American president (1856-1924)

  • "In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do."— Stephen Covey

  • "We aim to develop physique, mentality and character in our students; but because the first two are menaces without the third, the greatest of these is character."    Joseph Dana Allen, Headmaster

  • "While you, the leader, can teach many things, character is not taught easily to adults who arrive at your desk lacking it. Be cautious about taking on reclamation projects regardless of the talent they may possess. Have the courage to make character count among the qualities you seek in others." — John Wooden

  • "The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone; but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman. The power which the strong have over the weak, the magistrate over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly; the forbearing and inoffensive use of all this power and authority, or the total abstinence from it, when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light. The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He can only forgive; he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which imparts sufficient strength to let the past be put the past."
— General Robert E. Lee

"You can not dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one."                 — James A. Froude


"Character is the indelible mark that determines the only true value of all people and all their work."— Orison Sweet Marden

"Successful leadership is not about being tough or soft, sensitive or assertive, but about a set of attributes. First and foremost is character"

— Warren Bennis

"Dreams are the touchstones of our character"— Henry David Thoreau

"Character is the firm foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character."— R. C. Samsel

"No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character."  — John Morley

"Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some extent a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece—by thought, choice, courage and determination." — John Luther

"Every man has three characters—that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has."— Alphonse Karr




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