“It’s not enough that you just have talent. You gotta have character too.” – The Hustler (1961)
Talent is like a loaded shotgun, but character is the ability to aim and hit a target. You must have both to be effective. Talent without character is like an un-aimed loaded shotgun–dangerous and deadly.
Oftentimes people ride the wave of success based on talent alone. Success, however, usually comes with increased responsibilities and pressure. If a person’s character hasn’t been developed, he or she won’t be able to handle success properly. As a leader, it is important that we are sensitive to the development of character in our team. Don’t promote someone only because of a talent. Make sure that person has the character to sustain a higher level of responsibility.
And, this is important for us to remember too… don’t be in a rush to get to a place where your character can’t keep you. Talent may take you somewhere, but only character will keep you there. Work on developing your character. Stay accountable to someone. Reflect on the way you react and respond in different situations. Do you like it? What are others saying about you? Set personal goals for yourself (click for tips).
“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
Don’t let talent outgrow character. Your talent will only take you as far as your character will sustain you.
“Talent is a gift, but character is a choice.” – John C. Maxwell