“Let us not say that every man is the architect of his own fortune, but let us say that every man is the architect of his own character.” George Dana Boardman, renowned 19th century pastor, lecturer and author.
Great plans suffer from catastrophic events. Forces beyond control occur at exactly the time to wreak havoc. Natural disasters, reorganizations, mergers—nobody can argue that you are responsible for that which you can’t control.
It is in these misfortunes that the true values and priorities of a leader become clear. And these are choices. The issues of character—honesty, integrity, a sense of right and wrong, respect for others—show themselves in our interactions and our behaviors when we are under pressure.
Crisis, when it comes, only elevates the behaviors that are already ingrained in our person. This is character. The culmination of all of our decisions about who we are and what we stand for are seen when we deal with those circumstances we did not choose. While we may not choose the circumstances, we choose the response to those circumstances. And nobody can be held accountable for these choices besides ourselves.