“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
I was recently having a discussion with my middle son, Drew, who was studying the legendary Coach John Wooden for one of his business courses at U. of Maryland. I still remember John Wooden coaching at UCLA and have read a number of his books, so I have been a fan for many years. But, it surprised me that my 21 year-old son knew very little about Coach Wooden until this course. He was commenting on what a fan he was and how he felt that many of The Coach’s philosophies were still very appropriate today almost 40 years after retiring.
One of my favorite John Wooden quotes is, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
I believe a corporation’s culture is merely the combination of lots of individual “characters”. The character of a company is really no more than character demonstrated by its associates on a regular basis. Below is an excerpt that I have kept for over 20 years as a regular reminder about some important ingredients of character.
When you abandon your integrity in order to get what you want,
whatever you get will not be worth having. When you go against
your own best judgment in pursuit of a token treasure or
position, even if you get it the victory will be empty.
Fulfillment and joy come from the accomplishments into which
you put the best you have to offer. Rewards and victories are
yours to treasure to the extent that they are expressions of
your most firmly held values.
The value of the achievement depends on the values that went
into it. There is no shortcut to a life of meaning. It cannot
be bought or stolen. It can only be created. Be who you truly
are while you work for what you truly desire. Keep your
integrity intact, and the rewards will be sweet indeed.
Integrity and character cannot be turned on and off when you walk through the doors of your job, which is why we have to get better at hiring only the very best. Pinnacle is trying to establish a premium brand reputation in a new industry, so hiring people of character is critical in accomplishing our PEOPLE, CLIENT, and PROFIT goals. As I have said many times, all 3 are important and one is no more important than the other. We have to be really good in all three if we want to build a GREAT company. To do this, one of the critical ingredients is to only hire PEOPLE whose character is to act with absolute integrity at all times whether they know someone is watching or not. It’s our foundation. Protect it and cherish it.
We are creating a company and a culture that is going to be special and is going to be something great for auto industry jobs. If someone feels that this hasn’t happened or isn’t happening, you should speak up. Talk to your boss, your bosses boss, or you can reach out to me directly. I will do my very best to get back to you quickly. It’s that important in accomplishing our goal of creating something great. We will be a company of integrity and character first and foremost!
Have a great week.
After enough time, your Character is your Reputation!