Thoughts By Brian Tracy on Habits of Character and Leadership
• The ultimate aim of human life and activity is development of character, according to Aristotle. The most
important goal you could hope to accomplish in the course of your life is to become an excellent person,
in every respect. Your purpose should be to develop the kind of personality and character that earns you
the respect, esteem, and affection of the important people in your world.
• Develop Your Own Character :Aristotle, probably the greatest philosopher and thinker of all time, said a
simple method can help, if you wish to learn a virtue later in life. Simply practice the virtue in every
situation where that virtue is required. In other words, if you wish to develop the quality of courage, act
courageously even when you feel afraid.
• Aspire to Leadership :It is not easy to rise to a position of leadership in any organization or in
any society. The competition for leadership is fierce. Only the people who are the very best equipped to
acquire leadership positions and then to hold on to those positions rise to the top in any area.
• Whatever It Takes :In a way, leadership is "situational." What is necessary for success in a leadership
position is determined by many factors, including the people to be led; the objectives to be accomplished;
the competition for resources; the social, cultural, political, and economic environment; and the situation
that the leader finds at the moment. Changing any of these factors will change the qualities of leadership
necessary for success.
• The True Test of a Leader:Peter Drucker says the only event that is inevitable in the like of the leader is
the "unexpected crisis." Only when you encounter a setback, an obstacle, a difficulty, or the inevitable
crisis, do you demonstrate the kind of person you really are. It is not what you say, wish, hope, or intend
that reveals your character. It is only your actions, especially your actions in the face of adversity and
possible setbacks or losses.
• You Are Responsible :Once you have developed a clear vision for your ideal future and resolve
to develop unshakable courage by doing the things you fear, you must develop the habit of accepting
complete responsibility for yourself and for every aspect of your life.
• Tell the Truth :Perhaps the most important quality of leadership is the habit of integrity.
You develop integrity and become a completely honest person by practicing telling the truth to yourself
and others in every situation. Shakespeare wrote, "To thine own self be true," meaning that you are what
you believe in. You must continually clarify what you stand for and what you will not stand for. Once
you have decided that you are going to build your life around certain values, you refuse to compromise
those values for anything.
• Action Exercise :Imagine that you could write your own eulogy. How would you like to be
remembered and described by others when you are gone?