Episode 37

Published on:

25th Jan 2021

Character is the foundation to soft skill development

Character is the foundation to soft skill development

The choices you make develop your character


Booker T. Washington once said, ““Character, not circumstances, makes the man.”

What is character? Do you have it? How do you know?

The choices you make develop your character. With every choice you make, the construction of your character continues. 

I’d like to share with you a process that I consider when I am thinking about my own development as a leader of character: a very fundamental process. that includes 4 phases where I can see potential practical applications to my character development.

The fundamental process: Assess – Develop – Implement – evaluate

1.      ASSESS: If I want to grow and develop as a person of character I must learn and keep learning how to assess and then chooses my thoughts; capturing them intentionally  

2.      DEVELOP: Assure that I am grounded in choosing to connect heart, mind and soul. 

3.      IMPLEMENT: take the time and energy to choose to be intentional  

5 components that make up people’s concept of being intentional

a.      I want to be a person of character

b.      I believe that the actions I take will help me to grow and develop as a person of character

c.      I intend to do the actions – this is where my self discipline really needs to kick in

d.      I have spent time learning about being a person of character and I have the ability to strengthen my most strongly held values

e.      I see change taking place by my actions. I am implementing my plan.

Back to the fundamental phases: The last phase is evaluation.  

4.      EVALUATE: My actions are where my character becomes evident. As I evaluate my actions this is where I get motivated. My character begins to grow and develop. I am ready to use this process again and again to solidify and mature my growth. AND, I am ready to reach out to someone else and share the journey with them…. 

Using the same fundamental process, here is how I can destroy my character.

1.      Cease the active work of capturing my thoughts – allowing my thoughts to wander;

2.      Disconnect my heart, mind and soul so that my desires are imbalanced

3.      Cease the work of intentional living: Let others choose my actions for me

4.      Cease to take the time to see if my intentions and my actions are aligned

What is Character?  Character is how you do anything. How you do everything. Character helps you get things done and goes far beyond the fame, the education, the finances, the titles…. Character is how you show up.

Are you looking for a coach who can walk you through this process. You can reach me at www.healthyleadership.online


Thanks to the leadership of Ron Harvey for hosting the Turning Point Leadership Round Table experience. You can find Ron at www.gcs.consulting

Malle, B. F., & Knobe, J. (2001). The desire between desire and intention: A folk-conceptual analysis. In B. F. Malle, L. J. Moses, & D. A. Baldwin (Eds.), Intentions and intentionality: Foundations of social cognition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

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About the Podcast

The Art of Leadership
The Art of Leadership focuses on soft skills... some of the hardest skills a leader will ever learn.
The Art of Leadership with Dr. Niña Ellison focuses on the soft skills of leadership, their value and the power of their influence. As a leader, if you are interested in moving from success to significance then balancing both hard and soft skills is essential!

Hard skills are demonstrated through technical expertise that results in clearly measured goals being reached. They are vital to the success of any initiative or program. On the other hand, soft skills emphasize the transformation of people. They highlight behavioral changes and making a difference in people’s lives.

This podcast is for leaders who are seeking a fresh perspective into some of the hardest soft skills a leader will ever learn. You can connect with Niña at https://www.ninaellison.com

About your host

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Niña Ellison

In 2019, after years of leading teams varying from international disaster relief and healthcare to the US Corporate world, Niña founded Healthy Leadership to focus on her passion for partnering with leaders in their growth and sustainability. Her own journey into soft skill development has convinced her that while her technical skills helped her get her foot in the door, her soft skills moved the influence of her leadership from success to significance.

As a soft skill specialist Niña takes monthly deep dives in her podcast series, The Art of Leadership, to explore the underlying dimensions of soft skills. She knows that soft skill development is not so much about WHAT but HOW a leader leads.
• From a 10,000 foot view a leader pursuing soft skills asks, “How do I problem solve; How do I manage time and energy?”
• From a 1,000-foot view that same leader, as they dig deeper into soft skills, begins asking questions like, “How do I listen; or How do gain self-control?”
• From Ground Zero the leader recognizes that there are underlying dimensions of soft skills as they ask, “How do I model respect for all; How do I sustain hope; How do I demonstrate appropriate love in the workplace; How do I maintain the right attitude?” How do I lead by serving?

Nina believes that behind every wildly effective and sustainable system and process are leaders and teams who have interwoven soft skills into every phase of their work.