Leaders can't compartmentalize their Character

March 2nd, 2010 by Gallagher John 5 Comments

This week, I was reminded of a verse in Hebrews 11:3 that says: “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.”

Not sure why, but it brought a visual to my mind of an armoire in my home office. The armoire has many drawers. Each of these drawers has a piece of my current life inside:

1) Business files

2) Office supplies

3) Electronics equipment (digital camera, cords, ipod, etc.)

4) CD’s, etc.

The picture reminded me of a leader and our character. You see, inside of the armoire are just the nuts and bolts (‘stuff’) of our life, but the furniture piece that is visible (our character) can be a beautiful piece. Our lives tend to be compartmentalized, but our character is what people see and hear on the outside.

Character, to me, can be defined as what you do when others are not around. In any event, it is visible (like the outside of the armoire) and we can’t compartmentalize our lives.

You see, as leaders:

1) Our lives are made up of many ‘drawers’

2) Not everyone gets to see what is inside those drawers…but they usually know.

3) BUT, folks always see the outside…our behaviors…our attitude…our consistency. We can’t hide that inside a drawer. It is a piece of furniture that is visible to everyone.

So, what can people see of your character (armoire)? Do you have a little ‘polishing’ to do on the outside? Do you have any drawers in your life that need cleaned out?

  • Michael

    Great post John. Always looking in the mirror each day, what can I improve on today? What do I need to do? When I go to bed I ask myself at night; Did I do anything that I “needed” to do today for myself?
    Also, being a lifelong learner is a great way to “polish”. Thanks for the refresher.

  • Good question to ask at the END of each day Michael is “What DID I improve on today?” Can be humbling… Thanks for the reply

  • Vickey Gallagher

    This reminds me of my memory. I have many baskets with lids that I purchased at a hefty sum. Do I use them to store things? No, simply because out of sight, out of mind. I forget where I put things. My life is very similar. As you know, I do not have a poker face. People seldom doubt where I stand on issues. I try to treat others as I would like to be treated. I relate with students and adults with my personifications. They see my armoire (aka armor) daily and I respect that I am able to be truthful with those around. My character reflects what is stored beneath. Now emotions- that’s a new chapter.

  • All great points. Love the armor analogy.

  • Love all your work and blogs! Thanks so much for motivating me to clean out my curbpaod. It was a project I have been meaning to get to throughout this past week of vacation but I’d been ignoring. Seeing your curbpaod re-org was the push I needed to get started and it was sooooo worth it!Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy new year!Diane