How do you build a character that garners respect? Character is not about having everyone like you; it’s about making everyone respect you and for what you stand. It is about making the right moral decisions based on the highest values, ethics, and professional standards. True character is in the disciplined day to day habit or doing right even when it is not the easiest or most popular thing to do.

In the world today there are people who have allowed their character to be tarnished. People have sold themselves through dishonesty, unfaithfulness, and in making bad decisions. Some have given up the one thing they should hold most precious and never let be taken from them, their good character. There are rules of conduct practiced over your lifetime that aid in building good character. In my life, I have found 10 principals, which formed for me a roadmap to having a character others can respect.

I believe if you are to build character that others respect and look to you for leadership and advice, you must work at it everyday. It takes years to build a character worthy of respect, but only moments to destroy it. A person who values his integrity does so ALL the time, not at just selected intervals.

To have the character of a true leader,
it takes years to build, and
only moments to destroy.

Consider making the following 10 points as part of your everyday life to build character…for life. Take the challenge and begin today to build your character. Your good character is more likely to be praised than your talents. Most talents are to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We build it piece by piece—thought by thought. The right choices, coupled with courage and determination will soon show your true character.

Ten Character Builders
Live with Integrity; Devoting your existence to living a life filled with the quality of possessing and adhering to the highest of professional standards.

Practice Good Ethics; The established habit of performing desired principles governed by your appropriate conduct, to be of high quality and to live decently and honorably.

Respect Others; Treats all people with dignity. Works to show thoughtfulness, and to feel or show admiration. Looks for the best in others and will value their opinions.

Positive Qualities, The art of producing good results by having an innately beneficial character that thrives on excellence and high standards.

Moral Mind; Able to act on the principles of right and wrong as they govern the standards of premier behavior. Is self guided on how to act decently and respectably.

Behave Honorably; To act in an impeccable way, especially by being polite, good-tempered, and self-controlled. Develops a reputation of living by strong moral and ethical principles.

Honest to All; Truthful, true and unbiased. Is a sincere, straightforward, law-abiding citizen who considers all situations in an impartial way.

Decent Always; Kind, considerate, well-mannered, and generous. Constantly conforms to accepted standards of proper moral behavior on every occasion.

Sets an Example; Lives a life that illustrates a model of exemplar behavior worthy of being copied or imitated. Inspires others through irrefutable conduct.

Good Conscience; The internal sense of governing your thoughts and actions by allowing your core values to be your guide for what is fair and reasonable.

A person of good character can come from any race, religion, or country and is not confined to any one economic level. The only common denominator among those with a character of integrity is in their core values. It comes from inside of us, from our heart and soul. Core values are built from truth, a continued persistent search for excellence, and a willingness to do right in spite of pressure to do otherwise.

What guides you to your core values? Values are determined by what you personally decide is acceptable to you and what is not acceptable. It sounds simple, but to find the answer will involve real soul searching. Think about it, everything we do in life has guides. The clock on the wall directs our comings and going during the day. In golf, the fairways guide us to the green. Gutters on either side of the alley mark the limitations for the bowling ball. If we drive an automobile, we use a map, or the traffic signals and the white lines on the pavement as guides. How are you guided by character? Believe it or not, your core values are the guidance for character. Want to know what are your core values? Answer these few questions to begin to get a handle on them.

The above article is from Gary Bergenske's book "Campaign for a Better Life.

Author's Bio: 

Gary Bergenske was born in Madison, Wisconsin. A motivational speaker, he has delivered his inspirational message at engagements through out the United States on leadership, teamwork, and mentoring. He is currently serving as a member of the Boards of Directors for Shriners of North America and Shriners Hospitals for Children. Bergenske was elected during the Shriners’ 2007 annual international convention – or Imperial Council Session – held in Anaheim, Calif. He is serving as part of the 13-member body that helps govern the Shriners fraternity.

His focus is in helping others reach their full leadership potential. His inspiring book, “Campaign For a Better Life” released in March of 2007 is a great example of how he wishes to help the lives of others grow in character with integrity.

Gary and Anne, his wife, have six children aged 20 to 30. The children, three boys and three girls are often referred to as the Bergy Bunch. The family maintains a vacation home on Daytona Beach. Gary loves and collects antique automobiles but his favorite recreation vehicle is a Harley Davidson.