Your degree is just a piece of paper, your education shows in your behavior | The Guardian Nigeria News
Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States of America once said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right character from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the bad character ”. Your degree is just a piece of paper, your education is seen in your behavior, attitude and character. One thing graduates need to understand is that your employer employs you, not your certificate! No matter how educated, talented, connected, or wealthy you think you are, the way you treat people speaks volumes.
Elon Musk said, “My biggest mistake is probably putting too much emphasis on someone’s talent and not their personality (character). I think it’s important that someone has a good heart. Most of the time, people don’t really buy what you have but who you are! Can you trust? Do people see you as being honest? Can people hold on to your words and promises? Do you show up on time for meetings? Do you have a signature of excellence on what you do? How do you deal with provocations? How do you deal with people with points of view different from yours? It is in fact a waste of education when you refuse to see things from other people’s point of view.
Theodore Roosevelt once said: “To educate a man in spirit and not in morality is to educate a threat to society.” You cannot hope to build a better world without improving people. Now more than ever, educators must not only teach content, they must also teach morals, ethics and cultivate empathy and mindfulness in every student. Character education promotes the development of moral and ethical citizens by teaching them good values. Educators have a special role to play in creating kind, compassionate citizens with a strong moral compass. Steven Covey said: “Purely intellectual development without proportional internal character development makes as much sense as putting a super-powered sports car in the hands of a drug addicted teenager. Yet, too often in academia, this is exactly what we do by not focusing on character development in young people.
Warren Buffett said: “When looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. And if they don’t have the first one, the other two will kill you. It is easier to train a person of good character to do his job well than to develop the character of a skilled but unscrupulous employee. Skills can be learned and mastered over the years, but character flaws are mostly irremediable! The character a person brings to work is more important than the skills they bring.
There are many things that can get a man to the top, but there is only one thing that keeps him in place: character. Many companies hire people for their character and then train them on the job. They do this with the idea that you can teach skills, but cannot change a person’s character. A person’s character can be considered more valuable than an MBA or a doctorate. A person can have all the necessary experience and skills, but if their personality doesn’t match the culture of the company, is they really the right person to hire?
There is a lot to learn from Japan and South Korea. In Japan and South Korea, there is no standard curriculum or examination in primary schools. Until the fourth grade, students learn etiquette, good manners, how to be humble towards elders and history, and other details about their country. In these countries, exams are less important. Learning and character are high on the priority list.
You can never get with your diplomas and certificates what you should get with character! I have come to realize in life that as long as we don’t give the right character their place in our life, we will always end up going broke, no matter how dynamic we are in every other area of life. Peter Schutz, the former CEO of Porsche once said, “Hire a character. Train competence ”. The skills needed to meet needs vary among organizations, but not all organizations vary in their need for good character. I might not really know the skills that will be in high demand over the next 20 years, but one thing I do know is that there is no organization that exceeds the need for people of good character. Your degree and skills are useless without a good character.
Character counts in everything. No matter where you place your skills and education, character matters. Beauty without manner cannot support you in marriage. Intelligence without character cannot make you exceptional. Power without discipline would end you in trivia. Max Depree said: “We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are. “If someone lacks character,” Be yourself! is the worst advice you can give. A combination of good work ethic, humility, integrity, simplicity, punctuality, courage, selflessness, dedication, empathy and maturity will always beat talent and skill at all times. Bad character is life’s greatest responsibility.
One of the hiring and employability HR gurus, Michael Josephson once said, “In today’s business environment, character and ethics are essential leadership skills; without them, a capable person is just another major risk ”. As a leader, always strive for character and don’t be distracted by talent. One of the main regrets of my entrepreneurial journey has been to bring together people full of zeal, enthusiasm and skills, but with a deeply flawed character. A character flaw can set off a chain reaction that can bring down any institution or organization if not quickly brought under control.
You will never exceed your character’s limits. I have come to a diagnostic conclusion that the greatest of all human problems is the character problem. There is no amount of skill and degree that can replace character. Sometimes it takes character, not just getting a degree. There is more hope in life for a poor man with the right character than a rich man with the wrong character. Socrates said: “What matters most is not just to live, but to live properly”. Beware of the impression you create with your character.
You will need to do a character audit to find out the pattern of behavior and character flaws that are keeping you from living your best life. What is your biggest character flaw and what steps do you want to take to overcome it? Talk it over with your mentor and work seriously on building the character that matches your destination. Make a conscious effort to work on any trait that is hostile to your destiny.
Listen to this: Don’t recommend low-serious people to others just because you want to help them. It can ruin your name, reputation, and relationships with great people. Only recommend those who are honest, diligent, trustworthy, and good at what they do, not because you know them.