The Character-Based Leader 5 Year Anniversary

The following post is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Character-Based Leader: Instigating a Leadership Revolution...One Person at a Time in celebration of its five year anniversary along with quotes from the authors about their experience.

Insigating a Character-Based Leadership Revolution

This is our attempt to connect you with your own inner passion to live your life as the change you believe the world needs.

Underlying Principles

You will see three core underlying principles running through the descriptions in the following chapters:

  1. Leadership is influence.
  2. Influence is given.
  3. People give influence based on competence, trust and purpose.

Each principle forms the foundation of what you’re about to read.

Leadership Is Influence

John Maxwell has quite famously stated, “Leadership is influence, plain and simple.” It is the ability to get someone else to want to do what you want them to do. Leadership respects the individual and their choice to contribute.

Influence Is Given

Simon Sinek has stated that we can only inspire or manipulate. Every individual in the developed world is a free agent (even though we acknowledge that many people around the world are not free). Degrees of freedom may be applied, but everyone is free to choose whom they support, what they support, and the degree to which they support an idea. Seth Godin calls this “emotional labor” in his book Linchpin, quoting Arlie Hochschild. We choose the degree to which we bring our creative energies to an effort. We choose the degree to which we innovate, excite, mobilize and serve others. In the end, cooperation with a leader is contributed.

People Give Influence Based on Competence, Trust and Purpose

Competence. First, we want to know if the leader can get us to the group’s objective. Although I might trust my wife to want me to be well, I don’t always take her medical advice and I would never let her operate on me. We must believe that the person we choose to join has the ability to get us to the objective.

Trust. Second, we must believe that the leader will get us to our objective. In addition to reaching the group’s objective, we need to know the leader will do so in a way that doesn’t violate our best interests, but helps us achieve the benefit we expect from joining the effort. We want our leaders to be for us, not simply for themselves.

Purpose. Finally, we must believe the purpose is worth the effort. We may believe the leader capable and we may believe the leader to be trustworthy, but the leader may have a vision and direction contrary to where we want to go. Without regard to the quality of the purpose, we simply must have an aligned purpose or we won’t give the leader much influence or authority over us. We will withdraw our cooperation if the leader’s objectives and ours begin to separate.

Now you understand a bit of the history and the foundation for the remainder of the book. This book isn’t designed to be instructional, but rather inspirational. We hope to excite you about the idea that your personal leadership makes a critical difference in the world. We want to challenge you to bring the best you to the marketplace of ideas and to make a positive difference. We want you to achieve your greatest accomplishments based on who you are. Remember, great accomplishments are those that benefit others. Bring your best self, your true character, to make the greatest difference for people in your sphere of influence. That’s Character-Based Leadership.


Here are some thoughts from the authors...

"I continue to be amazed at how this book came together. I have never met one of my 20 co-authors in person and we got this done in a year. Humility and focused, character-based leadership made it happen. Thank you, Mike Henry, Sr., for bringing us together for this experience of a lifetime."

-Mary Schaefer

"A shared concern about the state of leadership in our world brought 21 people from 3 Countries together online.  (Even though most of us had not met in real life.)  Our uncommon collaboration was filled with vision and hope as we dreamed of instigating a Character-Based Leadership Revolution!

5 Years later:  Our world is still shaking and calling all who care about truth, freedom and people. 

It is urging us out of our comfortable caves of hibernation where we’ve allowed others to do most of the thinking and feeling for us. It is warning us that we have a leadership crises and calling us to action.

It is time. Time to wake up. Time to pay attention. Time to deeply evaluate our titled leaders and those that seek to lead.

Time to listen BEYOND the things you admire about them. …And BEYOND the things you can’t stand about them."

-Chery Gegelman

"I was honored to be a part of the dynamic team of authors who wrote “The Character-Based Leader”!  I am passionate about helping people discover where their strengths and passions are, and then connecting those in their family, faith and work lives!  The book has been an instrumental tool in challenging friends who are leaders in their own businesses to make character THE key component as they build their businesses and teams!"

-Page Cole

"It was an honor to be one of the authors of the Character-Based Leader. Every chapter contains practical wisdom for how to be the kind of person people want to follow and how to use that intentional influence to affect your world. More than great content, it was remarkable to see an incredibly diverse group of passionate individuals from all over the world come together for the purpose of amplifying a single idea: that something powerful happens when we use who we are and what we have for the benefit of others. Whether you're at the bottom, middle, or top of your organization, or at the beginning of something new, leading from who you are will take you further, faster, and with lasting results. I'm grateful to be a small part of this project."

-Chad Balthrop


If you are interested to learn more about the authors, here is a complete list:
Tara Alemany
Chad Balthrop
Meghan M. Biro
S. Max Brown
Page Cole
Heather Coleman-Voss
Deborah Costello
Mónica Diaz
Sonia Dimaulo
Georgia Feiste
Chery Gegelman
Christina Haxton
Mike Henry Sr.
Will Lukang
Susan Mazza
Jennifer Miller
Jane Perdue
Lisa Petrilli
Dan Rockwell
Mary Schaefer
Don Shapiro
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