Becoming a Leader of Character

Sep
Article from the Jasper Journal 3rd Quarter 2018
Written by: Aaron Glover

Our world needs leaders. We need leaders in the home, church, community and work. The side effects of bad leadership are easy to spot in the world around us: families falling apart, churches closing their doors, communities dividing, and companies robbing their customers and employees. We need men and women to step up and lead in humility and with wisdom.

At Jasper Ventures, we want our employees to be more than just good workers; we want them to become good leaders. Developing leadership and character is crucial to success in every aspect of life. Vice President of People, Carrie-Ann Jasper-Yearty, said, “Leadership is a blend of character and competence, and most leadership failures are character failures. Character can be developed and begins with our thoughts; thoughts lead to our words, words lead to our actions, actions over time form our habits, and habits determine our character.”

Our executive leadership team decided to invest in this kind of leadership and character development by sending several of our employees to Express Leadership University for 12 weeks of education, training, and coaching. Richard Kile, Accounting Manager, was the first employee to complete the class.

One of Richard’s biggest takeaways was servant leadership. “I learned what it means to be a servant leader and truly think of what’s best for the organization and my co-workers. Now my goal as a leader is to make my co-workers better as employees in the work environment and better as people overall.”

Of all the lessons learned from our employees during the course, courage was the theme that resounded most. Leadership requires courage – the courage to stand up and speak against injustice, take ownership of mistakes as well as victories, and accept the possibility of failure.

Growth in leadership also requires an honest evaluation of key aspects of character. Melissa Hines, Human Resources Manager, described her growth in the attribute of humility: “Humility challenged me. As much as I hate to say it, I think I have always struggled with this.” Confronting our shortcomings and struggles may seem difficult, but such struggles are precisely what people need to overcome to become great leaders.

Adam Glover, who was recently promoted from CAD Designer to Drafting Lead, reflected on his new understanding of leadership after the course: “I have always been a worker, never a manager. I never felt the need to be overly concerned with others at work; I just did my job. But this class taught me the importance of communication and helping your co-workers.”

Adam’s greatest lesson was learning the impact and influence that becoming a leader would have on those around him. “At the end of the day,” he said, “a team is a reflection of their leader.”

Leaders arise from ordinary men and women who see the needs of the world around them and courageously step up to meet those needs. We need leaders in our homes, churches, communities, and jobs. We need ordinary men and women – like you – to step up and lead.

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