Chris Carter, the NFL Hall of Fame receiver, made this point on the Mike and Mike Show recently. In short, he told young athletes that success in your career will be determined by what you do when nobody’s looking.
I was privileged to coach some outstanding athletes in my forty-four years of coaching basketball at the high school and collegiate levels. I never played with nor coached great athletes who weren’t great workers on their own time. They all practiced hard, but they took their game way beyond the practice court. Their off-season was spent working on their game!
Great leaders are men and women of character. The best definition I have heard of character is that it is who you are when no one is looking.
In recent years we have unfortunately had too many leaders who said all the right things in public. They presented themselves as men of character when the camera was rolling and often spoke to the importance of character in leadership roles. But in their private lives, they did not walk the talk.
Saint Francis of Assisi may have best summed up character in the fourteenth century when he wrote, “It’s no use walking anywhere to preach unless your walking is your preaching.”
I think it is sound policy for leaders to examine who they are when the cameras are off, when no one is looking.