There is something called Character Day coming up on Thursday, September 22nd. (Who knew?) It started in 2014 to begin a conversation about who we are – who do you want to be as a person – and spread to over 125 countries and over 6500 organizations. This year over 40,000 groups in 70 countries are already signed up to participate.
From their website, “Character Day is a free annual day and global initiative where groups around the world screen films on the science of character development from different perspectives (including The Science of Character, The Adaptable Mind, and The Making of a Mensch), dive into free printed discussion materials, and join an online global conversation around the importance of developing character strengths (resilience, grit, empathy, courage, kindness)–all rooted in evidence-based research.”
Character Day is put on by a film company called, “Let it Ripple” and they provide all sorts of materials to get the conversation started including the films mentioned above.
For each of us as individuals, we should know ourselves and our characters. It’s always surprising to me, how many people don’t. It’s not an abstract concept, it’s who we are so why not talk about it? Why not spend some time really thinking through your values and owning whatever makes sense for you? A couple of weeks ago I talked about how grit is not enough and how empathy is a required characteristic for leadership. These are pieces of character, but not the whole picture. It’s very valuable as a leader to spend some time reflecting, understanding, and developing your character.
Organizationally, there is also a character. You have values, principles, and ways your organization behaves. How often are you looking at and evaluating this and what conversations are you having around it? September 22nd is a great opportunity to dig in. Joining in Character Day is a structured way to see what your people think, what they are saying, and how you can create a corporate or company character that is in line with your values.
What have you got to lose? Start the conversation.