High character people treat others as they would want to be treated. Respectful people take the “Golden Rule” to heart. They understand that although every person is capable of both honorable and dishonorable conduct, the intrinsic worth of others is equal to their own worth. This conviction makes valuing diverse roles, giftedness, skills, style, personality, race, religion, and genders logical and compelling. Respect leads diverse people to value the dignity of others while having the liberty to disagree with their opinions. (Observable virtues: inclusive, engaging and honoring).
High character people extend unmerited kindness to others. Compassionate people are moved by their conscience, rather than their emotions alone, to be genuinely benevolent and giving. They not only respect others but they are compelled to understand and selflessly help them. They abhor meanness, cruelty and neglect. They treat kindly even the “hard-to-love”, with true sincerity. (Observable virtues: kind, gentle, patient, encouraging, benevolent and generous)
High character people understand they are far from perfect, and seek with humility to extend to and receive unmerited acceptance from others. Forgiving people know that everyone including themselves at some point will act unwisely or violate principles. They thus forgive others and genuinely seek forgiveness to reconcile or restore their relationships that were damaged by their actions. Seeking forgiveness requires a confession of error by the offender. Rendering forgiveness is an act of understanding, even if undeserved, by the offended. High character people are thankful when forgiven and are motivated to forgive inevitable offenses against them. (Observable virtues: patient, grateful and merciful)
High character people strive to build relationships that foster harmony and collaboration among others who share a common promise, mission or purpose. Ethical leaders seek unity of purpose in their teams so that they may work together effectively. Shared character ethics and agreement on goals among otherwise richly diverse people creates unity, thus the high character leader deliberately and persistently encourages team commitment to mission and goals. (Observable virtues: reconciler, integrator and collaborator).
High character people are lifelong learners and teachers. People committed to learning and mentoring actively seek to learn more and share that knowledge with others. They desire to learn more about themselves, become a better person, and to help others do likewise. They nurture teaching relationships in order to maximize the character and competency of others; they are mentors. Mentors endeavor to invest their lives in others in order to help them help others to attain their greatest potential. (Observable virtues: curious, creative, teachable, inspirational).
High character leaders put the success of others and the group above themselves. Serving-Leaders model and mentor high character conduct and produce an inspiring environment in which members grow and flourish. They are not driven by power or personal glory but rather concern for the betterment of all individuals, the group and society as a whole. (Observable virtues: selfless, optimistic, future-oriented, visionary).
High character people respect boundaries for behavior. They help shape and then abide by the legitimate regulations and boundaries established by legitimate authorities and strive to live within those boundaries for the betterment of all. They understand that laws and rules apply to them, not just others. They expect the same of those around them; when others violate laws, rules or ethics, they take wise action to justly hold them accountable.