We built our humble home in Gaborone in the year 2002. A few years later, the walls started to show some minor cracks and we would call a builder who will come and chop the walls, patch them, re paint them and it was no big deal. This happened a few times and around 2014, the cracks appeared and this time not only on the walls, but also on the floor, running from one end of the house to the other end.
We called our builder as usual and this time around, he suggested we engage an Engineer to come and check why the problem kept recurring. We engaged an Engineer who did his maths and recommended a process he called ‘underpinning.’ The builder had to dig from the ground surface all the way to the bottom of the foundation and about half a meter underneath the foundation, all around the house. They then put wire mash and concrete all around to re-enforce the foundation and help it to handle the weight of the structure. This was not only a tedious process, but very costly, we had to vacate the house for over six months and the process costed a hefty sum of Pulas.
If you are a leader, how long you will still lead effectively doesn’t depend on your title, your eloquence of speech, your style of dress or how big your office is, it depends on the strength of your character, your foundation. Just like in the case of our house, if you don’t pay adequate attention to your character, cracks would appear from time to time manifesting in the form of flexibility with the truth, empty promises, not taking responsibility especially when things go wrong, inability to make decisions and many other issues that will not only sabotage you, but eventually cause confusion and frustration in your team.
Character is who you are, not something that you have. As the late Myles Munroe said, “character doesn’t make a leader, but it protects the leader.” Invest in your character!