The Four C’s

There are four words starting with the letter C that remind me of what’s important in the workplace:

  • character
  • competency
  • chemistry
  • culture

Most employees focus on competency. This important because we need mechanics to know how to fix different issues on a car and go through rigorous training to keep learning. I want a highly competent technician working on my car. A CFO or controller need to make sure they understand accounting principles to guide and measure their budget, expenses, and revenue.

I think most employees are aware that it requires certain skills to do their job well. But competency isn’t the only trait to keep developing. Character development matters immensely, if not more. It’s character that causes an employee to deepen their competencies, resulting in good work.

Character traits needed in the workplace can be:

  • self-responsibility (no blaming)
  • self-leadership (lead myself first)
  • vulnerability based trust (taking ownership of my strengths and areas of growth)
  • communication with clarity (don’t assume anything…communicate with others)
  • resiliency
  • adaptability
  • integrity (doing the right thing)
  • forgiveness
  • joy

These are some traits I see in successful employees. To be intentional about character development starts with a desire to be this type of person. It’s a commitment to become who we long to be.

Competency may get you hired. But character will keep you hired.