With 2016 almost upon us. my thoughts turn towards strategy and planning and the role of character.

As a business educator specializing in strategic leadership, I am aware of and a believer in the quintessential SWOT Analysis.  The ability to identify strengths and weaknesses within ourselves and our organizations is a necessary skill in planning to seize opportunities and defend against threats. As a Master Facilitator for The Virtues Project, I am aware of and a believer in the essential value of character in fully assessing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats… in any given situation.  The value comes in four critical forms.

First, the process of effectively conducting a SWOT Analysis demands truthfulness and discernment.  We must see situations for what they are, now.  We must be able to effectively think things through in doing so.

Second, the process demands creativity and courage to build and implement answers that connect strengths and opportunities, and effectively defend weaknesses from threats.

Third, the steps in strategic analysis itself… analyze the situation, formulate a strategy, implement the strategy and evaluate results… they demand the same truthfulness, discernment, creativity and courage.   They also demand diligence, flexibility, accountability, wisdom, strength, understanding and more.  Ponder and discern and add your own.

Finally, the virtues themselves MUST be considered when determining strengths and weaknesses.  They are core to our possibilities.  What strengths of character do we possess that are essential to our success?  What strengths of character do we need to develop in answer to our current weaknesses?  I have said before… and will again… character begets capacity and capacity begets creativity.  We start with who we are and who we need to be, at character… at core.  This is foundational.

This all being said, I invite you to answer the following questions of you and/or your team, school, organization, business or community.

  • What virtues (strengths of character) do you possess in abundance?
  • How do they manifest strength for you?
  • What virtues do you need to practice and grow?
  • How will they manifest growth for you?

Be thorough.  In doing so, please understand that strengths of character are both unlimited and renewable resources.  In fact, they are both inherent and have potential for growth.  They simply require practice.

In 2016, we will be doing an ongoing series of posts on the virtues as they relate to leadership, capacity building and more.  We look look forward to the exploration and I, personally, invite you to join us here.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™