We grew up being taught in school the different knowledge and skills we could utilize in certain situations. We were trained how to count, calculate, write, analyze, etc. We were also taught how to utilize these skills properly. But did you know that there is one thing that some schools have failed to teach us? That is the importance of character. Chinese businessman Jack Ma believed that character (which includes our attitude) is more important that our skills (and capabilities). But why?
Firstly, Character Builds a Lasting Impression. Most of the time, people look at you based on what you can do. First impressions are mostly built on the skills and capabilities you show. Whatever is seen on the outside, that would be the judgement of people as to how they see you. But to build connections with people means to interact with them and the way you interact with them gives you a hint of who you really are that is way beyond the first impression. Your attitude towards other people shows your character. In this case, people will remember you not by your skills, but by your attitude towards them.
One great example of this is our interaction with others in the office setting. In the previous blog, we talked about the importance of collaboration and teamwork. [READ: Why Teamwork and Collaboration is Important] For us to collaborate with others effectively, we must learn to interact with our colleagues by putting aside the “I-am-more-talented-than-you” thought. Never make everything a competition in the office, otherwise it will show through. If this is your attitude towards your work, your colleagues will remember that, making it hard for them to work with you. Never allow this to happen. Be open-minded and be ready to work hand-in-hand with others. Build a good impression because this will be your ticket to success.
is the Key
Second, Character is the Key to Long-Term Success. There is a random quote which says “Skills will put you on the road to success. But your character will determine whether you will last or not.” Let us use the office setting as an example again. Yes, you did perform well during the job interview. You are able to communicate well, you had a very good resume. But was there a time where you experienced being late coming in the office frequently? Or even submitting your accomplishment report late? Have you tried being absent without asking for proper permission from your boss? Have you tried sleeping in the middle of work? You could all have good and acceptable reasons why we tend to do those things one or two times. But when you get to that point where it happens very frequently already, your boss will get the impression that you have a very bad work attitude. And with this kind of attitude, for sure you will be kicked out of the company in no time.
Character Will Make Sense Your Skills
Third, Character Will Make Sense of Your Skills. Reflecting on the first and second points, we find that our skills are totally useless if the attitudes that we have show a very bad impression in the face of others. Our skills are considered more impressive when people know that we have a good character and that we have shown good attitude in using our skills in different areas. Therefore, we must learn first and foremost to build our character rather than using our skills just to show that we are better than everyone else.
In conclusion, be a good example by showing a good character and attitude in all that you do. Never make everything a competition. It is best that you eliminate self-pride. Use your skills, talents, and capabilities in a good manner with the right attitude. Do this and you will be on your way on the road to success.
“Your attitude is more important than your capabilities…” – Jack Ma