When I was working in the Mines in Kogi State, we had the very bright and intelligent staff. He is always like he knows it all and there was nothing you asked him in his field he wouldn’t be able to answer, but unfortunately, he had a gangster approach toward his work style. He had poor corporate culture and nor corporate character. Fast forward to my current place of work, I have this staff with personal drive to achieve success in whatsoever tasks he is given within the timeline provided. Unfortunately, he would talk to his Line Manager rudely if things isn’t going as he expects. He would display all forms of arrogance to make his position known. Most interestingly, is when he is corrected, what is more important to him is being heard than taking the correction. Obviously, this is not the way to go.

Character remains a very important and strong tool in ensuring success in the corporate world. With a strong character comes respect for constituted authority and thus follows loyalty. No matter how competent or capable you are on your job, poor character will simply lead to a disconnect between one with team members. It will further bring somewhat abhorrence even before one’s boss. Poor character is displayed in many ways. Some of such ways are: failure to take correction, displaying rude and arrogance behavior, disregard for superior officers or constituted authority, mixing personal issues with professional matters, displaying other behaviors that doesn’t conform with general societal norms repeatedly in the professional environment.

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I have heard of managers and supervisors say they rather have one with a good character but incompetent than one who is competent but with a bad character. I actually share same bias with people who say this. During interviews I am coordinating or conducting, my assumptions is that the person is competent and capable which is why he or she made it to the interview session in the first place. Secondly, I also believe it’s the work of the HOD of the candidate to choose candidates for job based on competence and capability, but character which happens to be more powerful lines outside the hands of the Head of Department. In fact, in some climes, I have seen after successful interview, the second or the third best is picked for the job over the candidate who scored first on competence and capability on the basis of issues related to character.

The importance of having a positive character over competence and capability can not be over emphasized. One of the reasons for this is because people will naturally be attracted to one with a respectful, loyal and positive character over one considered as a radical. This is important because the greatest currency in the corporate world is the “People Currency”. This implies that there is a limit to where your capabilities can carry you and where it stops, you will need people to carry you overboard. For instance, when talking about one’s promotion, the beneficiary isn’t usually in the room. Both line manager and even other senior staff outside the beneficiary for the promotion participate in the conversation. Most times, the conversation is not whether the worker os capable or competent but whether the staff has a good character (loyal and respectful).

Last week, I part took in a conversation in a WhatsApp Group about a particular employee who don’t greet people either superiors or elders at work. Some were of the opinion that greeting at workplace isn’t by force, others said greetings doesn’t mean friendship while another asked that the staff not greeting people, how does it affect productivity? Well, greeting does not directly affect productivity but I can tell you that it constitutes a very important part of organizational culture. It speaks to the behavior of the person in question. It is therefore not likely that co-employees will find it comfortable working with such an employee. Indirectly, productivity will be affected.

In summary, we can’t talk about corporate behavior and corporate growth in a workspace without these three C’s – Competence, Capability and Character. As important as the first two C’s are, the last seems to be more important as it create influence. It has a subtle way one can use in achieving their goals with little or no effort. The “Character” virtue is a value to access “People’s Currency” if properly use.


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He has a doctorate degree in Leadership and Organizational Strategy, a Master Degree in Business Administration and Executive Leadership in Management. He is a Fellow of a lot of professional bodies and is a Faculty member is many of them. He is also the Deputy Registrar of the Integrated Institute of Professional Management. He is A Senior Management Consultant with Deebee Consulting, and Board Advisory of a leading Oil and Gas company in Nigeria. His work experience cuts across the hospitality, health, FMCG, Mines and Steel, HR Consulting, and Manufacturing. He has worked with C-Suites and has rosed to a Group Human Resources Manager where he managed over 5,000 staff of the organization. He is also a certified BPO, a Trainer and he majors in organizational designed and Human Resource Management.


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