Sometimes while we talk a lot about WHAT character is, we forget to talk about the reasons on WHY we should have it. Thanks to a wonderful conversation with my friend Captain Jay Hennessey: Commanding Officer of the U.S. Navy, we can be a step closer now.
At the NSWC (Naval Special Warfare Center), Commander Hennessey has a unique approach to selecting the "best of the best". This diagram demonstrates his selection process for the Navy SEALs. He believes that performance isn’t everything. That if someone is selected based solely on performance, there has been a “Selection Error”. However, if someone is low on performance but high in character, that candidate is still looked upon as “Trainable”. Does this person have your back? Will this person display proper moral judgement when the pressure is on? From a civilian standpoint, my ego would like to think that I'm constantly in the "Trainable" category as a candidate to be a Navy SEAL but secretly I know I couldn't perform the physical aspects of that job...but it sounds good haha.
This applies to real life so much! Understanding the IMPORTANCE of character is vital to a successful future. Before starting BNICE, I spent many years working in various management positions at different jobs where I learned a valuable lesson in that “You can’t train what you didn’t hire”. This is a great reason WHY we need to get started on character education programs at such an early age. As these children grow up, we need to ask "Will the people around them trust and appreciate who they are as a human being?"
So WHY have good character? Simply put, it helps you to succeed in life. It's refreshing that our military forces have this code but Captain Hennessey isn't alone with this thought process. Colleges and employers look at who are as a person as well as your aptitude and ability. Being nice, showing kindness, compassion and love are actions that not only help others around you, but it's these others who will want you around. All that said, we know that character isn't everything and YES, performance is a huge part of being in the work force and living this life so it's up to us to find that balance between the two.
So, let’s move forward with the understanding that having good character isn’t just something to talk about, it’s vital to leading a successful life where you can get chosen and make a REAL difference in the world.