An Example of Grit, Integrity, and Character

Jann Freed Leading, Living Leave a Comment

I have blogged about grit, integrity, and character.  This post combines it all in a great example.  In the current times, I think it is important to look for role models who reflect these qualities and we can’t have too many examples to guide our way. 

In some of my previous blog posts, I have shared my thoughts on the value of having grit and how to become grittier.  As I have said, Warren Buffett is all about integrity.  When he hires managers, he looks for integrity first because it is that important. 

And David Brooks wrote a great book titled The Road to Character in which he talks about how we need to adjust our thinking from “resume virtues” of wealth, fame, and status to our “eulogy virtues” that he says exist at the core of our being:  kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness, focusing on what kind of relationships we have formed.  In fact, one quote I try to remember:

“The quality of our relationships is what determines the quality of our lives.”  Esther Perel

In my opinion, if you want a good example of grit, integrity, and character is the life of John McCain.  While no one is perfect, I believe McCain has tried to do the right thing and not just the easy thing or take the partisan stand.  I used a story about McCain as a POW in North Vietnam in my book Leading with Wisdom:  Sage Advice from 100 Experts to illustrate the power of connection and community and how it can actually keep people alive when they feel connected–truly connected not just online.  

What matters is that we are doing the right things for the right reasons and that we care.  My church is a member of AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy).  It is a non-partisan not-for-profit faith based social justice group where members work on important issues for the greater good.  In fact, I have been part of a team working on an AMOS project for 14 years.  We have been trying to get a downtown skatepark  and it is finally going from a dream to a reality!

Now I am sharing another McCain story that reflects the power of relationships.  In the end, our political affiliation does not matter.  What matters is how we lived our life and our relationships.  In the end, nothing else much matters.

Did we live a live of grit, integrity, and character?  

How do we want to be remembered?