President's Message, November, 2022

In my effort to be the best manager and leader I can be, something prompted me to reflect upon all the leaders that I have encountered on my career path. When I drew the line between what I perceived as good and not so good, I saw a pattern, and at the foundation; it boiled down to one thing - character.

Why am I writing about character? Because I have seen and continue to see that it has everything to do with leadership; good leadership, promising leader-ship, and eventually great leadership. Not only in being a good leader, but in selecting one.

In my reflection, I then realized that ABWA emphasizes character at every level and in every word that the organization exudes. Given this foundation, I now see ABWA as a school of character. If we are here to learn leadership skills, then we are learning the best leadership skills, and once again, I feel proud to be a member of this organization.

I came across an article by Carly Fiorina where she states, “Character is one of those qualities that distinguish people with great impact from those without.” She goes on to cite the following four essential truths about character that particularly resonate with me.

  • Character is critical when the going gets tough. In my experience, nothing meaningful or of substance comes about without a fight, because change is always hard. The status quo has great power. Tough times demand great character from us.
  • Contrary to popular opinion, the ends never justify the means. Sometimes it can be very tempting in the short term to cut corners, to do what feels nec-essary--though maybe not right--to achieve an end. But in the long run, it never pays off.
  • Character demands reflection, and reflection can't be rushed. Taking a few moments, or longer, to contemplate the right decision is a sign of great leadership and great maturity.
  • The more we manifest strength of character, the stronger our character becomes. Building character is a self-perpetuating process, not unlike the effect of building muscle on the human frame. As you set your mind, your heart, and your will on choosing integrity again and again, as time goes on you will become the person of character you long to be.

“Character can be hard to define with words. But it is clear when we observe it in someone's life. It is one thing to declare our beliefs and values, but it's quite another thing to stand up for those values day after day before the world, when under pressure, attack, scrutiny, or criticism.”

I invite you all to read or re-read ABWA’s Core Values, Proud Code of Conduct appearing every month in our newsletter and be proud of this organization of character that we are all so fortunate belong to!

Rebecca Lalwani
2022-2023 Pathfinder President

November 2022 Newsletter

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