Expert's Opinion

What's Your Character Worth?

By Dr. Jim Harris, To a Higher Level | March 7, 2011

Dr. Jim Harris of To A Higher Level on personal character.

Would you walk away from a guaranteed $12 million one-year contract…simply because you felt you were not contributing?You were not worth it?You were not earning your share? You already had enough?

That’s exactly what Kansas City Royals starting pitcher, Gil Meche, did back in January. (Click here to read the full story)

Through spring training, we will be exposed to dozens of articles, reports, and blogs on Gil’s counter-intutitive decision. We’ll listen to amazed sports commentators as they wax poetic on how Gil epitomizes the lost art of integrity in society and sports.

This story will overwhelm our attention for a few days, then quickly fade away by early next week as all such stories do.

But one thing will never fade away.

Gil Meche’s personal character!

Your character is your “Internal GPS” - your Internal Guiding Principles System. (Yeah, I like this phrase too - I’ll write much more about this in the future).

Read Gil’s character in his own words quoted from the article linked above:
“When I signed my contract, my main goal was to earn it,” Meche told the paper from his temporary home in Lafayette, LA. “Once I started to realize I wasn’t earning my money, I felt bad. I was making a crazy amount of money for not even pitching. Honestly, I didn’t feel like I deserved it. I didn’t want to have those feelings again.

“This isn’t about being a hero - that’s not even close to what it’s about,” Meche said. “It’s just me getting back to a point in my life where I’m comfortable. Making that amount of money from a team that’s already given me over $40 million for my life and for my kids, it just wasn’t the right thing to do.”

Character has three essential parts. Wisdom is to know and understand the right thing to do. Integrity is to do the right thing, to walk the talk. Self-discipline is to keep doing the right thing even when it is hard. All three are essential to being a person of high character.

Gil Meche is indeed a man of character. Before he faced this tempting situation (take an easy $12 million for nothing), his internal GPS told him what was the right thing to do. He did it. Even at the loss of $12 million.

How many of us would make the same decision?

Nothing in your life is more critical than your character. Your character is your legacy.

So, what’s your character worth?

Your answer will determine your legacy.

About the Author
Dr. Jim Harris teaches thousands of professionals every year how to crystalize their goals, leverage their strengths, energize their teams, and realize their significance as a professional and as a leader. From keynotes and workshops to 1-on-1 coaching and digital learning products, Dr. Jim helps transform your potential into productivity, and your passion into results. An author of eight books, Dr. Jim offers you, your team, and your audience a unique combination of perspective, insight, passion, and integrity.

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