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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Temperament vs Character

Presidential historian, Doris Goodwin said to David Axelrod, "I think overcoming adversity is an extraordinarily important trait for a leader." She also described "the positive transformations some of our presidents underwent after being struck by tragedy -- FDR's polio made him feel more connected to people; Lincoln's bouts of depression made him more empathetic; Teddy Roosevelt's personal losses gave him needed perspective." Donald Trump had large financial losses that he overcame with help from the US tax code. Apparently, that counts.

In my new book, How to Select an American President by James George with James Rodger (c)2017, Archway Publishing, there is the consideration for presidential candidate behavior. Not being a psychologist, I defer to members of that profession for a certifiable profile of candidates, similar to what many corporations require when hiring high-level executives.

Goodwin is not a behavioral scientist either. What is the difference between "temperament" and "character?"

Temperament may be defined as the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition. If one reviews President-elect Donald Trump's history of temperament, you will discover a consistent pattern of disruptive behavior that is often mitigated with intervention and assistance of powerful people to cover and absolve his wayward mistakes. You can verify that yourself and may have witnessed such behavior during the campaign.

What is character? Character is the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing. To understand the composition of such things: qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity, requires professional assessment.

"Character matters: Character dimensions’ impact on leader performance and outcomes 
Gerard Seijts 
Article (PDF Available) in Organizational Dynamics 44(1) · January 2015: DOI: 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2014.11.008 
In a recent commencement address at the Ivey Business School, Domenic Barton, the head of McKinsey Et Co.'s global consulting practice, said: "When we think about leadership we focus too much on what leaders do... and we don't spend enough time on who leaders are the character of leaders." Similarly, in a speech to Ivey students, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, said that "... to restore trust in banks and in the broader financial system, global financial institutions need to rediscover their values... Employees need a sense of broader purpose, grounded in strong connections to their clients and their communities." Few among the hundreds of C-suite leaders and board directors with whom we have discussed this topic in focus groups sessions, conferences, and executive development programs over the last five years, would disagree with them."'_impact_on_leader_performance_and_outcomes

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