As a New Year launches and many businesses are hoping to transition from survival mode into sustained success, having undeniable “character” will be a major asset. In this BizVid Communications blog, we will walk through the process of having your business function from within this “character” to establish longevity. Allow me to set the stage, quoting from a couple recognized voices from within history.

Many credit the following phrase to an American Theologian from the 1800’s, Tyron Edwards. This deep thinker outlined the process in character building, using five progressive steps:  Thought, decision, action, habit, character. Further, a recognized sage of biblical proportions issued this proverbial proclamation: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Here, since one would normally accredit thinking to one’s brain, thinking from one’s heart implies a deeper, more sincere and heartfelt process.

For the sake of brevity, I will use the first phrase to make my point. From an initial thought should come a decision. From that decision, an action should result. Consistent and uniform actions will bring forth a habit of doing things in a certain way. Springing from that habit should establish an immovable character trait.

Obviously, every business leader will apply their thoughts to the running of their organization. If a particular thought is a good one, this, alone, may inspire customers to test out your product or service. If your application of that thought was ill conceived or the outcome is inconsistent, your prospect will depart, and share their disappointments with others on the way out. This may happen when a business leader randomly presents ideas before their public, just to see which ones “stick.”

One’s decision to repeat a well-thought out idea to potential clients, begins to establish a desirable pattern in the minds of your prospects. If the business owner persists in also placing random offers before their public, that inconsistency can dramatically work against one’s success. It is appropriate to mention here that sometimes a well-thought out approach may not yield the instant gratification of a flamboyant enticement, but prospects will begin to learn of your growing foresight on their behalf.

Taking decisive and consistent action upon your well-thought out ideas will also build your success-bound momentum. If people hear from you and about you sparingly, you will not stay in their “top of mind” awareness.  Sustained strategies carry much more weight than a big splash here and there. With ongoing actions placed before your audience, a theme of trustworthiness will begin to emerge in your consumer consciousness.

In my former days as a leading advertising agency VP and Director of Client Services, I lamented when a client was dead set on changing a campaign or strategy because they became tired of the theme or message. In my opinion, that was the very time that their public was becoming familiar and comfortable with their consistency. A company leader who is intent on character development will adopt the habit of a consistent message. That is not to say there should not be tweaks, as long as the basic message remains the same.

The character development of a company will often follow the same path as the character development of the organization’s leadership. This blog has introduced the process of going from a worthwhile thought, to wise decision-making. From there, overlaying consistent action helps build trust and raise expectation from your client or customer-base. Your habit of doing these things consistently will soon transition into a character upon which prospects and even employees can depend. This is called longevity. You become known as a company (or leader) which “always does what is right.”  This is called character.