14 August 2007 ~ 0 Comments

Character Matters

OK, so I haven’t been all that shy with my opinions regarding Barry Bonds around here.  So how about one more post about it…for now.  I read this article this morning over at Monday Morning Insight.  He is in fact kinda fair to Barry and pretty nice to the guy.  But he pulls some great leadership lessons out of the whole ordeal.  It’s not short, but it’s well worth the read.  I’ll post it here in it’s entirety for you to check out.  Enjoy!

Chasing History at the Cost of Character

finally over … recently in San Francisco Barry Bonds broke Hank
Aaron’s celebrated home run record. Barry Bonds has now hit 756
home runs. Unbelievable. A record that once seemed untouchable has now
been broken. On such a momentous occasion, it seems like sports fans
would be going crazy. But in reality there is a wide variety of
opinions regarding Bonds and his new record. Under a cloud of steroid
use accusations, the record seems tainted somehow. Now realize it has
never been proven 100% that Barry Bonds has used steroids. At this
point it is merely accusations which are based on some rather
questionable practices in the late 90s and early 2000s when Bonds
really began chasing history with extraordinary superhuman type

Bonds has always been a good, if not
great, baseball player.  But it was during those years in question that
Bonds emerged as baseball player extraordinaire. And it is the
accusations that surfaced from those years that will forever taint this
historic moment in baseball history.

As I reflected on this event, I am reminded of the absolute importance
of character.  At the end of the day, it does not matter what I have
accomplished in life if my character is in question.  It does not
matter how many home runs I hit, how many sales I make, how many
dollars I raise, how many people I attract, how big my organization
becomes, how broad my influence stretches, how many books I write, how
large my bank account is, how much I own, how many records I break, or
how big my church is.  What really matters is who I am as a person.

What really matters is who I am in the training rooms of life. What
really matters is who I am when no one else is watching. What really
matters is who I am when the door is closed and the wife and kids are
not around. What really matters is who I am when I am alone at the
hotel. That’s where character is truly tested and proven.

I can never break a record and still be a great dad.  I can never lead
the company in sales and still be a person of integrity.  I can never
live in a capacious house or drive a luxury vehicle or own extravagant
things and still be a person of character.  I can never lead a big
church or be CEO of the company and still be a faithful and loving
husband.  You see it does not matter if my name ever makes it to the
limelight. What matters is whether I am a man who is “blameless” and
“above reproach.”

God blesses both the righteous and the wicked.  Some times in life
those who seem to live life with no regard for God are those who
receive the most attention.  And those who are faithful men and women
of character go unnoticed …. or should I say unnoticed by other
people.  In reality character never goes unnoticed.  God is always

It does not matter if you are in a pit in a field thrown there by your
brothers or imprisoned as a slave in a caravan headed for Egypt or
sleeping in the servant’s quarters of Potiphar’s house or being falsely
accused for a crime you did not commit or sleeping on the concrete
floors of an Egyptian dungeon or forgotten about by those who have made
you specific promises or if you are second in charge of the largest
kingdom on earth, character always matters and character never goes

Did Barry Bonds use steroids to help him break the home run record? I
don’t know. I am not sure anyone will ever know for sure.  What I do
know is that his record will forever be marred by a man whose character
has been called into question.  In the last few years, Barry Bonds
always seems to come across as a jerk – his attitude, his reactions to
the media, his comments about other people, his demeanor, his public
persona.  Is that the real Barry Bonds? I am sure his wife and kids
would say no.  But for the rest of us there will always be questions.
Do you know why? Character matters.

When we die, it will not matter how many home runs we belted.  What
will matter are the relationships we will leave behind and whether we
ran the race to the end and perhaps more importantly, whether we ran
with character.

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