Overlooking Character

A very disturbing report was released last week.

The number of soldiers, both enlisted and officers, being released from the United States Army for misconduct and, sadly enough, criminal activity has skyrocketed over the last 6 years.

Many have poured over the statistics and attributed the significant increase to the “op-tempo” which has resulted in multiple deployments for soldiers. Additionally PTS/PTSD is credited for a high number of cases.

The ranking officer of the Army, Gen Ray Odierno, has never been one to hide from a difficult issue and wasted no time in addressing the report.

“I wouldn’t say lack of character was tolerated in (war) theater, but the fact of the last 10 or 12 years of repeated deployments, of the high op-tempo — we might have lost focus on this issue,” said Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s top officer. “Sometimes in the past, we’ve overlooked character issues because of competence and commitment.”(1)

All organizations, including every church, should read carefully the words of Gen Odierno. “…we’ve overlooked character issues because of competence and commitment.”

 Any organization overlooking character for competency and commitment is headed down the wrong path, and it is just a matter of time before problems of overwhelming magnitude develop.

When problems arise because of character issues, churches have not always been as quick to publically respond as Gen. Odierno did following this report.

We live in a culture where as a nation we have lost the moral foundation of right and wrong. More and more it appears there is a loss of a moral compass by which all are guided.  More than any other time in our brief history as a nation, it appears more of our citizens are guided by the principle of what feels best for themselves rather than what is right.

If organizations and churches have no concept of the character desired and required before hiring for competence and commitment, it is a very short path to significant problems.

When an organization chooses to overlook character issues because of a skill set or perceived commitment to the organization, the lack of character will be the primary guiding force in the person’s decision-making process.

Poor character, or lack of, will always be the final factor in any person’s decision.

Churches, the same as the U.S. Army, will always pay a price for hiring for competence and commitment and looking past character.

Not only should we first select for character, we should also be in the business of creating a culture that understands character and focuses on the development of the desired character an organization or church values.

(1) Read more: More U.S. soldiers forced out over misconduct – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_25153608/more-u-s-soldiers-forced-out-over-misconduct#ixzz2tbKMzTl5

 

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