The personality ethic focuses on the individual and their ability to sell themselves in order to succeed. The character ethic, on the other hand, looks at the development of good character as a means of achieving success. In this blog, we’ll be looking at the differences between these two approaches and why the character ethic is a better way to achieve success than its counterpart.
In his classic book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey divided ethics into two categories: personality ethic and character ethic. He noted that “the great debate” in society was between those who believed that success was determined by one’s own actions and those who believed that success was predetermined by some force outside of human control.
The former viewpoint claims that how well you do in life is based entirely on your own efforts, while the latter claims that circumstances out of your control (such as where you were born or to whom you were born) should be looked at when explaining someone’s success or failure in life.
The personality ethic is based on self-promotion, image projection, and the belief that manipulation can work for you in your pursuit of success. Under this approach, there are no moral guidelines—if it works for you, then it’s good behavior. The focus is on
The foundation of the personality ethic is built on the belief that there is some power that will make something happen, like magic. This power can help you achieve your dreams, desires, and goals in life. The character ethic on the other hand builds the foundation upon effort. This character ethic believes that you must look inside yourself and find out what is right and wrong. Through discipline, knowledge, and training one can achieve success.