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The Character Ethic vs. The Personality Ethic

Why Character Trumps Personality

written by Noah St. John February 22, 2019
Character Ethic vs. The Personality Ethic

As Stephen Covey writes in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, most of the literature published on success in the United States, for the first 150 years, focused on The Character Ethic as being the foundation of success. Things like integrity, humility, simplicity, fairness, modesty, love, courage, justice, and the Golden Rule.

However, shortly after World War I, Covey explains, the basic view of success shifted from the Character Ethic to The Personality Ethic.

In these books, the driving force behind success was shown to be an individual’s personality – as opposed to character.

This includes things like public image, how you dress, how you perform in social interactions, a positive mental attitude, skills and techniques to get people to behave in certain ways.

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