Does An Organization Reflect The Character Of Its Leader?

Recently I tweeted this quote by Billy Graham: “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost!” I then added: “We CAN’T escape this truth: A country, organization almost always reflects the character of its leader, in some way!” The retweets were phenomenal! One can therefore assume leaders agree with this important statement.

Lately we have discussed the types of questions leaders ask.  Building on that we now throw out a couple of questions to prompt your thinking around this all important topic – does an organization, entity, team or country reflect the character of its leader? In our newsletter next week we will expand with specific and important views by a Leadership Platform panel that included Professor Theo Veldsman from the University of Johannesburg, Opinion leader and change maker Rich Simmonds, Advocate Dali Mpofu and Louis Groenewald.

So we can ask ourselves further questions. For example:

  • Does the EFF reflect the character of Julius Malema?
  • Does the ANC reflect the character of President Zuma?
  • Does South Africa reflect the character of President Zuma?
  • Does your organisation reflect the character of your CEO?
  • Does your team reflect your character?

If you agree, that an organisation reflects the character of its leader, in what way does this take form?

If you agree and you are not aligned to the character of your leader, should you leave? Should you stay and be a change agent? Can you realistically counter the character influence of your top leader?

If you agree with the vision and purpose of the organisation, but not with the character of the leader, do you stay or go?

For more insight into this crucial topic, coupled with further questions, I invite you to listen here, rather than read, and then following on this all important topic next week we look at some clearly defined views and ideas based on legitimate research.

In the meantime, consider your situation as a leader. How you would describe your character, or how would others describe it? Now consider whether or not parts of your character are infiltrating your team or organisation?

Do you recognize some areas in yourself or your team that need improvement? Email Adriaan on for more on creating “Leadership Fit” leaders that generate successful movement (performance) inside your organisation.




Adriaan, as an accomplished author and leadership advisor, has been interviewing and working with top leaders for more than 15 years. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leadership Platform. (Twitter: @AdriaanG_LP)

Call: +27 (0)12 653 3022

Follow Us

Leadership Platform is a specialist leadership development consultancy, focusing on creating measurable impact to the bottom line through the enhancement of leadership understanding and engagement.


By subscribing you will be updated with the latest insights and news from us. We never spam.