Character vs. Personality

February 23, 2011by

The work of Stephen Covey, author most famously of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is sometimes classed within the literature of “self-help,” even though it includes a thoroughly researched historical analysis of that very field. This analysis zeroes in on a fundamental distinction Covey discovered in his research of the past 200 years of motivational philosophy: ethics of character versus ethics of personality. In the way he identifies and explains the difference, Covey develops a kind of popular, more business oriented version of virtue ethics.

The personality ethic focuses on how to appear to be rather than on how to actually be.

What do you think? Is your character “the foundation of all true effectiveness”?