Character Counts

North Risk Partners CEO Chris Meidt wrote on the importance of character for the firm’s latest internal newsletter. We’ve shared the article below.


Finding Joy in the Journey

Winning, Recognition, Reputation…Accomplishment, Celebration, Success. A life of JOY. This is what we aspire to. At multiple times in our journey we experience these moments. However life is not made up of continuous mountaintop experiences. In fact, many of us experience trials on a daily basis. Our journey looks more like the stock market than a straight line. In order to find joy in this journey, we must keep learning and growing so the trend is always upward.

I’ve asked myself: What is the foundation to creating a perpetual upward trend in the journey, taking in the wins while pushing through the losses and ultimately finding great joy in all we do?

I know a few things that DON’T work. Striving for power – doesn’t work. Power makes you delusional and is fleeting. Money doesn’t bring eternal joy – the more you have the more your worry about losing it. We are better off preparing for the obstacles that occur in life: adversity, difficulty, failure. The way through obstacles requires an increased self-awareness and, at times, a new game plan. We don’t need pity. Instead, we need purpose, self-control, and patient endurance.

I’ve concluded the foundation for experiencing a winning trend in life is CHARACTER. Character – doing the next right thing, even when no one is watching!

As our sense of accomplishment increases, it is critical that our character keeps pace. As our career journey trends upward, the threat of EGO replacing character goes up dramatically. The lack of character development is the most common thread in understanding why seemingly successful people crash and burn! EGO tells us, “I’m special, I’m better, the rules don’t apply to me.” EGO rots the heart.

When EGO fills the gap between a sense of accomplishment and character development, you become focused on self. That inward focus quickly spirals into envy, paranoia, self-pity, frustration at everyone else’s ineptitude, and a general sense of failure. You see, the more it’s about you, the worse you will feel AND act!


So how do we develop and monitor the condition of our character, the condition of our heart, to ensure we leave no gaps for EGO to fill? What steps can we take to ensure purpose-driven character matches the pace of our sense of accomplishment?

  1. Supplement your core beliefs with knowledge. Study, read, join small groups. Find others who desire to grow and learn and understand what and why you believe.
  2. Supplement that knowledge with moral excellence. Deny temptations, push temporal things aside, and instead focus on what is good and just and worthy of your attention.
  3. Supplement moral excellence with self-control. Self-control keeps us from lashing out when attacked, from denying, deflecting, or defending when CHALLENGED. Ego will not allow challenge to take place!
  4. Supplement self-control with patient endurance. Patient endurance creates a stoic – even cheerful – resilience. Pity isn’t necessary. Personal identity is never threatened by the situation. Patient endurance allows you to face the obstacle HEAD ON with great clarity rather than emotion.
  5. Finally, supplement patient endurance with great affection and empathy for all. Brotherly and sisterly affection is the purest form of caring. It’s being willing to engage in others’ struggles and journey, and confidently taking the next step together. It’s truly the root of oneTEAM.

My hope for our team at North Risk is that we lead with great character, celebrate well together, and be the people that make such an impact that we, as the North Risk Partners brand, can speak most loudly by what we do rather than what we say. CHARACTER over EGO is a daily decision. I couldn’t be more proud of our oneTEAM and I am honored to serve as North Risk’s CEO.

With much affection,


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Chris Meidt, President & CEO, Partner

Chris Meidt is a leadership enthusiast who through the course of his career in coaching and managing has demonstrated a purpose-driven and passionate commitment to service and performance. He treats his role in leadership as his calling in life, giving strategic vision and guidance to his team.