Having just completed our 25th year in business, I find myself reflecting on all we’ve accomplished at Trefoil Group and what we’ve learned from both the highs and the lows of this journey. We’ve learned many lessons – some more difficult than others. Thankfully, we’ve been in a position to learn from each one and when there’s been adversity – bounce back stronger and more determined.

I also find myself asking a few critical questions – seeking answers that are not only relevant to Trefoil Group but to other businesses as we all look to the future:

How did we persevere? And what does it take to continue this momentum into the future?

I believe there are a few traits that make one well-equipped to manage the ups and downs of today’s fast-changing and often uncertain business climate.

Optimism. To be purposeful and confident about the future in an uncertain time is possibly one of life’s most difficult challenges. However, a positive attitude is critical to producing strong results. Things rarely go according to plan, but as a Christian business leader, I have faith that God’s plan is better than mine. We have persevered because we have been appropriately – not naively – optimistic, never letting difficult times or setbacks act as a deterrent to future success. Every struggle holds a lesson and it’s imperative to actively use these lessons to find new ways of thinking that can be built upon as we move forward. We must continue to turn adversity into opportunity as we move through life’s challenges.

Trustworthiness. Reputed as honest or truthful. Being completely reliable. Dependable. Responsible. Credible. Not only do these words synonymize trust, but they are words that most people and companies would love to embody. Building trust is fundamental to success. Companies put their business in our hands – and employees join our team – because they are confident that we will do what we say we are going to do. That we are going to put their success ahead of our own. It’s imperative to recognize that trust is earned – and you can never build relationships faster than you can build trust.

Integrity and Ethics. Possibly the most elusive traits on this list, integrity and strong ethics are often hard to come by. To stand up for what is right and hold one’s self to a higher standard is not easy to consistently accomplish. It can take courage to provide effective counsel, telling clients what they need to know, regardless of what they want to hear. We have been successful in years past and will continue this momentum moving forward because we maintain integrity and strong ethics – consistently choosing our actions based on values rather than personal gain. I strongly believe it’s important to invest in people who share your ethics and are committed to creating the best team possible to deliver the best results for clients.

At the core, these traits can be summed up in just one word. Character. Often defined as “who we are when no one is looking,” character positions our company – and the individuals within – for success. And if you find yourself asking if character really matters, I can tell you this: in the end, character is the only thing that does.

As I look forward to the rest of 2017 and the years to come, I firmly believe that character is the foundation for continued success.

Character will make us stronger.
Character will help us build meaningful relationships.
Character will allow for continued growth and transformation.

Character is the key.