Life, Liberty, & Happiness

Thoughts on Character


hen do we best see a person’s true colors? Most often, character is most often revealed by two extreme emotions: fear and greed.

In times of fear individuals often face great difficulty and disaster. Seeing how they face their fears and deal with life's challenges tells us a lot about the person. When things go really wrong, do they "own" it or look to place blame with someone else? In times of adversity, we see the the person more clearly.

Another time character reveals itself is during opportunities for significant financial wins, power, or other big gains. The most telling of these is usually power. Having power has a caustic effect on people with already questionable character because it gives them unfettered license to act, feel and treat others in ways that completely align with their own goals and self interests.

In a study by Katherine DeCelles, a professor of organizational behavior at the University of Toronto, people who cared less about morality were also more likely to break the rules at work if they had power.

How a person deals with both extremes when the stakes are high, reveals their true character. The choices made during those intense moments of truth exposes the depth of one’s character - that’s when we see what really matters to them, their degree of self-control, how they respond when their buttons are pushed.

About Dr. Michael Burcham

Michael is an executive coach, entrepreneur, investor, and strategist with 30 years of experience leading investor-backed, high-growth organizations.

“I built and sold a $40M company with Dr. Burcham as my mentor. This is the thing: if you EVER get the opportunity to learn from this man, from that moment forward, you’ll list him as one of the most influential people in your life, even if you live to be 90. And, you’ll know how lucky you were to have that opportunity and you’ll immediately say YES to any chance to be in his presence again—his wisdom is that impactful.”

Sherry Stewart Deutschmann

Former CEO, Letter Logic

“If you are looking for a trusted mentor and coach for yourself or your leadership team, I highly recommend Michael Burcham. He has worked with me as my executive coach for well over a decade now. Our conversations and his feedback have helped me sharpen my critical thinking skills. He’s a trusted advisor that I can confidentially speak with about any issue—and I know I’ll get valued feedback. I highly recommend him.”

Ryan McGrath

CEO, Asset Living

“Dr. Burcham’s depth and breadth of experience makes even the most ADD entrepreneurial leader sit up and take notes! His coaching skills bring out the ‘best you’ possible. He selflessly shares the good, the bad, and the ugly—leaving you with an authentic and moving experience sure to spur action and professional growth!”

Julie Lenzer

Director, U.S. Department of Commerce


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