Character: A leaderr's greatest assest; Thought: Where character comes from

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20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

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Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

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Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

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Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

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For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

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Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

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William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

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Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

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At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

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William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

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As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

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Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

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Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

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John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

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“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

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Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

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David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

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Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

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Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

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Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

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As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

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Sciacca

By Biagio “Bill” Sciacca

As an avid reader of success literature and the personal development field, especially as it applies to leadership characteristics, I found one attribute continuously repeated. That is that our character, to a large degree, is formed by our circumstance. What that means is what we think is based on our environment, how we grew up and our formative years.

For example, think about two individuals growing up in the same abysmal poverty. One individual turns into a criminal, the other individual turns into a political luminary or an intellectual or religious leader. If questioned, both of them might say that it was their environment that made them who they are.

The criminal might say, “I grew up with nothing and learned that if I wanted anything I needed to take it!” And the luminary might say, “I was tested by circumstance and fought against the negative tide that arose around me!”

So, the exact same stimuli could have created two very different results. And, in both cases the respondents attributed their environment to their outcome.

As such, we as individuals consider our character to be formed by that which we were born into. But I’d like to extend that a little bit and I’d like you to think about how does character (who we are) create our circumstance (where we are)? And that is the key question here.

Up to a certain age we are controlled by our environment, and as we live within that environment our mommy and daddy and preacher and teacher create our living space, but, they also create our “thinking space”?

Further, after that certain age, wouldn’t you say that what occurs in our environment can be created by our character? We attract what we think.

In other words, it’s not just: how we think is a condition of where we are, but, rather: where we are, could actually be a condition of how we think.

The one thing over which I know we have complete control is our thoughts. Nobody can force us to think something that we don’t want to think. Ultimately, the notion of freedom extends far beyond political and religious frameworks. Freedom, extends to mental freedom and that is one inalienable right that we as human beings have and will always have. Nobody can tell us what to think. It’s always a personal choice.

So, if we follow this logical chain: our circumstance, that is our environment, can be controlled by what we think and we have complete control over our thought process, then, it follows that we can change our environment by changing our thoughts. This means that we are in control of our destiny because we have control of our thinking.

Nature is constantly working around us; our environment is working around us, in effect, character and destiny are really the handiwork of our interaction with thought, personal choice (behavior), and the environment.

If you think about our environment, it gives us a choice, nature gives us a choice. We have before us the ability to love or hate. We can be jealous or show reverence. Outcome is our choice. And, if we continue to look at mental choices as a way of altering our character then it does, give us a level of motivation because it puts us in control of not only who we are, but who we want to become and more importantly, what we want to become. (Thought becomes action. Action becomes destiny.)

What it requires is for us as an individual to sit down at one point and admit to ourselves that we are not content with where we are, we need to change, we are willing to change, and we are going to change in the direction we choose.

Accountability Questions:

1. What closely held belief or thought do I hold that is not working for me anymore? Do I have a management or leadership belief that I need to change?

2. Am I willing to “slay my darling;” rid myself of that belief or thought?

3. What belief or thought will I replace it with?

Let’s talk: share your answers with me at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com.

Biagio “Bill” Sciacca, Ph.D., has been a university professional for more than three and half decades. He is the author of “Goals Book: Embracing Personal Responsibility in an Age of Entitlement,” and “Goals Book 2: The Fieldbook: Putting Goal Setting to Work.” He has contributed chapters to Success Simplified and other works anchored by Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard. Bill is also CEO of Intelligent Motivation Inc. and is widely known as a speaker and trainer in leadership, strategic planning and executive education, goal setting, management and communications.Contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or 570.430.9303.

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