Character: Everyone Has It

Character – Everyone Has It!

June 30, 2022 - Post #002

Character! Everyone has it. Some have excellent character, some don’t. I humbly tell you that I have good character today. I haven’t always had good character. Parts of my character have always been good, but the bad traits thoroughly detracted from my good traits. Because of that, I say “your character is only as strong as your weakest trait!” That’s true no matter how virtuous the rest of your character is.

Next Level Character was created to help fill the void being left by parents who are not teaching character to their children.

Well, that’s not exactly true.

By not overtly teaching them excellent character, they are allowing their children to be taught poorquality character by the examples of others.

Teaching excellent character to their children is incumbent upon parents, particularly dads. For myriad reasons unfortunately, a lot of parents have completely forsaken this as one of their jobs as parents and have left it to society, teachers, coaches, their children’s friends, and the children themselves to teach them good quality character.

In sports, athletes are chided time and again whenever they do something reflective of poor character. College coaches are looking for student-athlete leaders for their teams because it cannot be the coach reprimanding or correcting his or her athletes all the time, there needs to be accountability from the student-athletes as well. College coaches can plainly see the athletic talent and skill on the field of play, but they cannot always see the traits it takes to be a team leader (excellent character).

Here are a few reasons and benefits for why Next Level Character does what it does:

1. Assess the character of the student-athlete (SA) so the SA and their parents understand their character strengths and weaknesses.

2. Develop the character of the SA (optional, depending upon subscription level).

3. Assess the character of the SA up to four times a year (optional, depending upon subscription level). This allows for tracking the SA’s character over time.

4. Having a character assessment report from Next Level Character may improve the probability of receiving scholarship money from colleges as well as from scholarship-awarding organizations.

5. The character assessment report will also help college coaches understand the character of the SAs they’re recruiting and will help the coach know:

a. Do I want to keep recruiting this SA?

b. If this SA does join our team, at least I know what I am getting.

c. If this SA does join our team, I know on what I need to work with this SA’s character.

d. Does this SA have the leadership skills I’m seeking for my team?

e. Do I want to offer a full scholarship, or a partial scholarship to this SA?

6. After the playing career of each SA is complete (only a very small percentage move on to play professional sports) their character assessment report can be used to help them advance in the next stage of life (armed services, graduate school, their first job in the “real world,” etc.).

There are probably even more reasons to use the character assessment services of Next Level Character and they will come to light over time.

For a variety of reasons, the character of the USA has been on a steady, and at times, a steep decline almost since the time I was born (1963). Today, in 2020, there are several men and organizations doing what they can to help stem the trend toward an ever-decreasing quality of character in society. With the unique confluence of my advanced education, my professional experience combined with my personal story of dramatic character transformation since 1999, but especially so since August 2018, I find myself in the amazingly unique position to impact the character of this nation unlike anyone before me.

Simply put, I am a social scientist, but let me unpack that because that means next to nothing to most readers.

I graduated from The University of Chicago in 1993 with a Masters degree in Education with a specialization in Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis. I went to graduate school to learn about objective measurement offered by the Rasch Model. The physical sciences have rulers, scales, measuring cups, etc to measure physical objects (length, height, weight, liquid, solids, etc.). The social sciences (everything else - sports, education, etc.) have no such instruments with which to measure educational achievement or athletic success and make comparisons across eras.

My professional experience took me into the high-stakes certification testing world. I have a rather strict definition of “high-stakes.” Usually, it is defined as a certification test where a good paying job is at stake. I take that definition to the highest possible definition: where people’s lives are on the line! I’ve worked the last two decades with medical and dental certification boards including more than 20 MD/DDS boards and the primary laboratory medicine certifying board in the world. I know exams. I am a recognized expert in the field of psychometrics. I’m known as a psychometrician.

In psychometrics, we have a tried and true process for developing and maintaining exams at the highest level, so they are trustworthy instruments in the decision-making process of passing and failing examinees.

I have taken that exact same process and adapted it for the character assessment development process - from beginning to end - and it works perfectly. There is no one else doing what we do at Next Level Character. Without my unique combination of education, professional experience, and my life story, this would not be possible. This is what I was created to do. About that, there is no question in my mind. I am perfectly skilled to assess and develop character in anyone at any level.

My personal story of character transformation, while unique to me (as all of our stories are), is not all that uncommon in general. Long story short (see Blog #1 - link), my dad messed up big time when I was five-years old. That day he crushed my ability to trust (anyone, including myself), my self-esteem, and self-confidence. It took me 50 years to finally connect all the dots from that memory to all of the various events and problems in my life to realize it was a trust, esteem, and confidence issue. As soon as I did connect those dots in January 2019, my life began to turn around and make sense in ways it never had before.

None of this would have been possible without the love, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and salvation of Jesus Christ! This journey took me 20 years, but with my experience and guidance your journey, or the journey of your student-athlete, will take dramatically less time than it took me because I did it without a mentor, teacher, mom’s or dad’s positive influence, coach, or anyone else. I even had several stints of counseling that did absolutely nothing for me. I cannot stress that enough! Those counseling sessions did nothing to even point me in the right direction.

However, with the understanding I gained through my journey, I can help you or your student-athlete understand their stumbling block and breakthrough their hindrances to begin to achieve the greatness they were designed to achieve in their life. Everyone was designed for greatness.

While my story of character transformation was centered on my faith in Jesus, I believe we are all capable of having our character transformed with or without Jesus. I just believe that it is infinitely better when He is behind the transformation. Next Level Character is here for everyone because we all need better character - all of us, every single person on this planet, has issues with their character - even the best of us does.

So welcome to Next Level Character and thank you for jumping on board with us to raise the character of every person to the highest level!

Always remember, Improve Your Character, Improve Your Life, and Impact the World!


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