Creating A Cleaner & Healthier Environment | Carlos Garcia

David CM Carter

Chairman & Founder

Character Determines Destiny – so said Aristotle. And David CM Carter believes that more than anything else. For David, it has been numerous years of research into codifying Entelechy Academy’s 54 character qualities that underpin everything he stands for as a leader and teacher. “Sadly, despite being foundational skills for just about anything, they have not been taught at school or college or university. Until now. These essential skills are not taught yet they are the only skills that an employer ever looks for when interviewing a new hire,” says David. “Your CV might get you the job, but lacking the right character qualities will get you fired or left behind. We want to help employers build Companies of Character – based on our 54. We have also built a framework which maps the 54-character qualities against the 77 most in-demand soft skills. The lack of character understanding is shocking. It’s the missing piece in education, training and company culture development.”

Education in the UK has a lot wrong with it. “We are not preparing young people for the world of work and their life beyond education. That needs to change, and at Entelechy, we want to be part of the solution. In our own small scale-up, we can achieve that both for our own team – and for our learner customers – so it doesn’t get much better than that for me.” adds David.

For David, showing someone a video on ‘time management’ only gives them knowledge. “Testing their understanding of what they were taught is not learning. It is teaching,” explains David. “At Entelechy, we assess what is learned and applied – and in the case of time management, it’s the underpinning character qualities of being ‘accountable, responsible, disciplined, organised, efficient & reliable’ – in the flow of work that we assess – not if they can regurgitate what they remember from the video they watched on time management.”

On the Entelechy platform, there are more ways to navigate character-based development than people on the planet. Everything David does for the learners is personalised for them. And the platform makes it fun and straightforward. “I could be more ‘kind’ in hundreds of ways. And there are hundreds of different ways that others could be more ‘kind’. It’s about finding what works for each individual learner. AI helps,” elucidates David. “We cannot standardise what being ‘kind’ means – as it’s so personal and individual and dependent on the situation. We help each learner become their entelechy (the best version of themselves with all of their potential fully actualised) in a completely bespoke personalised way. But achieving this is not as vast or complex as your question suggests.”

A Visionary Leader

According to David, feedback is the food of champions. Every six months, Entelechy Academy’s team, including David, asks every colleague for 360 feedback on which of the 54-character qualities they see as his own character strengths – and also his character growth opportunities. “This allows me to compare how I see myself versus how others in the team see me. Such rich feedback is rare to leaders who are mostly told what people believe they want to hear,” he states. “A 360 about my character qualities allows me to read the situation better and adapt my leadership style in meaningful, agile ways. I am here to solve problems others put in the ‘too hard to deal with’ tray. To make a difference and to make myself useful.”

But leadership requires followership, which also involves hand-picking the right talent to get on the bus, helping them find the right seat, and empowering them to get the right stuff done. To borrow from Steve Jobs, David says, ‘We don’t hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do’. The steadfast leader loves seeing people achieve things they didn’t think they could. “That’s my biggest driver. And solving problems others find ‘too hard’.”

One of David’s favourite sayings is, ‘Failure isn’t falling down; failure is staying down.’ He has fallen down many times, but he has also picked himself up, dusted himself down, and then got back on the horse and had another go. “I love what I do. Its extremely hard work, and it doesn’t always work out. But if you keep going, you will end up somewhere better than if you hadn’t tried. So, if I had to boil success down to one simple piece of advice it would be to try harder and keep going longer than the competition.”

Making A Difference

Entelechy Academy’s whole team is motivated to ‘make a difference’ and help people improve their lives by developing their character. There is nothing more motivational than customer testimonials and case studies about how improving just one of the 54 character qualities has substantially impacted their lives.

“We also support every team member’s requests for ‘off the job training’, whether that be part-time MBAs or ACCA qualifications – to other seemingly unrelated ideas that individuals believe they (and we) would benefit from. If anyone wants to do something to help them become ‘a better version of themselves’, I am totally up for supporting that,” adds David. “I want all of my team to look back in 15 years and say that these next 5 years were the best 5 years in their career. I want character to become ‘a thing’ and for everyone everywhere to use our 54-character qualities in daily conversation about themselves and others – so it becomes a common currency on how to make each individual’s and all of our lives richer and more fulfilling.”

David wants to get character education into every school in the UK. That’s why Entelechy Academy donates 1% of its revenues (yes, revenues, not profit!) to a fantastic charity called ACE (The Association of Character Education). They intend to empower future generations to turn up at work after education – aware – and capable of applying their character qualities in ways that determine their destiny.

" The UK is not preparing young people for the world of work and their life beyond education. That needs to change, and at Entelechy, we want to be part of the solution. In our own small scale-up, we can achieve that both for our own team – and for our learner customers – so it doesn’t get much better than that for me. "

David CM Carter

Chairman & Founder

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