Two friends of mine, Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite, just released a new book titled, Deadly Viper Character Assassins. Mike and Jud both are high-powered leaders who lead high-impact organizations. What I love about the book is the transparency and candor with which they write.

The premise of the book arises from a simple question: “How’s it going? No, I mean how is it really going?” Far too often we breeze through life acting as if everything is fine. Everything is “peachy.” When in reality there are serious cracks in the foundation of our character.

Jud and Mike encourage us to ask of ourselves (and to preferably discuss our answers with someone we trust) some penetrating questions:

*How come we never talk about the really important stuff?
*What are those big and nasty issues lurking out there ready to take us down?
*What are those stupid choices we are on the verge of making that would deliver a knockout blow and wreck our lives?
*How could we help each other be healthier leaders and find true meaning for our lives?

Not easy questions to answer. But perhaps worth our effort. What’s at stake? Our families are at stake. Our careers are at stake. Our impact in the world is at stake. Maybe we should spend some time answering the hard questions?

There are some fairly easy to identify “character assassins” that most of us will do battle with at some point in our life. Here are a few of them. Dishonesty—it all begins in the little things. Amped up emotions—too much anger, even about insignificant things. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off—schedules with no margin. A continual lust for more—especially when it comes to material possessions. Sexuality—need I say more?

How many people have you watched succumb to one or more of the assassins? Perhaps you’ve fallen prey to one of them? They’re lurking and they’re lethal.

William George Jordan wrote, “Real success in life means the individual’s conquest of himself; it means how he has bettered himself, not how he has bettered his fortune. The great question in life is not ‘What have I?’ but ‘What am I?’”

Dan Cooper, in writing about the integrity of CEOs states, “We are saying there is an inefficiency in the market place because the market place doesn’t properly value this characteristic of character. And all we’re doing is taking advantage of that mispricing in the market and trying to make money off of it. We don’t approach our investment from a moralistic standpoint, but we believe that the world and the market place doesn’t fully understand the value of character. Really at the heart of it is that being good wins.”

For Jesus, it was simply stating that what we are on the inside matters far more than what we are on the outside.

To pick up a copy of Deadly Viper Character Assassins, go to It just might save your life . . . At least the life that is really worth living.