Mercer Island author inspires others with ‘Character Triangle’
By LINDA BALL
Mercer Island Reporter Reporter
December 7, 2011 · Updated 11:35 AM
Lorne Rubis defines highly successful people as those who work with character, in turn inspiring other people. This applies not only to one’s work, but to their personal life.
Rubis is the CEO of Ryzex, an international mobile technology solutions company based in Bellingham. He has been at Ryzex for eight years, but has 40 years of leadership skills, which got him to thinking about his first book, “The Character Triangle,” which was released Nov. 1.
It took him three years to write the book, but Rubis has created a trilogy of values that include accountability, respect (for yourself and others), and abundance as a system for successful living, both professionally and personally.
“It involves thinking and acting with intent, based on three values that are uniquely important on their own and become even more powerful when connected,” Rubis said.
Rubis began his career life as a teacher and coach. He was profoundly moved by that career and the impact he had on his students.
“The school had nothing, no uniforms, nothing,” he said.
He was teaching English and coaching, and he and his team made the decision they were going to win.
“We didn’t complain about the lack of what we had; we just started to believe,” he said.
The values in the book started then. There was a system, he said — a framework on how they worked together.
Rubis moved on to the University of Oregon to get his graduate degree. Over his 40 years of working, he did his own qualitative research on determining the values he observed in people.
“Accountability, respect and abundance came to the front of the line,” Rubis said. “I felt that I needed to shine a light on the importance of these values as a system for driving success. At the same time, when as an executive I sent out employee satisfaction surveys, I realized that people and organizations showed deficiencies in the understanding and application of these values. These two forces joined to birth the character triangle.”
Rubis said he believes people have much more control of their ability to influence their success in work and life than they think.
With regard to accountability, he said rather than play the blame game, ask what you can do to make a difference. Instead of trying to defend yourself, which he said is not productive, ask yourself what you can do to make others around you more successful as well.
“When you come from a place of listening to that person and understanding, the relationship becomes more problem-solving and productive,” he said. “A lot of people are disrespectful and don’t even realize it. Or, we’re listening, but we’re not really present.”
In this day of increasing rudeness, he recommends that folks make a point to really dig deep to see if they are truly being respectful. One good example of disrespect, he said, is email. We’ve all received them — with all caps, as though we are being screamed at. Then, he said, self-accountability comes into play.
When Rubis speaks of abundance, he’s not talking about wealth. He is talking about generosity of spirit. He said the best leaders and colleagues are enormously abundant with their time, training and genuinely interested in learning about you, and how to help you be more successful.
“Most of us could benefit from more resources, but people with abundance come from a perspective of ‘I have what I need, not what I lack’ — the people who make the best of what they’ve got,” he said.
Where scarcity comes in, people tend to diminish those who have more than them, Rubis said.
“Those who rise to another level of contribution are naturally focused on being generous-spirited,” he said. “If you’re an abundant person, you work on spending your time looking at what you have and not what you don’t have.”
Rubis said the best leaders are enormously abundant.
“This stuff takes practice, and the only way you can practice is to be a good observer,” he said.
He is trying to get all of his 250 employees to think this way. He has given a copy of his book to all of them, to make his character triangle the heart of who they are.
“When you look behind these attributes, qualitatively I have lots of evidence behind this,” Rubis said.
Rubis’ ideal world is that his character triangle will “catch like lightening in a bottle.”
“There’s so much blaming, so much disrespect and so much lack; that’s what causes alienation between people,” he said. “This is tougher; it takes an effort.”
He said applying the character triangle needs to be based on the belief that each of these values is worthy of daily application; not just unilaterally, but as a connected trinity.
“The Character Triangle” is available at Island Books, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or through Kindle, iPad or through lornerubis.com.
The book, published by Langdon Press, is only in hardcover and retails for $19.95.
Contact Mercer Island Reporter Reporter Linda Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org.