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Character Reference: Johnny Levy (By Adam Nussbaum)

I had the pleasure of working with Johnny Levy at Dominos where he was working part-time as a driver (in addition to his full-time job as a sales manager) and I was a shift leader.

It's pretty easy to share my thoughts on Johnny's character. The glass is much more than half full, and there won't be any need for editing or spin. In my own words, I would describe him as a trustworthy, selfless, wise, professional and positive person with a good sense of humor, and great social skills. Johnny doesn't approach his job as a list of tasks to get through, or a list of "dos and don'ts," but always seems to understand the bigger picture and the value of his role (whatever it might be), always maintaining an awareness of larger priorities and performing to the best of his ability.

From the list of 49 character qualities, the following stand out to me (this doesn't mean that the others are lacking):

Alertness, Humility, Dependability, Discernment, Discretion, Enthusiasm, Faith, Flexibility, Gentleness, Honor, Joyfulness, Obedience, Punctuality, Responsibility, Wisdom, Virtue, Truthfulness, and Tolerance.

But, if I were to choose three...

Discernment is "Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen." Johnny is a discerning person. Call it wisdom, social intelligence, leadership experience... I'm not really sure, but I always felt that Johnny somehow understood everyone's role, not just his own, and would use his role to make things easier for others and to help keep things running smoothly as a whole. He took initiative appropriately but didn't fall into a routine. For example, when he wasn't already working on something, he would often ask the simple but refreshing question, "What can I do to help?" and "Do you need help with x, y, or z?" Also, Johnny would happily stay a little later than usual if business demanded it, and also never asked to leave early "just because," or for any reason other than a previous (understandable) obligation.

Truthfulness is "Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts." Johnny is a "straight-shooting" and trustworthy person. There are specific examples of why I would consider Johnny to be trustworthy, like the time I had to call him on his way home from work and explain that my till was short and ask if I had happened to over-pay him that day. He could have easily said "No," and I would have believed him, but he suspected the same, so he drove back and helped me fix it with no complaints. This single instance is trivial, though, in comparison to what really makes me consider Johnny a trustworthy person. I'm not sure I can summarize what makes a person trustworthy other than consistent behavior over time, and I can say that I've never heard Johnny say a bad word about anyone. He doesn't say one thing and do another and he doesn't make excuses.

Enthusiasm is "Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort." Johnny is a very enthusiastic person. "There are countless examples of Johnny's enthusiasm. If our manager stated in a store meeting that he wanted something specific done more often or better, such as getting to the phones quicker, Johnny would do it enthusiastically every time. Johnny would also help customers in a friendly and enthusiastic way, regardless of how hectic is was behind the counter.

Another thing we were often asked to do was "door-hanging" -- going out on foot through neighborhoods hanging coupons on people's doorknobs for just over minimum wage. Maybe not the most fun thing in the world, you may be thinking... especially for someone like Johnny who, given his day job, most people might assume was "above" such things. But if Johnny had a gripe with it, you would never know. He even ran the entire route a few times. When we would go out in groups to door-hang, Johnny would always be keeping things upbeat.

So, discernment, truthfulness, and enthusiasm are just three of the many qualities that Johnny has shown... but above all, I think Johnny is a generally positive person that's fun to be around.

I would recommend Johnny for any position that he's qualified for, but especially a leadership or upper management position. I would feel confident with Johnny in a position of authority... not simply because of his ability to do the job, but I would trust him in the position.

Sincerely; Adam Nussbaum
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Definitions for character traits come from the Character First curriculum of the “49 Character Qualities.”

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