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True Leadership: The Security of Character

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Leakproof Leadership: The Security of Character

How to stay above the fray while keeping your character and integrity in shape. 


Clients look to their financial advisors as knowledge leaders. Each and every day, advisors are presented with easy choices that may lead them down the wrong path, but as leaders, they know they have to rise above the temptation to cut corners and take the easy way out.

Unfortunately, it can be a cold, hard world for those who strive to always do the right thing, no matter the circumstances and despite opportunities for personal gain. But never fear—here are three ways to stay above the fray and keep your character and integrity in shape at the same time.

Only commitment can ensure compliance—so treat ethics as your most important responsibility. If your character isn’t totally squared away to the point that you are ready to fall on your sword to protect what is moral and legal, then you’d better not accept one iota of responsibility.

There’s an old adage that says a wise traveler never despises his own country. There are no shortages of people who seem to operate according to their own rules; people who do things that we think of as unsavory or unfair. Respect yourself by working hard to uphold standards, even if those around you don't. No one can make you do anything illegal, immoral or unethical. If your employer or client tries to make you do such things, seek employment elsewhere and use the chain of command to bring the issue to the attention of others. To respond in kind to such behavior is unacceptable. Two wrongs never make a right.

All leaders are readers, but many of us read only what helps us with the mechanics of our jobs. While knowing "how" is definitely a key to success, knowing "why" is the only way to achieve true greatness. Knowing "why" is the crowning benefit of reading books by those who went before us, those who excelled in their lives and careers without compromising character. You are what you read. If you are not reading books that help you grow, realize your own personal convictions and develop your courage, you should be.

True leadership is choosing your thoughts and actions based upon your values and not upon personal gain. Your convictions mirror your character. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror to make sure you are fit to report for duty!

Tracey C. Jones is a US Air Force veteran, entrepreneur, speaker, and publisher. She speaks to audiences across the nation on leadership, accountability, business success and other topics. Her latest book is "Beyond Tremendous: Raising the Bar on Life." To learn more, visit

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