It’s no secret there’s overwhelming uncertainty in the air right now, which has resulted from unprecedented change. Problem is, when you’re uncertain, you get a bit lost. Like a sailor adrift on a foggy sea without a compass, you lose your sense of direction, along with your self-confidence. And when clients sense this, they start looking for a new
ship … and a new captain.

What’s missing, I believe, are “true north” principles. Leadership guru Stephen Covey says these include fairness, kindness, dignity, charity, integrity, quality and service–all timeless and true. He goes on to say that TNPs are “objective and external, (reflecting) natural laws, as opposed to values which are subjective and internal. Because the compass represents the eternal verities of life, we must develop our value system with deep respect for (such) principles.”

So what about you?

Have you been aligned on TNPs throughout your career? Or have recent events forced you off course? For
example, are you now …

  • Thinking more about your own financial issues than about the needs of your clients?
  • Taking your recommendations from the chattering, increasingly dubious financial pundits on our nation’s airwaves?
  • Preying on the public’s fears in order to close more sales?
  • Failing to communicate with your clients when they need your support the most?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, your moral compass is off, which will repel clients and ensure a regulatory shipwreck.

But it’s not too late to rediscover “true north.” Here are a few ways to get started:

  1. Reduce the amount of media financial news and commentary you consume. By focusing too much on external values or “noise,” you make it tougher to embrace your own authentic principles.
  2. Read sales books that balance skill enhancement with ethical inspiration. Covey’s “Principle-Centered Leadership” is a classic example.
  3. Think about the legacy you want to leave. Follow only those principles that will produce a legacy you can “live with.”
  4. Consider what would make your parents happy. Embrace the principles that would make your parents most proud.

Because here’s the bottom line … you can either follow “true north” and become a lighthouse of hope to more clients. Or you can sail into the blinding fog, lost to your clients and to yourself. The choice is yours.