This way of life has at its core the idea that you don’t do anything or say anything that can’t stand up to the light of day. If everybody you know gets to hear and see everything you do and say, will you be alright with that? That’s the question.
As a woman working in a male-dominated industry, I hold my tongue a lot. But when I say something, everybody who hears it knows I’ll stand behind it, regardless of who’s in the room. When I do something, I’m okay to put my name on it. I don’t want credit necessarily, but if I did it, I have no problem saying so.
I was on the fast track at a firm, but I wouldn’t be party to some of the clients and transactions they were doing. The work wasn’t above board. I saw the direction they were going and I left. I explained why very clearly. Two years later, after an investigation and mass resignations, they wanted me back. I declined. If you’ve gone that way once before, you’ll go that way again. I want no part of it.
‘Transparency’ is a big word these days, like somebody just discovered it in the dictionary and applied to to conducting business. Politicians say anything they want, and then go back a week later and say they ‘misspoke’, whatever that is. People sign documents which they swear are accurate and true, then they go back and amend them when there’s a red flag.
That doesn’t cut the mustard. Reputation is an unforgiving concept where I come from. If you work undercover as a cop or for the intelligence services, you might not be able to come home and explain to your kids what you did that day at work and why. Otherwise, that’s exactly what you should be able to do.
I haven’t made all the money I could have, but I sleep at night. I don’t have to explain anything. I don’t need a lawyer for anything other than a will. The people I know will never be tainted because they associated with me. To me, that’s currency. – R.P. J.