DLS Consulting

How Trustworthy Are You?

It was 1976, and I had been a financial advisor for a little more than four years and God had blessed me with wonderful clients even in my early days at Merrill Lynch. One of the strangest situations that I ever experienced took place over the summer and fall of that year. It centered around one of the most hotly contested Senate races that Ohio, had ever seen. Somehow, the leaders of the campaigns for candidates, Howard Metzenbaum, and Robert Taft, Jr. turned out to be clients of mine. They didn't know that I was the advisor for both themselves and their adversary.

One afternoon, television ads started to run that were quite derogatory about one of the candidates, and the campaign manager for the victim of this ad called and wanted to talk about what I thought. This was very early in how TV ads were being used for negative campaigning and my opinion was offered and not really followed. Next thing I know, there is a counter ad and the campaign manager for the other side calls and starts to ask my opinion. Since my answer was the same to both managers that I did not like negative ad's and an issues oriented approach always seemed best, neither of these people actually followed my advice and the mudslinging went on for the better part of the summer. To this day, neither of the campaign managers ever knew that I was the financial advisor for the other. In actuality, I could have made life very difficult for either campaign if I had not held all of their questions and comments in strictest confidentiality.

Andy Stanley shared with the Kingdom Advisors conference last year that financial advisors have a uniquely powerful and responsible position of trust. I was reminded of just how important that trust is when news of Senator Metzenbaum's obituary appeared in the New York Times this past week. Even though we disagreed on just about every political position, he and his people deserved my best example of trust and confidentiality that I could provide.

As you think about the roles you will play this week, I hope you will find this passage in Proverbs helpful: "He whose ear heeds wholesome admonition will abide among the wise. He who ignores instruction despises himself, but he who heeds admonition gains understanding. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility goes before honor." (Proverbs 15:31-33)

Monday Morning Message Sent 3/17/08


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