As we get closer to the primaries, the mudslinging has already begun. Every day, headlines include new accusations about the opposing party's candidates. From community leaders to elected officials, from clergy to corporate executives, we often hear about a major character lapse from someone so trusted by the public that they definitely should have known better. These are leadership leaks. They rob leadership of its power and moral authority in the same way that a pressure leak can rob an engine of its motive force.

Promotional Consultant Today shares three ways to achieve leakproof leadership, to stay above the fray, and to keep your character and integrity in shape.

Responsibility: Peter Drucker said, "Leadership is not magnetic personality. It is not making friends and influencing people. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights and raising performance to a higher standard." Yet with every violation of trust, those in the perpetrator's chain of command continue to circumvent and pass the buck. Just because you don't know, or you turn a blind eye, does not absolve you. You cannot dodge responsibility.

If you take the position, the title, the power, the prestige and the salary, then you have to take the responsibility too. And that means that everything, including things that were in motion before you got into the seat, and things you didn't even know were— and are— going on, are yours and yours alone to deal with.

Respect: There's an old adage that says a wise traveler never despises his own country. There is no shortage of organizations that seem to operate according to their own rules and organizations that do things we might even think of as unfair. If you work for one of these and you draw a paycheck, then work as hard as possible to uphold high standards, even if your own boss doesn't. No one can make you do anything illegal, immoral or unethical. If your employer 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.

Reading: Let's face it, you are what you read. What a person has on the bookshelf is a far better indicator of what's really going on inside their head than any polygraph could ever be. You can lie through your teeth and no one will ever suspect a thing, but your actions— and your reading— will eventually reflect exactly what is going on at the core of your character.

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. All leaders are readers. If you're not reading you're not leading. It's as simple as that.

The bottom line is that only commitment can ensure compliance. Leakproof leadership is choosing your thoughts and actions based upon your values and not upon personal gain. Your convictions mirror your character. So take a good look at yourself in the mirror to make sure you are fit to report for leadership duty.

Source: Tracey C. Jones is a U.S. 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.