How to Know What You Stand For

Omar Little, the character from “The Wire,” had a famous expression: “A man’s got to have a code.” From the ancient Stoic philosophers to the Internal Revenue Service, codes of conduct have been important to individuals and organizations who want strong values to guide their choices.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a code, too. Former special agent Frank Figliuzzi, who was assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division and is now a national security expert for NBC News, says that the FBI’s code of conduct helps agents maintain the organization’s integrity and reputation in tough situations. 

Figliuzzi suggests that the same standards can help anyone who wants to maintain excellence in everything they do.

Codes are terrific because they can give us the clarity to make hard decisions in chaotic moments, and the courage to speak up when we’re under great pressure. Learn how to develop one for yourself with our Instaread on The FBI Way.

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