5. Budgets and focus for organizational ethics spending will remain a low priority until... Companies are reticent to allocate budget support beyond attorneys, accountants, and GRC (governance, risk management, and compliance) technology. The highest and most effective line of defense for ethical misconduct is in direct, consistent and ongoing conversations, education, and management of key officials and staff. Unfortunately, those monies seem elusive and unjustifiable until after a crisis. And when that happens the cost for recovery will always exceed the costs of preventive strategies. 6. Leaders will continue to find themselves tricked by distractions disguised as opportunities. Decision-making, focus, prioritizing, energy and effort are all based on evaluating situations with clarity of values. Often the lure of instant gratification and short term benefit can veil something that is sure to cause irreparable, long term harm. It is the ultimate and defining skill of those entrusted with leadership responsibilities to be able to discern between true opportunities and false ones. The ability to resist temptations and have the discipline of deliberate principles often determines a leader's legacy and an enterprise's sustainability for years to come. 7. Temptations will come and courage will be challenged, but more will win than lose. There will be no shortage of temptation in the coming year. Economic, political, religious, business, and societal challenges will continue and so too will the need for critical thinking, strategic preparedness, and a re-commitment to the principles that build personal and professional reputations. In spite of the daunting assaults and those who fall prey to unscrupulous acts, as more scrutiny, consequences, and courage will ensure the good behavior will re-energize others. Temptation is a part of all of our lives and vigilance is so important. There are times when authority, title, and popularity can be the biggest obstacles to viewing the potential consequences of everyday decisions. This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.