A few months ago someone asked me why I hide my drug addiction in my current work. Well, I don’t, and if you have ever attended one of my talks, it’s something that I often address.
I share how my illegal conduct started before my addiction, and reflect upon how addiction exacerbates poor-decision making. In other words, it takes a situation from bad to worse.
But as to why I don’t write about it more often, it’s mostly out of respect to my family. The pain and harm that drug addiction brought to them was far greater than the impact of my incarceration for bribery. That’s how bad it was.
I’m mindful of my family and their not wanting to relive this issue. But I realize it’s also an important part of my present work. I was reminded of this by Nicole Rose of Create Training. She wrote: “If we see people who are evidently lacking self-restraint in their personal lives and health, then perhaps it is a useful warning sign that they may not be doing so in their work lives.”
May 18, 2007. Lets start there. That’s my sober date. For those who have struggled with addiction or know someone who has, you’ll understand the importance of a sober date. Agree or disagree with what I may have to say about compliance — that’s always welcome. But my sober date doesn’t move. I guard it with my life.
So what does addiction have to do with anti-bribery compliance? I suggest a great deal. In an environment where we have compliance professionals and practitioners offering every way to spot a “red flag,” here’s another one: Go visit some of your front-line teams, unannounced. If they’re angry, defensive or accusatory when you show up, you’re in the right place.
Spend three or four days on the road. Have a few dinners, set up some appointments. Observe. What is their level of attention and timeliness? What happens in the evenings? How much drinking is there at meals? Are there frequent unexplained absences or interruptions? Ask about family and friends. Are the front-line team members keeping strong ties or isolating themselves?
Statistically, large organizations probably employ people who are struggling with addiction. For those far from home, apart from family and friends, the risk is greater. That’s when I started. Living in the UK, away from my loved ones.
The good news is that detection is inexpensive and simple. All it requires is face time. If you find a behavioral pattern that doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts. Get that person help and get them home.
As I saw from my own experience, just when I thought I’d hit bottom, another trap door opened beneath me. Maybe with a little one-on-one time, you can bring the floor up for someone in need.
Richard Bistrong is CEO of Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC. He consults, writes and speaks about compliance issues from his experience as an international sales VP and conviction for violating the FCPA, where he pleaded guilty and served fourteen and a half months in prison. He can be reached via his website, twitter and email.
Richard Bistrong is CEO of Front-Line Anti-Bribery LLC. He consults, writes and speaks about compliance issues from his experience as an international sales VP and conviction for violating the FCPA, where he pleaded guilty and served fourteen and a half months in prison. He can be reached via his website, twitter and email. – See more at: https://fcpablog.com/blog/2015/8/27/richard-bistrong-visits-andys-outhouse.html#sthash.Ysvwmcqs.dpuf