Steve Priest on Choosing the Hill You Die on [Podcast]


Post By: Adam Turteltaub

Steve Priest, President of Integrity Insights International, has spent half of his life working in ethics and compliance.  In that time, he reports in this podcast, he has seen many members of the profession quit or lose their jobs.

There is often a balance, he observes, between on the one hand “I don’t want to do the right thing and lose my job or favor” and on the other hand, “Man, we’re doing something potentially catastrophic and I want to make sure we don’t hurt people.”

So what should you do when confronted with a very difficult and potentially-career limiting situation?  For one, he advises ask yourself or individuals you trust in the organization:  how does my proposed course of action affect my reputation?  While that may sound like an unusual starting point, he notes that without a strong reputation with leadership your opinions may be shunted aside.  Likewise, if the rank and file don’t respect you, you’re not going to be effective with them either.

Next, see where you have support.  If you have it from members of the business unit or leadership, that’s great. But if not, make sure you have it from the Audit Committee.  And, in fact, he advises that job one for a new chief compliance officer is ensuring that there is a compliance charter that includes set reasons when an issue must be reported to the audit committee, and that you cannot be fired without the committee’s approval.

Listen in to learn more from this industry veteran about how to handle potentially career-threatening situations.