THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2009
Federal Prison Adjustment
My schedule has changed again. Recently I was asked to co-chair a class on Mondays from 1-3 p.m. I participated in my first “Entrepreneurial Compass” class this past Monday. Participation in this class, which runs from early February until mid-April, accomplishes many goals. I’m excited about the opportunity to develop my public speaking skills. There is no substitute for deliberate practice and this class plays a vital role in my development as both a speaker and consultant. I also welcome the opportunity to learn from scores of fine, educated men. A large majority of the inmates in the class are successful lawyers, doctors, venture capitalists, real estate moguls and mayors – quite a cross-section of professions. Most of them, like me, succumbed to the pull of pressure, rationalization and opportunity, i.e., the fraud triangle.
This past Monday we discussed successful adjustment patterns in prison; preparing to depart stronger than when we arrived; and some of the unwritten rules new inmates should adhere to. This upcoming Monday I’ll discuss the fraud triangle and ask other members to explain how it relates to their case. To be a successful entrepreneur, we must understand how and why our decisions led us to prison. I think it was the German philosopher Hegel who said if we do not understand our past we are doomed to repeat it. Hegel advised that we have a duty to record our histories. We have to do our best to instruct others in order to prevent the cycle of mistakes. In helping teach this class, I’m doing my part to enlighten others in the lessons I’ve learned, while hoping that these once powerful and respected men can apply similar methods to ensure that they never veer off course again.