Compliance Lessons from Macbeth: Listen to Your Gut

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I have always found Macbeth to be one of Shakespeare’s most terrifying plays. Every time I see the production and hear Lady Macbeth say that she would “have plucked from my nipple his boneless gums and dashed his brains out” of her baby or see her ghost after her suicide, it sends chills up my spine. But there are other lessons which can be drawn from the play that could be applicable to the compliance practitioner and a Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) or UK Bribery Act compliance program. In an article in the July 16 edition of the Texas Lawyer, entitled “Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ Teaches Lawyers Life Lessons”, author Michael Maslanka said that one of the plays lessons for him was to “listen to your gut” when faced with a dubious proposition.

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