Don't lose sight of your workforce, warns Nick Leeson, the former employee of investment bank Barings who lost £830m in trading and was held responsible for the biggest financial scandal of the 20th century.
"The thrust of everything at Barings was always: how much money are we going to make? Organisations need to focus more on the welfare of staff," he says. "I don't think any attention was paid to that."
After the crash, Leeson was convicted of forgery and cheating and spent four-and-a-half years in a Singapore jail. During this time, his marriage ended and he was diagnosed with cancer.
With 10 years of hindsight, employers can draw important lessons from his experiences - especially from the psychological aspect of the way the stress affected him. Fear of failure and how people's need for status can get out of hand are among the subjects dealt with in Leeson's book, Back from the Brink - Coping with Stress, which he co-wrote with psychologist Ivan Tyrell.
In the lead up to the collapse of the 233-year old bank, Leeson was constantly scared because very simple things, such as someone asking questions he couldn't answer, would expose him. And he wasn't sleeping well. "All I was doing was surviving," he says. "It was just a period I coped with."
Leeson says the change in his behaviour in the workplace was glaringly obvious, yet people ignored it for months. When he first went to work for Barings, he would be at his desk at 7am and would work 20-hour shifts. He was very diligent and dedicated to what he was doing. Towards the end of his time at Barings, just before its collapse, he would arrive at the last minute, slope off after a couple of hours and turn off his phone so he could not be contacted.
Although Leeson says money was never a great motivator, the success and status it brought were. His need to have control and achieve success blinded him to what was going on around him. It led to greed and to living a lie to maintain his position.
He says: "When immature people have status, they'll do absolutely anything to protect it. If you ask for help, then your status is immediately diminished. Certainly there are others who would find it easier, but I've spoken to a lot of people in different organisations who said they wouldn't ask for help even when they were struggling. I think it's a personality type thing."
Rather than admit to being out of his depth and close his illegal loss-hiding a