For those in the corporate world, the festive season brings with it invitations to parties with an expectation that alcohol will be freely consumed….and you will be involved! How do you navigate these events if you’re sober? Mark and James of accountancy firm Larkin Gowen welcome the ‘Sober Exec’ Chris Anthony to chat about navigating the corporate drinks culture.
Chris talks about what life is like at the top of the corporate world; with over 25 years’ experience in the tech sector, Chris is now the Vice President of U.S. Consumer Goods at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. He stands out not only for his expertise and experience, but for his 15 years of sobriety. He offers inspiration and guidance for others struggling to navigate their way through the drink-heavy culture that exists in the competition for corporate management roles.
On the morning of New Year’s Day 2020, Chris realised that he had been sober for 15 years but had not shared this information publicly. He quit drinking after it became a problem for him back in 2005 – wrecking his career path and marriage, but he kept it secret because he was ashamed that it had become an issue, and the world he lived in thrived on wining and dining, ostracising anyone ‘not playing ball’.
Chris shares insight into how he navigated through his career without a drink in his hand, and how his sobriety was key to his success and happiness, leading him to discover his true purpose in life “to be of service to others”.
Fast forward to 2020, Chris realised he could make a difference by speaking out about his sobriety, which prompted one of his fellow execs to ask him for help. Chris knew then that he had a new purpose and launched Sober Force, and his role as ‘The Sober Exec’, which sees him working as a motivational speaker and consultant for businesses who want guidance on how to structure their seasonal and social activities.
Chris also observes how sobriety health is now good for business, using football as an example, where in rejecting the pub culture of the 70s, the modern Premiere League acts as proof that good health can maximise profits!
Chris is also extremely passionate about his philanthropic work; holding advisory board roles for several non-profit organisations including Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation, and is an active mentor supporting US Navy SEALs transition into successful business roles. He talks us through how his work for them have both inspired his personal recovery and motivated his work with others.
This episode explores the power of resilience, how to combat peer pressure at work, how to be prepared instead of reactive, what businesses can do to embrace EVERYONE in their team and why making healthy decisions don’t need an apology. His personal journey and professional insight make for inspirational listening, especially as we head into the Christmas season and the inevitable ‘social’ pressures this will bring.
You can read Chris’s public LinkedIn statement about his sobriety, that sparked his new journey in life, here.
The Sober Exec – check out Chris’s work here
Follow Chris on Instagram for daily inspirational posts! @Thesoberexec
LinkedIn – Sales Force – Chris appears on this podcast as a representative of The Sober Exec and not Sales Force, his opinions are his own, and not those of Sales Force. If you would like to know more about Sale Force, you can visit their site here, and connect with them on LinkedIn.
Top tips – James and Mark summarise the chat:
56:03 – recognising in order to help others, look after yourself first
57:33 – never be afraid to ask for help!
59:00 – be ready, and practice/prepare for questions on a sober night out
You can get in touch with James and Mark on email@example.com, we would love to hear your feedback on this, or any of our episodes!