A Great Compliance Leader is Not Authentic – They Are Genuine

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A great compliance leader is not authentic - They are genuine

John NoceroBy John Nocero
johnnocero@barberinstitute.org

Seems getting people to participate in compliance initiatives means catering meetings with submarine sandwiches, offering prizes as initiatives for completing feedback surveys or coming up with a kitschy theme for your upcoming compliance meeting. These incentives, while well intentioned, are gimmicks. Even being authentic is a gimmick to a certain extent. Leaders are encouraged to be authentic. But what if you are an absolute bozo. Or A jerk? Then your authentic self is a recipe for disaster. Besides, I highly doubt that your organization hired your true authentic self. Your organization hired you to do your job, which typically involves integration of compliance principles, policies, practices and improvement programs into organizational practices to ensure federal state and local regulatory requirements are met. You are also expected to stay abreast of the latest industry developments. Nowhere is authenticity mentioned. The truly top performers are rare because they are genuine.

Genuine means being aware of your strengths, limitations and emotions, and demonstrating consistent behavior on a daily basis. You add value. You don’t hide mistakes or weaknesses. You are not afraid to telling someone you don’t know because you will go and find the answer. You collaborate, which helps you maintain your professional relationships as you and your colleagues work through challenges. You don’t pretend. You express your thoughts in a manner that is focused and controlled. You get upset when someone violates a regulation, but you are intelligent, and remedy the situation professionally. Being genuine is one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have, and yet, it is also risky. But you need to take the risk. Have a private consult between you and your sub-conscious to get a clear understanding of who you are and what you stand for. Without it, you could potentially head down a path of compromising your values or feel like your organization is out to get you. Ain’t no one want to work at an organization where the compliance officer is the victim. Plus, this behavior demonstrates to everyone that employees can feel safe discussing confidential concerns with you – a place without non-response, or worse, retaliation.

Great compliance leaders are able to fully integrate their compliance skills fully into the organizational fabric. They demonstrate who they are while committing to continuous improvement looking ahead to their next great role. A great compliance leader is not authentic – they are genuine – and that’s why people follow them.

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