The Opposite of Compliance

By Adam Turteltaub

When you ask most compliance professionals, “What’s the opposite of compliance?” my bet is the most common answer is “Non-compliance.”  The New York Times disagrees.  In a recent article it paired jobs with their opposites, and according to them, the opposite of a compliance officer is…are you ready for this?….a model.

Shows how little they know about compliance.  In fact, according to their own list of job attributes, modeling and compliance have a lot in common.

Number one on their list of skills models use the most is “The ability to maintain balance.”  Anyone who has spent any time around compliance professionals knows that maintaining your balance is critical to the job.  With bad news flying in every day, recalcitrant employees throwing objections at you, and management that can sometimes hurl obstacles in your path, it’s enough to make your head spin.  Without the ability to maintain balance, you’re sunk.

Number eight on the list for models is stamina.  Hello?  Since when does a job in compliance involve strolling in at 10:00, kicking your feet up, and caving in at the first objection you receive?  It takes more stamina than running a marathon.  Some days it’s like pushing a rock up hill, into the wind, with ice under your feet.  If that’s not stamina, I don’t know what is.

Number ten on the model list is “Dynamic strength.”  I think few people business have to demonstrate more strength in fast-changing dynamic situations than compliance officers.

Finally, one item that isn’t on the list that should be:  both models and compliance officers have to be comfortable with people watching their every move and picking them apart.  You think strutting down a catwalk is hard, try walking down the halls when a major investigation is going on.

Bottom line is that the New York Times got it wrong on this one.  Compliance officers aren’t models, but in more ways than one, they daily exhibit a model life.

Have fun seeing for yourself.

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    • Adam, this is the first compliance blog post I have ever read that literally made me laugh out loud (multiple times). Thank you for brightening my day. I agree with everything you said.

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