By Roy Snell
999 E/C Compliance Professionals Live and Breathe E/C 24/7/365
I am pretty frustrated with folks who are jumping on the compliance bandwagon, putting themselves out there as experts with no real experience or true understanding about the people in our profession and the challenges they face. Now if I was a better person, I would talk about those who get it right rather than pointing a negative finger at those who don’t. I am not that good, so I will probably go on ranting about these problems in the future. But at the risk of leaving out hundreds of people, I am going to mention a few people who really “get” our profession.
Anyone who follows my LinkedIn posts knows I think Kristy Grant-Hart gets it. Plus, her name is really cool. Not only has she worked in a Compliance department, she spends endless hours hanging out with compliance professionals to better understand the profession. She is also an insanely gifted speaker and writer. She is a little famous because she earned it. I would contrast that against the person who puts themselves out there as an expert because they had “15 minutes of compliance fame,” power, money, influence, a big title, or works at a famous company. Don’t get me wrong—there are people with one or more of those traits who put in the effort to understand and help the compliance profession. It’s the “fly in, grace us with their presence, give a presentation, and then fly back home” crowd that drive me a little crazy. You can’t teach us if you don’t spend the time to get to know us.
That brings me to other folks like Greg Triguba, Samantha Greves, Kim Lansford, Al Gagne, Dwight Claustre, Jonathan P. Armstrong, Lynda Hilliard, Kathleen Grilli, Urton Anderson (insert “etc.” 999 more times here please.) You may not know these people, because they don’t have power, money, influence, and haven’t had “15 minutes of compliance fame.” That’s kind of the point. They earned their understanding of our profession and can teach compliance because they spend time with other people in the profession. We don’t pick people to speak, write, or lead this organization because of their power, money, or influence. We pick people because they get it, have experience, spend time understanding others, care, and give more than they take. I love our Board, but they are not a list of Who’s Who from the list of Fortune 100 companies. They are from the list of “Who Gets It,” which really doesn’t exist and that’s not right.
My favorite example is Art Weiss. He is the compliance officer at Tamko Building Products. “Who is that,” you say? Exactly my point. Tamko happens to be a great company with great leadership and have great roofing material, but (no offense, Art) you guys have no cachet. Art has a really impressive resume with experience in enforcement, worked in compliance at Sears, and has a cool watch collection, but (sorry, Art) you are not at the center of our universe because you have cachet. Art, you are valuable to our profession because you have actually held the job, you take time to learn about the challenges your peers face, you can teach, and you really get it. You get it so well you can explain it in a simple manner. So what if the other guys have more money, power, and influence? I would still rather be you. I would pick you over the empty suit every day and twice on Sunday. You are who we are. You are why we are who we are. You are why we are helping so many people and why we are successful. And, I would pick the 999 other people like you that I have not mentioned, too.
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