Jim Passey on Making it to the Top of Compliance Programs

Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE)
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It isn’t enough just to set your eyes on the goal of chief compliance officer. Nor is it probably advisable to walk into the CEO’s office and make your pitch should the job become open.

In this podcast Jim Passey, who has been a Chief Compliance Officer for six years and at two organizations, shares his advice for crossing the threshold from staff to leadership.

He advises that you start the process long before the job opens up. Be visible and make yourself known in See more +

It isn’t enough just to set your eyes on the goal of chief compliance officer. Nor is it probably advisable to walk into the CEO’s office and make your pitch should the job become open.

In this podcast Jim Passey, who has been a Chief Compliance Officer for six years and at two organizations, shares his advice for crossing the threshold from staff to leadership.

He advises that you start the process long before the job opens up. Be visible and make yourself known in meetings and on key projects as an active participant, not just another body in the room. Let people see you as an agent for positive change and a key voice at the table. That will both help your career, and help others take the compliance program more seriously.

Let your supervisor know you are eager to advance. Couch it in terms such as “I want to take on more responsibility” or “I’m eager to add value.” An emotionally intelligent manager shouldn’t take that as a threat, but instead take it as an opportunity to help you grow. Plus, if you don’t make your intentions clear, you may be passed up for someone else who has.

When the top job does open up, it’s important to remember that the CEO, board, or whoever else is doing the actual hiring probably has never worked in compliance and lacks a full understanding of the job. You will need to bridge that knowledge gap.

You will also need to remember that, at the top level, technical skills, such as expertise in specialized areas of law, are likely to be less important than personality characteristics and fit. Leadership wants someone who is going to be able to partner with them.

It’s also important to remember that the interview is a two-way street. Be prepared to ask questions that will you determine if the job (especially at an unfamiliar company) is right for you. Consider questions in your head such as: Does this conform to my perception of an environment I want to work with? What kind of support will I get? Are the leaders a strong, compliant type of a group, or are they just trying to fill the role?

Listen in to learn more about how you can improve your chances of making it to the top of the compliance profession. See less -

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