Jamming with Jason E114: The Courage to Change

Change is hard. Especially when we have been indoctrinated for years to believe certain things that often are just not true. It takes courage to change, but if we want to change the world we have to change.

Are you the kind of person who wants to keep doing traditional #internalaudit likes its been done for 100 years, or are you ready for change to become more relevant and add more value to your organization and have a more fulfilled career? The choice is yours. Keep riding in a horse and buggy, or upgrade to an automobile?

In this #jammingwithjason #internalauditpodcast we jump into how to break free of the past and have the courage to be the change we want to see if our profession and the world.

Listen in at: http://www.jasonmefford.com/jammingwithjason/

If you are the kind of person who is ready for change and want to increase your emotional intelligence, use psychology and influence so you develop and improve relationships, and become a better leader, the Briefing Leadership Program is exactly right for you. Join at: https://jasonmefford.mykajabi.com/caebriefing

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jason I am glad to be back with you, my friend, and today we’re going to talk about an interesting topic.

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Jason Mefford: And you may have looked at the title and thought, what is he talking about today. But don’t worry, hang with me.

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Jason Mefford: We’re going to get into that here in just a minute. And you’re going to see exactly what I’m talking about now.

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Jason Mefford: I want to send a shout out to Peter hammy I hope I’m saying your name, Peter. Peter saying Peter correctly, but hopefully it’s hammy

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Jason Mefford: Who sent in and said, I listened to and enjoy your the different aspects that you cover and think about rather than straight audit ticks tick box.

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Jason Mefford: Whoo talks. Okay. Let me say that again. I listened to and enjoy your podcast where the different aspects covered rather than straight audit tick box talks.

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Jason Mefford: Well, Peter, you’re in for a treat today because today we are not going to be just talking about straight audit tick box talks well

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Jason Mefford: That’s, that’s one for the tongue. Alright, so if you are a regular listener. Please make sure and send me a message through LinkedIn, so that I know that you’re listening.

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Jason Mefford: And let me know what you like the best about the podcast, so I can do more of that. Because really, I’m here to serve you and you know try to bring you messages.

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Jason Mefford: And information that I know will be helpful for your career, as well as for your life. And so today. Our topic we’re going to be talking about both is important for you from a career perspective.

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Jason Mefford: But also for your life and it’s around change and the courage to actually change. And I say that I use, you know, those two words that to see words courage and change go together.

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Jason Mefford: Because honestly, you know, once we get used to doing something we get in our little rut in routine. It requires courage for us to actually change. Okay, it’s much safer. It’s much easier.

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Jason Mefford: To just sit there and keep doing the same things you’ve been doing and to keep believing, some of the same things that you have been believing for a long time.

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Jason Mefford: And it actually takes courage to step out of that to think differently and to, you know, sometimes actually question some of the things that you’ve been taught for your whole life.

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Jason Mefford: Because what I will tell you as we get indoctrinated we believe certain stories.

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Jason Mefford: And often it’s bullshit okay and and we don’t realize it until we take time to kind of stick our head up stop and critically think about it.

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Jason Mefford: You know, and again for all of you that are auditors, you should be critically thinking

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Jason Mefford: As well already. So today, we’re going to go through and we’re going to talk a little bit about change and some of the changes that you need to have the courage to actually start doing things differently. Okay. Now, as I said, kind of hold off. Hang on, with me.

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Jason Mefford: Because this is all going to make sense. And I’m going to wrap it all up at the end. So make sure you know whatever you do, hang with me the whole time. And you’ll actually see how this all comes together. Okay. Now, first off,

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Jason Mefford: I want to tell you a little bit about myself to to kind of tie in what I want to talk about today.

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Jason Mefford: You know I currently live in the Los Angeles area I moved down here probably it’s been 15 or 16 years ago, probably now but I grew up in Boise, Idaho, and so Boise is is a. It’s kind of a smaller city.

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Jason Mefford: Excuse me, I got a little frog in my throat today.

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Jason Mefford: You know there’s there’s between three and 500,000 people that live in that area, but it’s it’s rather remote

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Jason Mefford: You know, to other places, you know, the next biggest cities were six to eight hours away from us.

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Jason Mefford: And so we were really kind of secluded in in that particular area. And so kind of living in this little bubble. Now, I grew up in a family that was very religious.

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Jason Mefford: And in that particular area. You know, there were a lot of very religious people, particularly, you know, I grew up Mormon and, you know, Utah, Idaho.

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Jason Mefford: A lot of the Western US was actually settled by Mormons and so like I said, I grew up in a family that was Mormon. That was actually very religious.

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Jason Mefford: So from a small child. You know, I started going to church they had me reading Scripture. I was I was learning all these different things.

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Jason Mefford: And I was being indoctrinated and I was learning and believing what I was being taught. Okay. And I didn’t know any different, because that’s all I had as a kid.

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Jason Mefford: Right here it is. My parents are actually telling me what I’m, what I’m supposed to do and what I’m supposed to think

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Jason Mefford: leaders in the church are telling me things teaching me things telling me what I need to think

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Jason Mefford: And as a child, I didn’t really question too much about that, right, because as a child, you usually just kind of go along with what the authority figures are telling you this is what you’re supposed to believe it’s part of the normal indoctrination that we all get as children.

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Jason Mefford: Now as I started growing up, you know, I got to my teenage years there were certain things about the religion.

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Jason Mefford: That I started questioning. I started having questions about, I started wondering well, how can that really be true that that doesn’t make sense to me.

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Jason Mefford: Maybe that doesn’t feel right with who I believe that I am as a person, but I tried to just push those things away for a long time.

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Jason Mefford: I, I went forward continued to, you know, try to be a good boy, make my parents happy. I ended up going on a Mormon mission.

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Jason Mefford: That’s one of the reasons why I speak German. I spent two years in Germany as a Mormon missionary and it was a great experience for me to be able to get out and see that country.

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Jason Mefford: learn the language, get to know other people outside of the little bubble area that I had growing up in Idaho. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And you know that started to open my eyes a little bit more to life being different, and people believing different things than I was taught in my little bubble. As I was growing up. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And so I finished my mission. I came back home, you know, got married fairly early continued in the church.

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Jason Mefford: But as I grew older and older, more of those things kept creeping into my mind. You know, I’m not quite sure that I believe that that doesn’t make sense to me. How come it’s this way.

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Jason Mefford: But I. But I, again, as I said, I continue to just kind of go along, even though I was having some of these thoughts.

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Jason Mefford: I didn’t have the courage. At that point, to really change. I just went along with what I was being taught

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Jason Mefford: And felt like, Well, just because I don’t understand. And just because it doesn’t maybe make sense to me. I must be the one who is wrong.

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Jason Mefford: And so as I said I continued down that path. Now again, as I’ve as I’ve grown as an adult, you know, I moved down here to California.

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Jason Mefford: Again, much, much bigger area. Right. I mean, I grew up in a place where there were, you know, and when I grew up there. There were only two maybe two or 300,000 people. There’s probably a half a million there now.

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Jason Mefford: But I moved down to LA where, you know, in the area down here. There’s 20 to 25 million people, which is quite a big difference.

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Jason Mefford: And so I started you know getting introduced to other people who believed other things. And what I started to find was

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Jason Mefford: A lot of these other people believe some of the same things that I do and some of those things don’t really line up with what my parents and the leaders in my church, growing up had taught me.

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Jason Mefford: And so it made me start to realize that I wasn’t the crazy one right I that there were other people around who actually believed the same way that I did. Now, whenever we become indoctrinated and i and i use, you know, my example with religion.

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Jason Mefford: Because that is is a perfect example. And especially if you’ve been raised, religious, and then later on in your life you decide that that’s not really for you.

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Jason Mefford: It takes courage to change and start to believe or start to live a different way than what you were taught the whole time growing up.

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Jason Mefford: Okay. And like I said to begin with. It takes courage to actually change because we have to do things differently, right, we might we might

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Jason Mefford: You know, feel like we’re embarrassing ourselves or letting other people down if we’re truly honest with ourselves about what we believe about what we think

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Jason Mefford: About what is really best or the right thing for us. And so I’m not going to go into it today because it’s not really the purpose of this but it you know it took me several years to really

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Jason Mefford: Get honest with myself and realize and leave the church. Okay. And actually live my life the way that I felt like I needed to

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Jason Mefford: And be true to the beliefs that I had personally and realize that while there was a lot of good in the training and the indoctrination that I got.

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Jason Mefford: Honestly, some of it was the bullshit that I’m talking about that I was talking about before. And I had to let that go.

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Jason Mefford: But I also had to have the courage to be able to be willing to maybe lose some friends. Yeah, which I did. I lost some friends when I left the church.

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Jason Mefford: To have some of my family, not really understand what I’m doing and think that I’m crazy. And that happened, you know, some of my family was very understanding others not so much so right.

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Jason Mefford: And anytime that we want to change or we want to do things different. There are consequences.

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Jason Mefford: And there may be consequences that go along with when you decide that you want to make a change as well in your life. And then again, that’s why it takes courage to actually do it.

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Jason Mefford: But what I will tell you, you know, from this experience that I had breaking away from the church, then becoming who I am.

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Jason Mefford: I am much more free now than I was back then, but I had to have the courage and realize that there were going to be certain consequences to those actions.

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Jason Mefford: So again, you know, as I said, we, we get indoctrinated we get told stories and and this is how I’m bringing it back around now to talk to you a little bit more professionally about this as well. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: I recently did a webinar and somebody had submitted a question and asked about, well, Jason, what do you think about the

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Jason Mefford: New practice guide on risk based internal auditing and I and you know i i hadn’t seen it. I didn’t know that there was anything out there.

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Jason Mefford: About this, I’d seen some of the stuff that had been written before that I didn’t agree with. And so afterwards.

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Jason Mefford: I went back and kind of looked up and sure enough, in May of 2020 the I, I put out a practice guide on risk based internal auditing.

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Jason Mefford: Now what’s interesting is they have not used that term before risk based internal auditing is a term that I have been using for many, many years.

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Jason Mefford: Since my book certification that I developed uses that same term risk based internal auditing.

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Jason Mefford: Up until that document the I had always referred to it as risk based auditing. So huh for some funny reason, all of a sudden, now they’re including the word internal in there as well in that document.

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Jason Mefford: Hmm. Interesting. Anyway, I went through. I read the document, there’s

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Jason Mefford: It’s surprisingly similar to what I have been preaching for the last 10 years and is the first time that the AIA has really been saying some of the things that they’ve been saying

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Jason Mefford: Now there’s still some big problems and gaps in that as far as, you know, we won’t get into that today maybe in a future episode all I’ll actually kind of go through that.

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Jason Mefford: But what’s again interesting is I want to tie this back to the story that I told you to begin with.

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Jason Mefford: You know, as we grow up and many of you that are in the Internal Audit profession.

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Jason Mefford: You have been raised and fed and read the scripture of the AIA. Now, why do I use that term because, unfortunately, many people around the world, almost treat

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Jason Mefford: The Institute of internal auditors, as if it is a religion and if it is a church and that we must only read our scriptures from the AIA we may only get our training from the IAEA

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Jason Mefford: And everything that the AIA says is correct. Now, just like in religion. I’m going to tell you some of it is good and some of it, my friends, is bullshit. Okay, so I’m going to cry bullshit today.

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Jason Mefford: On that and what I want you to get you thinking about is, again, you know, is everything that they say the best thing for you. It may, it may not be

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Jason Mefford: But what I want you to start doing is to have the courage to change and to realize that the AIA is not a religion. You do not have to follow everything that they put out there to be a good internal auditor.

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Jason Mefford: In fact, if you understand kind of the history of how the CIA developed back in the 40s, how the whole profession of internal auditing started

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Jason Mefford: Here’s the reality, folks. They were copying external auditing and external auditing really kind of got started in the late 1800s, early 1900s, with some of the

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Jason Mefford: Financial crisis is that we had gotten into at that point, and especially after the Great Depression. There were some new regulations that came out in the US.

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Jason Mefford: That really started and formalize the practice of external auditing. So thinking about, you know, the big for coming in and actually auditing an organization’s financial statements.

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Jason Mefford: And so effectively what happened is the I really kind of copied a lot of what the external firms were doing about audit standards and about how to audit.

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Jason Mefford: And pretty much. We’re just copying and creating a new thing for internal use within the company. Now there’s been a desire for many, many years.

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Jason Mefford: For internal auditing to be seen as a profession on an equal plane as a certified public accountant.

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Jason Mefford: In fact, I served on a couple of different committees with the AIA talking about this how we could improve the profession and be seen on a higher

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Jason Mefford: Status similar to CPS now I’ll tell you, they’ve been on that road for 50 years. It ain’t ever going to happen and so adding other things like a quality assurance improvement program.

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Jason Mefford: Doing having a peer review all these other things is never going to get internal audit on the same level as CPA is why because CPA A’s are actually licenses and a CIA as a certification. Okay, now again where I’m going with this is

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Jason Mefford: That many people believe everything the IAEA says is true, is the fact is religion. Now even that document that I referred to the practice guide is not something that you have to follow it is not a part of the mandatory.

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Jason Mefford: Standards. It is their opinion on what you should do. But again, what a lot of you end up doing is taking that and believing that you have to follow that.

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Jason Mefford: And I’m here to tell you again. You do not you need to do what is best for you and for your company. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Because honestly, and again, people don’t realize this, but the AIA is a business. It is a multi million dollar business and how they earn their money.

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Jason Mefford: Is through training and certifications. Okay. And so a lot of times the band is towards making you believe that you must get their certifications. You must get their training, you must follow everything that they tell you to do.

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Jason Mefford: And unfortunately, it has become like a religion in that way to a lot of people, but you can be a great internal auditor do great work, add a lot of value to your organization.

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Jason Mefford: Even by not following what they’re saying. Okay, so that’s a little tie in here and again. So for some of you,

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Jason Mefford: You know, you may have been like me when I was younger and you look at some of the things that are sad and you think, you know, I don’t know that I quite agree with that.

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Jason Mefford: Well, I’m here to ask you and to encourage you to have the courage to actually question things and do things that are right for you don’t just buy into things, because some authority figure is telling you that that is what you need to do. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Now what that’s going to mean is, you’re going to have to have courage to do that.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, some of the things that I say, and I know you know many of you say, Jason. You’re great. You’re a myth buster. You’re saying exactly the things that we need to hear

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Jason Mefford: Well, you need to start saying them to. It’s not just me that needs to say I’m because the problem is there’s a lot of people out there that are believing things and doing things that are actually hurting them.

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Jason Mefford: You know, I’ve talked about independence and objectivity before and how so much of the time that makes us appear as though we’re self righteous that actually hurts you.

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Jason Mefford: And so, following that believing that bullshit is actually hurting you hurting your career and hurting the profession in general.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s one of the reasons why I’ve become so vocal about it is I think we’ve gotten to a point where some of the things that are being done as a profession.

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Jason Mefford: Are actually hurting the profession, more than they are helping it. Okay. Now, again, as I told you so. So you really kind of have a choice, right. Do you want to continue to just believe

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Jason Mefford: And follow kind of the traditional internal audit approach that’s been around for 100 years, or do you actually want to do something that’s going to serve you and serve your organization better

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Jason Mefford: You know, when you think about it, it’s like you have a horse and buggy, you’ve been given a horse and buggy. You’ve been told that look the horse and buggy is the way to do it.

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Jason Mefford: This is the way that we get around, you know, and this is the way we’ve always been doing it and it’s the best way to do it.

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Jason Mefford: It’s like having a horse and buggy. When you have the ability to use an automobile. Instead, I mean come on folks, you’re going to stay in a horse and buggy.

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Jason Mefford: Or you’re going to go buy a car right and so it’s time to have the courage to actually change and do things different and move into the future.

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Jason Mefford: So what does some of these things look like. Well, you know, again, traditional auditing is usually very historical in nature. It’s very financial statement focused

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Jason Mefford: Why, again I just told you, it shouldn’t be a surprise. It was copied based off of external auditing. Okay, that’s why it’s been that way. Now, is that where most of the risks are in your organization. Absolutely not. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, you know, do you want to stay traditional or do you want to become more risk based and actually do what’s right for your organization maybe spend some more time actually doing advisory work.

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Jason Mefford: If certain processes aren’t in place spend more of your time actually focusing on

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Jason Mefford: Projects that actually have a higher impact to the organization and are actually much more relevant to your executives and to your board.

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Jason Mefford: Or you’re going to keep doing things the old horse and buggy away right if the choice is up to you. You can do whatever you want to do.

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Jason Mefford: But again, if there’s that little Inkling in the back of your mind that’s telling you, you know what I think I need to do things different. I think I need to change start listening to that voice and start acting that way as well. Now one of the other things that I will tell you is

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Jason Mefford: We don’t do a very good job as auditors being emotionally intelligent and actually understanding psychology understanding how and what we need to do to work better with people within our organization.

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Jason Mefford: Because the reality is most of the traditional

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Jason Mefford: Mindset and philosophy that goes along with auditing makes you look like a robot to everybody else in your organization.

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Jason Mefford: And people don’t like working with robots. We like humans. And so if you really want to start making a difference and a bigger impact in your life.

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Jason Mefford: And in your career, and it’s also going to help you have more fun and actually enjoy your job more when you actually understand emotional intelligence.

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Jason Mefford: When you learn some of the psychology and things behind actually how to work better with people.

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Jason Mefford: Now and again this is this is something that is not taught in the industry. And this is one of the reasons why I’ve started a briefing leadership program.

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Jason Mefford: To be able to help people actually learn these skills that are are necessary. You must have these skills.

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Jason Mefford: In today’s business environment. If you do not you will just be relegated to being that robot in the corner and you’re going to be frustrated

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Jason Mefford: Because you’re not going to be able to get along with people, you’re not going to be able to affect change. You’re going to hear no a lot. You’re going to get resistance from people

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Jason Mefford: So if you’re the kind of person again that’s been having some of these things in the back of your mind.

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Jason Mefford: Saying you know what I think things need to be different. I think I need to do things different.

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Jason Mefford: I think I want to learn how to actually, you know, influence people how to understand the psychology and be able to hear. Yes, much more to be able to develop relationships with people and actually be able to feel

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Jason Mefford: Much more fulfilled in my job and feel like I’m adding that I’m actually adding value to my organization.

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Jason Mefford: If you’re that kind of person, then this briefing leadership program that I’m talking about is exactly the thing that you need. Okay, now again.

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Jason Mefford: It takes courage to change. Right. So if you’re feeling that if you’re thinking that what you have to do is actually have the courage to change.

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Jason Mefford: You need to actually come join me in the briefing leadership program and actually learn and do the work that you need to do to actually be able to have those results that you want.

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Jason Mefford: Now, you may be lucky enough that your organization supports you, and doing that you may not be. But again, that choices. Up to you on whatever you choose to do right

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Jason Mefford: If you want change if you want to be different. It means you’re going to have to have courage, you’re going to have to put in the time you’re going to have to put in the money, potentially, to be able to get those results.

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Jason Mefford: But again, if I go back to my story from the beginning, you know, there were lots of times when I was feeling that in the back of my head, and I was realizing that I needed to change.

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Jason Mefford: But just having those thoughts come in. Doesn’t didn’t get me to move

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Jason Mefford: I actually had to learn. I had to research and actually say, You know what, I don’t really agree with that concept. Let me research that a little bit more and see what do I really think

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Jason Mefford: Instead of just really, you know, believing the indoctrination that my parents or the leaders in the church gave to me.

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Jason Mefford: I needed to find out the answer for myself, I had to put in the work. I had to learn. And then I actually had the courage had to have the courage to take action and do things differently.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s exactly what you need to do as well. If you’re one of these people who wants to change. Now I know this episode kind of went a little bit different than you may have expected.

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Jason Mefford: But I’m here to tell you that my friend, it is the future is not going to be like the past and if you want different results in the future, you have to start taking different actions now.

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Jason Mefford: You know, one of the one of the fallacies are things that we that we that we tend to believe that we don’t really actually even understand is

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Jason Mefford: All if I don’t change if I just sit here and I don’t rock the boat and i and i and I’m a good boy. Right.

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Jason Mefford: Good, good, good boy or a good girl. And I’m just doing what I’m told to do. And what’s expected of me and what’s been indoctrinated into me that everything is going to be okay.

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Jason Mefford: That’s not the way the world works. The world is changing. And you can either choose to continue to ride in your horse, you know your your horse and buggy, or you can actually do the things that you need to

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Jason Mefford: To be relevant in the future because human beings are emotional beings. And if you don’t understand if you’re not emotionally intelligent. If you don’t understand some of these concepts behind psychology

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Jason Mefford: And how to actually lead people how to manage relationships with your stakeholders with your staff and with yourself, then the future is going to be pretty hard.

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Jason Mefford: You’re only going to go a little bit of a little bit right horse and buggy only travels about 10 miles a day. But imagine how far you can go in a day in a car. Okay, so you want to keep in the horse and buggy or you actually want to get in the car and actually go to the future. Well,

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Jason Mefford: If you’re the kind of person that wants to go to the future. I’m here to help. Okay. And again, check out the briefing leadership program, it’s exactly the kind of thing that you need.

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Jason Mefford: To be able to move forward. You don’t really need more training on how to write a better auto report, you need to understand how to actually manage relationships, the audit report is is relatively small.

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Jason Mefford: In the scale of what it is that you need to focus on in the beginning. So, as Peter said when he sent me the message. It’s now this isn’t about straight audit tick box talks.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s where we kind of went today because again you know I care about you. I want you to have the best career and life that you can. And so that’s why sometimes I’m passionate and we kind of go off a little on a topic like this because I care about you.

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Jason Mefford: And I want you to have a great life. I don’t want you to keep living in fear or frustration. I want you to be happy.

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Jason Mefford: I want you to have a sense of well being and satisfaction.

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Jason Mefford: That you are important to your organization that you’re important as a person and that you really are adding value and making a positive contribution in this world.

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Jason Mefford: So with that, my friends, I’m going to sign off this week and I’ll catch you on a future episode of jamming with Jason. See ya.