Jamming with Jason Podcast: E41 Lessons from a Chief Audit Executive (CAE) with Larry Harrington

In this week’s episode I speak with Larry Harrington about lessons he learned from being a CAE. We discuss various topics including: personal branding and your career development plan, benefits of being in roles outside of internal audit, developing and maintaining strong relationships with management, getting a seat at the table, and investing in yourself. So much in this episode.

In fact, there is so much in this episode you will probably want to listen more than once.

Larry Harrington served as the global chairman of The IIA, and retired as the Chief Audit Executive (CAE) for Raytheon Company, which specializes in defense, civil government, and cybersecurity markets throughout the world. Prior to joining Raytheon in 2004, he led the internal audit function for several Fortune 100 companies, where he also served in other areas, including finance, human resources, and operations.

In “retirement” Larry speaks, coaches, mentors and consults with internal auditors all over the world, and continues to be a strong and passionate voice for the internal audit profession. You can reach out to him at: Harringtonlj55@gmail.com or https://www.linkedin.com/in/larry-harrington-574634/

For his term as The IIA’s global chairman, Larry chose the theme, “Invest in Yourself.” He urges internal auditors to enhance their value by undertaking professional
development opportunities. From reading topical and timely material, to adding professional certifications, to attending conferences and workshops in internal auditing and on the business functions they audit, internal auditors can improve their own professional skills and opportunities and better serve their organizations and stakeholders.

If you are the kind of person that want to “invest in yourself” check out the free webinars and on-demand courses offered by cRisk Academy, the largest webinar and on-demand training platform for internal auditors at: https://criskacademy.com/courses/ or http://bit.ly/criskacademy

For CAEs, get a weekly dose from the CAE Briefing, delivered for free to your in-box at: http://meffordassociates.com/caebriefing/

Listen each week to Jamming with Jason for interviews and discussions (jam sessions) relevant to Chief Audit Executives and professionals in internal audit, risk management, and compliance.

Jason Mefford is a Rock Star – Internal Audit, Risk Management and Compliance. He helps Chief Audit Executives (CAE) and professionals with technical & soft-skills training and coaching to navigate the mine fields of audit, risk and compliance in organizations. http://www.jasonmefford.com and http://www.meffordassociates.com

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Well welcome everybody. I have a great treat for you today I am joined by Larry Harrington.

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Jason Mefford: And unless you’ve been living under a rock someplace you should know who this man is if you’re an internal audit.

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Jason Mefford: He has been around for a long time served as the chair of the global i a board was also you know board chair for the North American Board. It’s done lots of service over the year and he is a retired chief audit executive from Raytheon So Larry welcome on how you doin

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Larry Harrington: Jason, I’m doing great. I’m doing great, thank you and retired retirement is is an interesting word because

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Larry Harrington: Even though I’ve retired in the last year from Raytheon I’ve still spent a lot of my time traveling the world, speaking on behalf of internal auditors in the eye.

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Larry Harrington: And doing some consulting on cyber as well as coaching and mentoring young internal auditor. So I’ve got a very busy life these days and

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Larry Harrington: I love opportunities to talk to people like you who have really helped shape this profession to where it is today. And I hope that today you and I can share a few few pointers that will help people in their own career.

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Jason Mefford: Well, thanks. Larry for saying that.

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Jason Mefford: Because that is that’s what I’ve

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Jason Mefford: Been trying to do for 25 years is helped shape and move us forward into the future and I really appreciate what you have done and are still doing. I mean, it shows

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Jason Mefford: You know, again, it’s it’s it’s funny because you’re not, you’re not the only person. There’s several people that I know that are quote unquote retired now but they’re just as busy you’re busy.

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Jason Mefford: Worker before because they’re still out there kind of preaching and speaking and coaching and trying to help people along which is what you’re continuing to do as well, which I think is, is fabulous.

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Jason Mefford: Now, I wanted to kind of, you know, give a little bit of time here at the beginning because, you know, I just gave a couple of snapshot things, but maybe you know kind of go through and explain to everybody, you know,

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Jason Mefford: What your career path was, you know, in order to get to become a chief audit executive

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Jason Mefford: Because I know there’s lots of people out there that are like, you know, someday I’d like to be this, but how do I do it so

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Jason Mefford: The way you figure it out is you see what other people have done and how they were successful and you try to do some of the same thing. So kind of maybe maybe give us a little background on on your career and and how you got to where you were as chief audit executive there at Raytheon

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Larry Harrington: So that’s a great question. I really appreciate it. You know, I’ve spent

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Larry Harrington: started my career in public accounting and then I joined an internal audit team.

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Larry Harrington: And

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Larry Harrington: I’ve spent three different times. I’ve left internal audit wants to be a vice president of finance. Another time, the Vice President of operation.

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Larry Harrington: And another time vice president of human resources and each time I left internal audit. I learned more about how internal audit could really add value.

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Larry Harrington: And how internal audit could better understand what it’s like on the front line as opposed to coming in six or eight months after decision and auditing with today’s facts.

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Larry Harrington: Versus six months ago when the decision had to be made. So I learned a lot. Each time, but let me just step back for a moment because very early on in my career, I read a book called awaken the giant from within me honest.

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Larry Harrington: And that book was all about how to awaken the giant within you. It talked about the importance of personal branding it talked about the importance of career planning.

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Larry Harrington: It talked about the importance of risk taking, but it took you through how do you find your passion in life. What is it that’s so important to you.

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Larry Harrington: And I realized that I didn’t have a career plan at the time I didn’t have a personal brand.

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Larry Harrington: I mean, I had a personal brand because everyone does. But I wasn’t managing and I wasn’t recognizing it. So after that book. I sat down and I started to

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Larry Harrington: Think about what is it I wanted to do and it wasn’t. I want to be chief audit executive, it was I wanted to be someone who could create positive change with a sense of urgency.

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Larry Harrington: I wanted to be someone who was in a position, who could help recruit develop talent in a position where I could make a difference for the organization, make a difference for the world and and so when you start to think in such a broader senses, you start to realize as an example.

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Larry Harrington: In my local community I RAN FOR THE CITY COUNCIL BOARD OF selectmen, it was called. And why would I do that, that gave me experience with meeting. You know, I was an introvert, like many auditor’s

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Larry Harrington: But when you’re out campaigning to can’t be an introvert, when you’re sitting on a on a city council and you’re trying to develop strategy and influence others and drive change.

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Larry Harrington: You learn so many things I served and was elected to a school committee.

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Larry Harrington: Again, so that I could develop different skills. So when you start to think about your career.

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Larry Harrington: And you start to think about your personal brand. And where do you want to, what do you want to be and where is all that passion.

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Larry Harrington: You can then start to fill in gaps so that you may not get all the experience at company, a company B, but you can seek it outside as well through volunteerism, whether it’s volunteering for the YMCA or to run for city council or school committee. In fact, I’ll tell you a funny story, I

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Larry Harrington: Was elected to this to the Board of selectmen in this particular town and the end of the first term, I decided I wasn’t going to run for a second term, it just wasn’t all that I thought it was going to be trying to change the wheels of government.

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Larry Harrington: positive change with the sense of urgency was a little, little I awakening in government. So I decided not to run and they were five people running for the two available seats.

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Larry Harrington: And I ended up winning on a write in basis because I was number one candidate they wrote my name in over 2000 times because they wanted me to stay and so you’ll learn very quickly.

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Larry Harrington: About what personal branding is and you learn about communication and you’ll learn about how do I develop the skills and so when I when I moved into finance or I moved into human resources, I moved it operations.

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Larry Harrington: They weren’t natural moves at the time, but they were risk, but they gave me insight. And when I look back and I asked each time. Why would you ask me to do that.

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Larry Harrington: They said it was because you create change every place you’ve been Larry and we need change in HR or we need change an operation we need change and finance. So I urge all folks that are listening.

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Larry Harrington: To sit back and understand. Where’s your passion. What is your personal vision statements, your personal mission statement. What is your personal brand is your brand what you want.

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Larry Harrington: You know you and I talked about the hat that you wear if you stand out at every conference, people may not recall your name, but they know who you are and they know what you stand for.

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Larry Harrington: Every one of us has a personal brand, but most of us don’t manage it and very few of us have a written career plan.

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Larry Harrington: That identifies our strengths or weaknesses are opportunities are threats and helps us think through what opportunities might we get in order to make a difference and so

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Larry Harrington: I use that early on to seriously take some risks by taking a role in finance or taking a role in HR and operations and learning. What’s it like on the other side of the fence.

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Larry Harrington: So that when I come in and do things from an audit perspective, I can truly add value to those organizations and truly provide insight that will help them achieve their goals and their objectives.

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Larry Harrington: You see, when when auditors do audits, the number one objective ought to be to help the organization you’re auditing be more successful.

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Larry Harrington: Proved cash flow help them reduce costs, help them improve efficiency, help them with the culture, the cooperation. I mean, these are the kinds of things

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Larry Harrington: That you learn when you’re trying to run an organization like finance or HR operations. It’s all about those things. And so as an internal auditor.

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Larry Harrington: Instead of just thinking about controls. If we think about what are their goals and objectives and how can we provide thoughts, ideas and strategies that will help them be more successful.

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Larry Harrington: At what they’re trying to achieve. And when we do that internal auditors are much more appreciated and again I kept getting asked to leave internal audit because of those kinds of

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Larry Harrington: Attributes that were able to bring from an internal audit perspective. I kept going back to internal audit, because what I loved

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Larry Harrington: Was the diversity of I it was I could audit, we could do work in finance, one month and HR. The next month and operations. The next month and marketing.

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Larry Harrington: I mean, you see the entire company you’re not limited to one function. And that’s what’s so exciting. Jason about internal audit is you get to see the entire company and every aspect of it.

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Larry Harrington: And you see it. Unlike anyone else other than maybe the CFO, the CEO.

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Larry Harrington: And if you truly have the ability to attract and retain the right people and develop the right skills and have the right attitude and mission.

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Larry Harrington: You can truly add value to every function in the organization and create a brand for internal audit that says, hey, I want to work there and one that says I want to hire those folks because they make such a difference to the organization.

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Jason Mefford: Wow, okay. So there’s a lot to unpack from just what you said.

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Jason Mefford: Because it’s it’s

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Jason Mefford: Yeah. You know, I think for everybody who’s listening. Okay, listen to Larry’s passion.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, it’s no wonder that this man was just assess in his career when you listen to the passion and you hear some of the stuff that he just said okay

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Jason Mefford: So rewind. Listen to that again. But we’re gonna we’re going to kind of unpack some of this stuff because you said a few interesting things in here, Larry, that I think is important.

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Jason Mefford: You know, I don’t know if you were intending these to be to be some of the things right to help chief executives with but I think ours are some great things.

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Jason Mefford: To talk about. So the first one, you know, again, is you left audit and you came back and you left audit and you came back, so it’s okay. People can still get to the top of their career by leaving audit.

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Jason Mefford: And in fact is you said you were a better auditor, because you have that other perspective, right, which

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Larry Harrington: And think about it, Jason, you just interviewed Steve Gifford yep and Steve said very similar things. He left in her wanted and came back you you can learn a lot.

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Larry Harrington: When you leave and come back at a higher level because of what you’ve learned and the brand that you’ve developed both while you were in internal audit before. And since the when you left and you combine the success of those two and you come back at a higher level.

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Jason Mefford: Well, yeah, and about and also about, you know, kind of

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Jason Mefford: being intentional in what you’re trying to do as well, right, because I see a lot of people, you know, this way, that kind of come to me and they’re like, Hey, you know, I’m kind of stuck in my career. It’s like, where do you want to go, well, I’m not really sure.

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Jason Mefford: Well, it’s no wonder you’re stuck in your career, if you want, where you want to go right and when you tie that back to some of the passion and and kind of

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Jason Mefford: Deeper goals like you were, you were talking about, you know, with awaken the giant within that you kind of went through that process that you went through.

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Jason Mefford: When you understand and you have alignment as to what you want to accomplish in this world, the job doesn’t necessarily matter audit is a great job.

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Jason Mefford: But like you said, you may move back and

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Larry Harrington: Forth. Right.

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Jason Mefford: And I love what you said about risk taking. Okay. Because I’ve, I’ve seen this too, it’s like, you know, we spend our whole career in in you know audit.

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Larry Harrington: Compliance

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Jason Mefford: And we’re trying to stop people from taking risks, but the

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Larry Harrington: Only way to really get what you want.

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Jason Mefford: In life is you got to take risks and so

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Larry Harrington: Maybe you risk lead to opportunities they do, you know, Jason. People think of only the risk side of things without the opportunity

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Larry Harrington: And it’s opportunities that often hurt the company because you missed the opportunity. Yeah. And so it’s the same thing from a career standpoint, you know, I just tell you a funny story. When I was the chief audit executive at Aetna

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Larry Harrington: We had about 120 people in internal audit. We had a three day program and it culminated at the end of the program with

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Larry Harrington: three circles of about 40 people were inside the hotel, we had the sound up to, I don’t know. Hundred and 20 decibels to the sound of walkie

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Larry Harrington: And what we did is we were having people, you know, kind of break the Karate board. You’ve seen that before. Uh huh. Yeah.

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Larry Harrington: And and and the instructors were trying to teach us how we can do more than we think we can do. It’s in your mind. And so they ended this three day session.

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Larry Harrington: With that, and I can remember being in my circle and you know they’re explaining to us how you do it. You don’t hit the board, you go through the board, etc. And

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Larry Harrington: The music is playing this three circles and in my circle. The guy says, so who wants to go first. And one of the the staff people put up their hand and they said they wanted to be first.

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Larry Harrington: And so they go in the middle of the circle and everybody’s chanting, you know, K said it’s going crazy and Jason Buster the board.

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Larry Harrington: And then the second person raises their hand and they want to do it. And I’m thinking, holy crap. I don’t know if I can even do this, I’m the I’m the guy that’s hosting the whole program. I’ve been to go quickly, just in case I raised my hand. I get to the center.

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Larry Harrington: And the instructor looks in the eyes uses Larry, you’re in charge of this group of 120 people. You can’t break one board. You’ve got to break to

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Larry Harrington: Nearly crapped my pants. I didn’t know if I can just one than mine too.

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Larry Harrington: So he’s looking at me in the eyes you so you can do it, Larry. Look at these people. They’re all yelling your name say no. You’re the leader, you have this program here.

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Larry Harrington: We’ve shown you how to do it, we’ve told you you don’t hit the board, you go through the board you, I want you to think what’s behind the board and

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Larry Harrington: I went through both boards shocked the heck out of me and what it drives home is for every one of us, we need to take those risks because the risk lead to opportunities.

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Larry Harrington: And then we can do so much more than we think we’re all we’re all limiters of our thinking we limit what what our abilities are we limit our potentials, because we tend to be too conservative and too pessimistic.

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Larry Harrington: And what I learned from awaken the giant was you need to dream big and you need to associate yourself with people who dream big.

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Larry Harrington: And you need to associate yourself with people who will reinforce your dreams and encourage you to do that and encourage and you encourage them.

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Larry Harrington: And so when you think about the risk, whether it be taking a different job, whether it’s a different company, whether it’s a different part of the country.

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Larry Harrington: Think about it, first and foremost, do you have a career plan.

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Larry Harrington: Some people I talked to spend more time figuring out what car. They’re going to buy next which vacations are going to take the post how to manage the career.

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Larry Harrington: And so when I coach people. It starts off with career planning and it starts off with, who are you, where’s your passion. Where’s your energy. What gets you so excited. And what is boring. You know, there are some people that don’t want to be

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Larry Harrington: A general ledger person because they said to do the same thing every month. Then there are other people that I’d love to do the same thing every day, every my want to know predictability.

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Larry Harrington: There’s no right or wrong answer. The part is what is important to you and where do you get your energy and your passion.

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Larry Harrington: And then let’s start to figure out what kinds of jobs. What kind of roles. What kind of responsibilities would give you that. And sometimes you might find I never would have thought about something in

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Larry Harrington: Let’s say supply chain. Well, when you think about what supply chains trying to do. It’s

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Larry Harrington: very complimentary to the skills that you have and it’s where you want to be the kind of drive you want to change. So you start thinking about broader perspective and start thinking about the opportunities that will allow you to grow in your career.

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Larry Harrington: And when you think about personal branding, it’s communication skills. That’s your appearance, it’s, it’s so many different things and and you know, we could do a whole session just on career planning and help particularly younger folks.

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Larry Harrington: Understand how important it is to and there’s the economy. So good. But ultimately, if you look at history.

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Larry Harrington: Opportunities are going to get tight, again, at some point, and those that have most prepared will have the most success and then Jason too many times I’ve seen people

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Larry Harrington: Want a position or want a function or role, only to get there and find out it’s not what they thought it was

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Larry Harrington: And so again, part of the career planning is helping people understand and as a chief audit executive I would often surround the team.

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Larry Harrington: With opportunities in every one of our functions so they could learn. So Jason, you had an interest in supply chain.

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Larry Harrington: I might put you on supply chain on it so you could see what it’s really like experience what it’s like understand the problems the issues, how you could add value.

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Larry Harrington: And sometimes people will come back and say, you know, I, it’s not what I thought okay, great. Then let’s talk about other opportunities. So it’s so important for people to to and have leaders in internal audit chief audit executives who care.

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Larry Harrington: Oh yeah staff wants to know you as a leader, care about them, you care about who they are.

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Larry Harrington: You care about their personal life, their professional life, and you are their coach their champion. You’re there to help them be successful because the more successful they are

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Larry Harrington: The more successful you are as a chief audit executive so surrounding yourself with the right people and having the people skills.

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Larry Harrington: To help them focus on personal branding career planning. What is it personal vision statement, making sure they get the right training the right coaching the right constructive criticism, knowing that you’re there to support them will help them be more successful.

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Larry Harrington: And I gotta tell you, I learned very early on.

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Larry Harrington: About two things. One is, most people in business don’t like auditors.

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Larry Harrington: They don’t ask me to come, they don’t want you to stay longer. They fear internal auditors and so I learned really quickly.

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Larry Harrington: That I had to change that opinion. So I got involved in other things like diversity and inclusion at Raytheon I serve the diversity champion for the company, a part time role.

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Larry Harrington: for over four years. And when the chairman of the audit committee. So why, why would you want to do that.

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Larry Harrington: I said, because when I do the diversity work people see me in a different viewpoint, they don’t see me that of internal audit.

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Larry Harrington: They see me as a person, as a champion. They tell me about the culture. They tell me about the problems. It gives me an opportunity to see the cut the cut the company through different eyes, which then allows me to be able to do the artwork better

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Larry Harrington: And so I learned that’s important to think about how do you truly understand what’s going on in the company by getting involved in some other aspects of the company.

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Larry Harrington: In addition to that, is every alumni that you move into a business is a network on the node, who can help you in the annual audit plan help you understand what’s it like what’s going on. What are the risks. What are the opportunities. What are they missing.

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Larry Harrington: And you’ll learn about the importance. Jason of our relationships at Raytheon, we had a vision to create positive change with a sense of urgency and I got a call one day.

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Larry Harrington: From a CFO from a, from an individual that said, Larry, your folks have just finished an audit and as you know we do our own risk assessment.

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Larry Harrington: And we determine that at the beginning of the year that this was not a high risk area. We were wrong, your staff is committed. We’ve got some significant issues here.

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Larry Harrington: Wow. And it’s all about. I want to ask you, Larry. I can spend the next two months arguing with

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Larry Harrington: Leadership in the company about the audit findings or I can get them fixed. What I’d like to ask you, you know what the environment is like here.

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Larry Harrington: This is almost eight years ago 10 years ago now, she said to me, if you truly believe in creating positive change. I would ask you to consider the following

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Larry Harrington: I’ve acknowledged that we didn’t risk rate this and nothing we didn’t put enough effort into it and I’ve acknowledged the findings your internal audit team has

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Larry Harrington: Give me 60 days to get this fixed and finished the audit. At that point I will live or die by anything you find, but I can focus. What I need to to get this thing fixed

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Larry Harrington: Or I can spend 60 days defending what we didn’t why we didn’t get nothing done

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Larry Harrington: What do you think, and so I said, Let me think about it and I called the chairman of the audit committee, we had a conversation. And he said, Larry, you always talk about creating positive change. And, you know, she write it, she’ll spend 60 days defending everything as opposed to fixing things

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Larry Harrington: So he said, I would suggest you go with your gut.

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Larry Harrington: Finish the audit and 60 days. Give them 60 days to fix the issues because at the end of the day, Larry. It’s not about how many reports you issue.

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Larry Harrington: It’s not about what the findings are. It’s about did you create positive change with a company. And if that’s the best way to do it in this case.

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Larry Harrington: Then I think you ought to do it. And we did and and so I also tell chief audit relation chief auditors relationships are important.

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Larry Harrington: You must maintain your independence, but you must maintain strong relationships where people that appears of yours that you’re auditing can have these candid conversations

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Larry Harrington: Probably 40% of the audience. We did it Raytheon or at the request of the businesses who said, I think I have a problem, Larry, can you team come in and look at it.

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Larry Harrington: And that was because they trusted us they trusted us to be fair to be open to be collaborative and to bring leading practice solutions to the table.

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Larry Harrington: So as a chief audit executive or someone who aspires to be a chief audit executive learn about how to build relationships.

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Larry Harrington: You need to maintain your independence, but it’s about relationships and that gets back to personal branding and adding value and attracting the right people.

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Larry Harrington: If you do all these things the right way you maintain your independence, but more importantly

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Larry Harrington: The businesses will be seeking your help, day in and day out, because they trust you to make a difference. And that’s what a chief audit executive needs to be doing today and whether it’s

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Larry Harrington: Artificial Intelligence blockchain. If they be view internal audit in the people in the skills you have is unique.

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Larry Harrington: And leading edge, they’re going to put you on all those teams to provide insight and foresight and help them think through the control environments.

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Larry Harrington: Because the most successful chief audit executives are those that have a seat at the table and you get a seat at the table, Jason.

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Larry Harrington: Because of your personal brand, not because of your title, not because of your position, it’s how you present yourself.

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Larry Harrington: And how you present value, day in and day out to help each of those peers be more successful at what they’re doing, as opposed to, hey, I look good, because I made someone else look bad.

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Larry Harrington: I always found time in the meetings with the CEO and we’d have a roundtable with his direct reports, because I was a direct report, I always found a way to shed light on something someone else did successfully.

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Larry Harrington: I wanted others to see internal audit isn’t all about negative findings. We can also share leading practices. We can also collaborate across businesses to share

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Larry Harrington: The leading practices to make the company successful and we can share light.

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Larry Harrington: On those across the company that are doing the right things, the good things, the valuable things and be looked at in a different light than just the negative auditors who come in and tell you all that you did wrong. Well, and I think that that story that you just

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Jason Mefford: explained about the audit, you know, in the executive coming back to you this that this is a great one for us to kind of again.

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Jason Mefford: Summarize for people because I think, you know, I’ve been preaching the same thing that you have for a long time that it’s it’s more about the soft skills in the

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Jason Mefford: In the building of relationships, that’s gonna that’s going to get you to trusted advisor status.

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Jason Mefford: Way quicker than the technical, you have to be technical. But if you cannot do those soft skill manage relationships influence people

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Jason Mefford: You know, and really have the, the bigger goal of the company in mind, you’re, you’re, you’re not going to be seen as a trusted advisor and so I love that story because

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Jason Mefford: How you reacted is the way that everybody should be reacting right because it was it was in the long term interest of the company.

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Jason Mefford: Again, like your audit committee chair said, Larry. Doesn’t matter how many, how many audit. She had issue. It’s like, help the company right so

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Jason Mefford: If this is going to help and it’s going to make a lot more sense for her to spend six months, fixing it.

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Jason Mefford: Letter fix it. Let her look look good should not going to make that same mistake again. The company is going to be better off.

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Jason Mefford: And so, you know, waiting to finish the audit for six months was the right decision.

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Jason Mefford: But what I would see a lot of people doing is saying, Oh no, I cannot do that you’re trying to control the, the, the report and you didn’t do good. Shame on you. So we’re going to issue the report and then you go fix it.

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Jason Mefford: And you know, I think, again, it’s like I see so many people kind of taking that sort of thought or believe that that’s how they have to remain independent and they can’t

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Jason Mefford: Give in or do anything like that where we really have to do exactly what you did is take the long term relationship approach that’s not only going to help the company.

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Jason Mefford: But it’s also going to set you and the internal audit group up better for building those relationships. I bet you didn’t have an issue with that part of the business. Did you anytime you come in afterwards.

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Larry Harrington: They, they invited us, they would invite you in right think about things yeah and and Jason, you know, I don’t want people to lose the fact that

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Larry Harrington: I reached out to the chairman of the audit committee, we had a conversation I engaged him in the support so so someone wouldn’t think we were just selling out and we were we were giving up on

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Larry Harrington: On something so that we could make someone look good. I wanted to collaborate with him as well and and we came to the decision with the right thing to do. That took it took courage. It took risk into communication and one other thing I would share with you and your audiences.

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Larry Harrington: When I was chairman of the of the global board my theme was invest in yourself.

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Larry Harrington: And I chose that because so many auditors today based on the data get 40 hours of training in a year. And when you think of the fifth industrial the

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Larry Harrington: Industrial Revolution, we’re in today. You think how fast the world is moving and how how technology is changing and block chain and artificial intelligence. All that’s happening, how do you possibly

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Larry Harrington: Keep current and add value with 40 hours a week 40 hours a year.

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Larry Harrington: I mean as auditors, you gotta be. You gotta be world class and auditing skills.

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Larry Harrington: But then you’ve got to understand all the functions, you’re auditing and then you’ve got to understand risk and opportunities and then you’re going to understand, new technologies, etc. And so it’s so important today for auditors to understand as part of your career plan.

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Larry Harrington: You need to be willing to invest in yourself, invest in getting a CIA investing getting an MBA invest in reading business magazines and invest in reading business books.

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Larry Harrington: invest in yourself through webinars and other opportunities because those who are best prepared.

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Larry Harrington: Are the ones when the opportunity presents themselves that are going to get the opportunities.

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Larry Harrington: And today, everybody talks about the need for work life balance. And it’s so true. But you can listen to books on tape, while you’re driving or working out.

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Larry Harrington: There are so many ways for you to balance it. So it’s not a burden, but those today.

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Larry Harrington: That are willing to invest in themselves and grow their skills and grow their reputation and grow their brand and grow their relationships. Those are the ones

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Larry Harrington: Who are going to succeed at being a chief audit executive or a vice president of finance or operations of the CEO of the company.

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Larry Harrington: And those who aren’t you know if you look at the latest data on artificial intelligence and things like that, it’s suggesting 25 to 40% of the jobs that exist today could be gone in 10 years

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Larry Harrington: You don’t want to be one of those whose jobs eliminate artificial intelligence is eliminating people in finance and legal

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Jason Mefford: Oh, kind of the drivers that may have an

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Larry Harrington: Impact on internal auditors as well. And so those internal auditors who understand that are willing to invest in themselves.

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Larry Harrington: Because they have a career plan they have goals, the objectives and they’re working to get that experience of the ones when the opportunity presents itself will be the most qualified candidate to get that opportunity. And so you can’t just rely on your company, I urge people

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Larry Harrington: Take 5% of your net pay and invest in yourself. Nobody said the day you graduated college you will no longer responsible for your own education.

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Larry Harrington: We are all personally responsible every day. I think I’ve seen people who ended up losing jobs because a company went under in this industry was suffering.

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Larry Harrington: And didn’t have the current skills and they blame their company. You don’t want to blame anyone you need to be self determined. You need to figure out, you are in

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Larry Harrington: Your, your, your own company, you have one product yourself and you have generally one customer your employer. That’s a high risk business.

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Larry Harrington: So what you need to do is you need to be building relationships. So you have quote more customers if you need them and you need to be building your skill set.

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Larry Harrington: So that if things change. You are ready for that change and you’re going to be one of the ones landing on your feet back faster than anyone else. And what the way this world’s changing and the speed of which we’re seeing change.

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Larry Harrington: If you’re not investing in yourself.

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Larry Harrington: Then why should anyone else. And today, organizations companies, I look at you, Jason. I look at the things you do to build your brand to build your reputation and to build the success of the people that you’re working with.

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Larry Harrington: And the more you can help those folks become successful. The more Jason becomes successful, the more he helps people become successful. The more he becomes successful

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Larry Harrington: And so I look at the things you’re doing like these here are the webinars, etc. The investment, you’re making

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Larry Harrington: In your brand and that’s all I’m asking auditors and business people from around the world, invest in yourself.

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Larry Harrington: So when the world changes and it will. And when negative things happen and they will you be ready and you’ll be on top of the pile and not at the bottom of the pile. Mm hmm. I’m just sitting here as you as you’re talking like throughout this whole

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Jason Mefford: You know, we’ve been gone a little over 30 minutes already.

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Jason Mefford: I’m just sitting here, smiling. Right. So, so I guess, first off, I need to kind of pause and

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Jason Mefford: Thank you, because

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Jason Mefford: So much of the time right when I say things about lifelong learning and investing in yourself and you know, increasing that the soft skills and developing the relationships more to. That’s how you get to trusted advisor status. A lot of times people look at me like I’m kind of crazy.

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Jason Mefford: And so, thank you, Larry.

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Jason Mefford: For preaching effectively for the last 30 minutes that hey,

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Jason Mefford: Everybody Jason’s not crazy Larry’s not crazy right there’s some of us that are out there that are really trying to help you. Right. And it’s, it’s

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Jason Mefford: I mean, like you said, my, my passion behind this is really to help people unlock their potential live the life that they really want to have live the career. They want to have invest in themselves, lifelong learning.

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Jason Mefford: You know, like you said things like listening to this podcast. That’s learning. You know, I spend an hour and a half to two hours a day.

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Jason Mefford: Doing some kind of learning myself. Right. And again, not not saying everybody has to do that. But like you said, you know, I love your idea of, hey set aside some of your net pay to invest in yourself.

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Jason Mefford: Because you’re exactly right. And I hear people say this all the time. Well, I can’t afford that. And it’s like, you can’t afford not to

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Jason Mefford: invest in yourself. Right.

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Larry Harrington: Great example, Jason. People tell me about

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Larry Harrington: Larry, how many books. Can I read well you know there are companies that actually read books for you and they’ll give you every month, two or three great book summaries from 12 to 30 pages.

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Larry Harrington: And and it’s 100 bucks. Yeah. And if you had five friends it’s 20 bucks a person and someone reads 36 business books for you on leadership, innovation, creativity.

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Larry Harrington: The Simon cynics book on, you know, start with start with asking why I mean great books. There are so many easy ways for us to leverage

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Larry Harrington: So we have to. It’s not that hard if we if we are serious about the things that you talk about, day in and day out. And I’ve introduced you at a number of I events.

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Larry Harrington: And I tell the audience, they’re in for a great treat because of your passion and your energy and your wisdom, and more importantly, and all that is the way you motivate people to take responsibility and

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Larry Harrington: Take action. It’s not about taking notes during a session, it’s about doing something after the session and you challenge them all the time is, to what they’re going to do it isn’t about just learning its execution.

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Larry Harrington: And so, you know, you can get business books that someone else reads for you. You can

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Larry Harrington: Get them on tape, you can leverage with your peers. I tell people, hey look at, you know, Jason, you read some of the stuff you go to the supply chain folks asked him what magazines, they read and if you can have their own magazine.

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Larry Harrington: I’ll go to the finance and Susan or go to the HR and will cut out articles that makes sense. And we’ll share that amongst each other, we can leverage our knowledge.

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Larry Harrington: We don’t have to do it all ourselves surround ourselves with people who have similar visions similar mission similar passion and leverage each other and stop hanging around with the negative Nels who think the world’s ending and why do this and why do that.

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Larry Harrington: If we surround ourselves with positive people will leverage each other’s success we do and

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Larry Harrington: You know, but

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Jason Mefford: But like you said you have to be

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Larry Harrington: You have to be willing to actually do something

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Jason Mefford: You know, it’s like you can read all the books that you want, but until you actually, you know, try to transform yourself and you do that by actually doing it right, like you said, I mean going going to that that session where you had to break the

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Larry Harrington: You know, break the boards. Yep. It’s like if you hadn’t broken the

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Jason Mefford: Boards and actually taken some action taken some risk and done something about it. Then you wouldn’t have gotten some of that breakthrough.

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Jason Mefford: I mean, I can only imagine the feeling that you had when you broke that and you’re like, holy crap. I did it, you know, kind of thing.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s it’s taking those steps, it’s, it’s not just being a an armchair quarterback, you know, and it’s it’s actually trying to push people and you know cuz for everybody that’s listening.

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Jason Mefford: Larry has just told you some fabulous stuff, but it’s not going to help you if you don’t get off your butt and actually go out and try to do some stuff you know because because he’s been successful by doing

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Jason Mefford: And the only way that you’re going to be successful is by doing and by becoming the person that you want to be, and there’s

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Jason Mefford: We don’t have enough time today. But yeah, a lot of the stuff that you’re you’ve learned, Larry. I’ve learned as well about how to become or like like Tony Robbins talks about awaken the giant within that there are way you

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Larry Harrington: Know, Jason bat leaders don’t lead if they don’t have any followers

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Larry Harrington: They don’t. And so

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Jason Mefford: walk by yourself. That’s correct. Following you know

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Larry Harrington: And so, leadership is about acting doing creating motivating and as a leader at any level in the organization. Anyone can be a leader.

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Larry Harrington: Anyone at any level can be a leader you could display the characteristics of leadership.

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Larry Harrington: And demonstrate to people early in your career that you’re going to be someone who’s going to be a mover and a shaker. And you’ll find that people will want to mentor you. They want to coach you. They want you on their team.

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Larry Harrington: And you’ll have opportunity after opportunity because you are doing something

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Larry Harrington: That

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Jason Mefford: Lets you got to do it. So you gotta

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Larry Harrington: You gotta do what you gotta do it so

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Jason Mefford: So for everybody listening, go back. Listen to this again because I mean this is probably one of the episodes that everybody should listen to probably two or three times.

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Jason Mefford: Because each time that you listen to it, you’re going to get something else out of it.

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Jason Mefford: And, and, you know, again, it’s go out investing yourself, you know, Larry. I, I really appreciate you taking time

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Jason Mefford: I know we were talking a little bit before there’s probably going to be some things we’re going to need to do

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Jason Mefford: Again together because it’s like, holy crap man, we’d like totally are on the same wavelength in so many different areas and

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Jason Mefford: You know, and just in in trying to help and give back and help people to really become better and and and to have a great life. Have a great career and

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Jason Mefford: You know, give people what they what they need to. So before, before we wrap, I guess, any, any final thoughts. I guess that you want to kind of leave for the listeners today especially you know somebody who might be a chief audit executive and

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Jason Mefford: You know, any, any final thoughts before we wrap for the day.

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Larry Harrington: Well, I guess, just a couple of quick things. First of all, thank you, not only for this session, but for all that you’ve done for so many people in our profession.

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Larry Harrington: There are people that will be affected will think of you and a program you had they never see you again. But you impacted them and they’ll think of you today, tomorrow, five years from today.

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Larry Harrington: So you’ll never know the impact you’ve had on as many people you’ve had, but they’ll know the impact that you had. So I want to thank you for that.

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Larry Harrington: I want chief audit executives are those who aspire to that understand that the AIA is a great place to be involved and engaged.

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Larry Harrington: I started at the local level. I worked my way up to the national level, the international level.

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Larry Harrington: Co Chair of the International Conference. There are so many wonderful opportunities that the I to get exposure to to learn and to develop your skills.

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Larry Harrington: And when you’re get involved there. You can reach out to people who will be great mentors in people that help you with Steve Gifford or someone who very early in my career.

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Larry Harrington: Inspired me on the AI research foundation. He inspired me with what he did to provide financial support to such a vital organization as part of the I to provide the research and the leading practices in the books.

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Larry Harrington: And so when you get involved. You don’t forget, people like him or Danny or so many others that have taken the time

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Larry Harrington: To give you words of wisdom or inspiration or encouragement. When you’re kind of down so get involved. Get active and the I have so many great leaders.

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Larry Harrington: Who are willing to help you and coach you and mentor you and I’ve got a long way to go before they put me under and I hope to continue not only speaking across the globe, but mentoring.

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Larry Harrington: Aspiring chief audit executives and existing chief audit executives in any way I can to help make this world a better, safer place. Yep.

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Jason Mefford: Well and Larry, I do. I

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Jason Mefford: Thank you for for what you’ve been doing as well, you know, because again, when I just, like, just like you said with Steve, I feel the same way about Steve. I mean, he’s an amazing man.

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Jason Mefford: You know, but but you as well, kind of fit into that same category as well.

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Jason Mefford: You know, inspiring and helping so many people out and like you said you’re going to be around for a while. I’m going to be around for a while. We’re going to keep doing this because we want to make everybody better and so

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Jason Mefford: That’s what’s going to happen. So

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Jason Mefford: Thanks again. Larry for coming on and that’s a wrap for today folks.

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Jason Mefford: Go back. Listen to this again. If you enjoyed this episode, especially I think this is one of the most rich episodes that we’ve done so make sure and share this with other people that you know

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Jason Mefford: Because we all need to be investing in ourselves. One way is through these podcasts as well. And just give you a little boost of energy and and some learnings each week as well. So I’ll catch you on a future episode of jammin with Jason

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