Jamming with Jason E47: What’s Holding Most Chief Audit Executives Back

There are some common problems and mistakes holding most #chiefauditexecutive back from elevating #internalaudit in their organizations, and moving into executive presence where they are perceived as a #trustedadvisor.

In this #jammingwithjason #internalauditpodcast I discuss these mistakes and how #CAE can take action to move their career and the profession of internal auditing forward. If you are a CAE, this is a must listen episode. If you are not a CAE, please listen and share with your CAE. You will still get tremendous value from the information to help in your career.

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

If you are a CAE and really serious about elevating the status of internal audit in your organization, improving your executive presence, and getting best practices and thought leadership from like-minded CAEs, the CAE Forum is for you.

Submit your application to join the Chief Audit Executive (CAE) Forum. We are accepting new member application until 31 January 2020. https://jasonmefford.mykajabi.com/caeforum

You can also watch a more extended video version of this discussion on that page.

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jason. Hey, welcome back. My friends, and this week. Let’s get into talking about what’s holding most chief audit executives back

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Jason Mefford: Now from that title. Let me just give you a little, a little background here in the Internal Audit profession, there are certain challenges and opportunities that face our profession.

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Jason Mefford: And what I’ve seen over the years in coaching mini chief out of executives, is there some common problems and mistakes that people are making

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Jason Mefford: And by making those mistakes. They’re actually being held back in their career. So internal audit is not perceived well sometimes in organizations.

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Jason Mefford: The chief audit executive is not kind of seen as a trusted advisor from the other executives in the organization.

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Jason Mefford: And a lot of these things come back to the same problems or mistakes that I’m seeing over and over again. So that’s why I want to talk to you about this today.

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Jason Mefford: Now just to start off with. I just kind of want to level set a little bit and explain so I use the term chief audit executive

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Jason Mefford: Quite a bit. And let me just explain what that means it’s a generic term that represents whoever is leading the internal audit department in an organization.

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Jason Mefford: So it’s a generic term chief audit executive people’s titles may be director of audit VP of audit senior VP of audit there’s there’s different titles that people may have, but really it’s talking about whoever is leading the internal audit group, regardless of what their title is

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Jason Mefford: So today’s podcast is going to be more targeted towards chief out of executives, but if you’re not a chief audit executive listen anyway.

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Jason Mefford: Because the information that I’m going to provide will also be very valuable for you in your career.

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Jason Mefford: Because again, these are not mistakes that just chief out of executives are making, but our profession in general.

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Jason Mefford: Of internal audit are making. So you’re still going to get some value, but a lot of value actually out of listening today.

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Jason Mefford: Now, if you’re not a, CAE. Like I said, go ahead and listen but also please make sure and share this with your chief audit executive or others that you know

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Jason Mefford: That are chief audit executives, because I’m trying to get the message out there because I want to help elevate the status of internal audit in organizations.

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Jason Mefford: And help people really move into executive presence and become a trusted advisor in their organizations. And what I’m going to go through today.

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Jason Mefford: Is how you can do that. Now if you are a chief audit executive. Please listen, pay attention in. I also want to throw out there again. I mean, this is kind of a time sensitive podcast.

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Jason Mefford: Because right now, we are accepting new member applications for the chief audit executive forum. And so in that in the forum and I’ll explain a little bit more later.

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Jason Mefford: This is a great opportunity for you if you really want to elevate internal audit in your organization.

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Jason Mefford: And if you want to move into your executive presence and become that trusted advisor in your organization. It helps provide you with the support

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Jason Mefford: To be able to help you get there and we work more on that. But again, you know, based on the timing of when this podcast is coming out.

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Jason Mefford: Those applications are due this week. So if this is something that, that sounds interesting to you, make sure and check out the page, there’s a link in the show notes down below.

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Jason Mefford: Where you can go to learn more and submit your application. But again, those applications have to be in by the end of this week. By the end of January. So again, since that’s time sensitive. I wanted to make sure and tell you that to begin with. Now,

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Jason Mefford: I came across the quote from Helen Keller that I really enjoy and it says alone, we can do so little together we can do so much

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Jason Mefford: And you know, I really believe that. And this is one of the reasons why I’m doing things like you know this jamming with Jason podcast, the chief audit executive briefing the forum.

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Jason Mefford: All these different things, because I truly believe that together we can do so much more than we can individually. But what that means is we actually have to come together. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Now, let me start, you know, again, kind of getting into this because like I said, this is going to be a little bit different of an episode.

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Jason Mefford: But my promise to you is, again, if you listen we really can elevate the status of internal audit and our careers together.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, this is something that we can do together. If you try to do it by yourself. It’s going to be really hard. And most of the time, you don’t end up making it

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Jason Mefford: So again, this is why I want to talk to you about this today. Now one of the things that, you know, one of my favorite quotes of all time is probably from Albert Einstein.

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Jason Mefford: You know where he said insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. So let me say that again.

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Jason Mefford: insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And like I said, some of these problems and mistakes that I see people are making them over and over again.

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Jason Mefford: But they keep thinking, well, if I just do it again if I just do it if I just work harder things are going to be different.

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Jason Mefford: But the truth is, things will only change if you change who you are being and what you are doing. And we’re going to talk more about that later. As we get into the material.

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Jason Mefford: So let me talk about first off some of the big problems and mistakes that I’m seeing, and then we’ll go through and talk about how you can actually overcome these

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Jason Mefford: So you know if you’ve heard me for very long. You’ve, you’ve seen that I put out there are a lot that most chief executives are not perceived as trusted advisors.

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Jason Mefford: We may like to believe that we are and that we’re adding value, but most of the executives in our organization don’t actually believe that. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And and the way you can see that is again, many of us are fighting for budget and resources, all the time. Well, if you’re seen as a trusted advisor.

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Jason Mefford: Not that there’s not going to be questions, but you won’t have to be fighting so hard for those resources, you know, if you think about some of the other executives in your organization.

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Jason Mefford: Are they fighting as hard for budget as you are probably not right and you know if if it were true that we were actually trusted advisors.

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Jason Mefford: People would be knocking on our door all the time asking for our help. And again, sometimes that happens, but most chief out of the executives, that’s not happening. People are not asking for their help. And again, it’s because you’re not being perceived as a trusted advisor.

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Jason Mefford: Now, often we end up focusing on wrong things. So what we think is important.

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Jason Mefford: You know, it kind of at an operational risk level, a lot of the executives don’t really feel that’s as important as what we do.

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Jason Mefford: And so again we can go out, we can do a great, a great audit and you issue the report and everybody goes in. Okay, whatever.

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Jason Mefford: Because we’re probably not focusing. We’ve got to elevate ourselves hire in thinking about really what the key objectives of the organization are and how we can really provide the most value to our organization.

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Jason Mefford: Another one that I see over and over again is people thinking. Everyone else is the problem.

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Jason Mefford: So let me give you a little story on this because this is really what a lot of people refer to as victim mentality.

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Jason Mefford: So when you think everybody else’s the problem. And there’s nothing wrong with you that’s victim mentality.

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Jason Mefford: And it usually goes bad. When that happens, because here’s the reality, most of the time. The problem is with us and things that we need to change, we need to change how we’re being and what we are doing. It’s not everybody else’s problem. Now let me let me share an example with you.

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Jason Mefford: I was speaking with a chief audit executive. That was kind of going into detail you know this person had

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Jason Mefford: had just been outsourced. So what happened is you know the executives decided, hey, we don’t need an in house internal audit department anymore. Let’s get rid of these people.

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Jason Mefford: And we’re going to outsource it to a professional service firm. Now, when that happens usually they’re not happy with what internal audit has been doing

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Jason Mefford: And there can be a whole myriad of reasons. And again, I don’t have all of the sides of the story. I just have what I heard from this chief executive.

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Jason Mefford: But as they were going through and kind of talking about it. It was always about somebody else this executives not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

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Jason Mefford: They don’t see my value, you know, when I try to bring up these things they don’t listen to me and and on and on and on. And the end the picture that this person was really painting.

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Jason Mefford: And actually used in said several times is that all of the executives in in this organization are unethical and they just don’t get it, and they’re unethical.

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Jason Mefford: And and the problem is, you know, I want to do a big time out there because you know if really all of the executives in an organization are unethical and doing all of these bad things.

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Jason Mefford: Then instead of, you know, getting fired and kind of walking away quietly, we should actually be going to the regulators and saying, Hey, the next Enron is right here.

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Jason Mefford: Now, I don’t think that’s what was happening here. Because again, those, those Enron world com, you know, pick, pick a name.

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Jason Mefford: Those things happen, but they happen so infrequently. It’s a very small percentage of all organizations. So when I hear people complaining about

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Jason Mefford: It’s the other people’s fault I’m going to, I’m going to cry bullshit. Okay. For most people, because that’s usually not the case.

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Jason Mefford: There’s something this person was doing or not doing or how they were being that was getting that kind of reaction from the other executives.

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Jason Mefford: And again, you know, one of the problems that I see is thinking. Everyone else is the problem. Nope. Most of the time we’re the problem.

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Jason Mefford: Now, once we can actually admit that. Now we can start getting help, so that we can change those perspectives. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: So those are some of the big problems that I see now some of the mistakes that I see people making

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Jason Mefford: Because again, people know this. They see some of these things going on. And so they’re trying to fix it. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: But here’s what I what I’m seeing a lot of times when people are trying to fix it, that are mistakes and they aren’t actually working.

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Jason Mefford: First one, they’re not seeing the big picture, you know, change happens very slowly in organizations and sometimes we end up focusing on a very small aspect.

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Jason Mefford: Without thinking about the bigger picture. And we just end up going down this rabbit hole that ends up getting us fired or stressed out because

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Jason Mefford: We kind of grab on to one thing. And honestly, folks. Sometimes we’re a little self righteous and we need to quit being that way. And think about the bigger picture in our organization.

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Jason Mefford: You know, another mistake that I see people making is thinking they can do it alone. If I just work harder if I if I just do this if I just do that.

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Jason Mefford: Most of the time, that doesn’t work, the real power comes when you’re able to be a part of a community and actually together. Remember the Helen Keller, quote, together we can do so much more

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Jason Mefford: So if you think you can do it by yourself. Good luck. If you’d like a little help. There’s options for you that I’m going to go through and talk about

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Jason Mefford: Because honestly, every single one of us needs a little help from our friends. Sometimes, okay. I love that line from the Beatles song.

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Jason Mefford: I get by with a little help from my friends because that’s true. Now if you’re you know bullheaded and stubborn and think I can do it by myself again. Good luck.

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Jason Mefford: It’s probably not going to work because again, even in my life when I’ve been stubborn and thought. Nope, I can just do this myself. I don’t need anybody else’s help

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Jason Mefford: I usually go down in flames the times that I actually reach out for help and get the support community that I need. That’s when I actually am able to make a lot of progress.

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Jason Mefford: Another mistake that I’m seeing a lot of people making is they’re looking for a quick fix. Now, there are plenty of people out on the internet.

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Jason Mefford: That will be trying to preach to you that there’s just some quick fix. If you change the way you you you have the report format. Right, so if you

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Jason Mefford: If you change the format of your reports now all of a sudden, everybody’s going to love what you do and probably not going to happen.

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Jason Mefford: Well, if you just start doing data analytics then everything’s going to be okay. And it’s probably not going to work, folks. Okay, those are both quick fixes.

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Jason Mefford: And what we’re talking about here is something that takes years there will not be a quick fix. There may be some quick wins. But you will not get to where you want to be for a while.

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Jason Mefford: Now, this happened to me. Both times I was chief audit executive, it happens again with all the successful CEOs that I talked to, you’re on a three to five year journey.

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Jason Mefford: So don’t look for quick fixes as a way to try to make things better. It’s a long game. You have to be willing to put in the work.

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Jason Mefford: Be the kind of person you need to be and do the things you need to do over a long period of time, if you’re just looking for the quick fix my friends. It’s just like you’re shooting up heroin.

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Jason Mefford: And you’ll feel good for a little while, but after a while you become a drug addict and you end up crashing and burning, you know, as far as kind of a metaphor to think about this.

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Jason Mefford: You know, instead, if you want to feel better, instead of shooting heroin, you know, eat better exercise do some mindful activities.

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Jason Mefford: But a lot of times people don’t want to do those because they take time, but if you really want to get to where you want to be. It’s going to take some time and you’re gonna have to put in the work.

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Jason Mefford: Just being honest with you, because like I said, there’s a lot of people out on the internet a lot of people in some of the different firms that are trying to sell you things

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Jason Mefford: And they’re promising. If you do this quick fix if you hire them. If you do this if you do that then magically everything is going to change.

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Jason Mefford: It doesn’t work that way. Okay, so let’s go through it and and talk a little bit more about maybe some of the things that you can do.

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Jason Mefford: Because really there are three things that I think if you do you will be able to help overcome some of these challenges, you won’t be making the same mistakes and creating problems for yourself like often that we do.

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Jason Mefford: So here’s what they are. The first one is we have to change how others perceive us. So if you’re if you’re not driving or exercising pull out a piece of paper and write these down.

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Jason Mefford: And I’m going to go through and talk about it or go back and listen to this again.

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Jason Mefford: In fact, actually, I’m going to tell you now because I might forget again later. But a longer version of this information is also included on that website.

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Jason Mefford: That is in the show notes below so you can go back and actually watch it, you’ll see some slides and other stuff as well. It’s in a video format.

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Jason Mefford: So you can actually, you know, go over this information again. But the first one is we change how others perceive us. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: The second thing is we actually need to develop our executive presence and I’m using that term on purpose. And I’m going to, I’m going to show you how we do that.

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Jason Mefford: Because again, if you’re a chief audit executive, you want to be seen as an executive, which means we need to act like an executive and we need to have executive presence.

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Jason Mefford: And there’s, there’s a few things that you need to be doing to have that in fact there’s three that we’re going to talk about later. Most people are not doing all three of them. Okay, so we need to move into that executive presence.

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Jason Mefford: Our third one is we need to have a collaborative community.

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Jason Mefford: Okay. And again, like I talked about before. If you think you can do it by yourself at probably not very few people are able to do this by themselves. They need a community around them.

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Jason Mefford: And the reason for that is, we’re good, we’re going to get into it more later, but that having that community helps you right now. For many of you, things may be going. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And you think, I don’t really need help, but at some point in the future, you know, the proverbial shit is going to hit the fan. Okay. And I’m being a little bit more colorful this time.

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Jason Mefford: Because it’s important, and I want you to listen and I want you to get this. Okay. At some point in the future, the shit is going to hit the fan.

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Jason Mefford: And if you do not have that community around you. It is very, very difficult to deal with those things much better to be proactive. Get a community around you that can help.

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Jason Mefford: In advance and actually start doing some of the work. Now while things are going well. Because guess what, if you’re proactive and you’re doing those things, the proverbial shit hopefully will never hit the fan. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: So those are the three things that I want to go through and talk again a little bit about now how to change how others perceive us developing our executive presence and having this collaborative community.

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Jason Mefford: OK. So, again, as I said, Most chief audit executives are not perceived as trusted advisors by executive management.

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Jason Mefford: And here’s the reason. Let me, let me go through and just kind of talk to you a little bit about this. And again, like I said, go to the go out to the website and look at the video because there will actually be some visuals in that that will help you to really to really get this concept.

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Jason Mefford: But here’s what what usually happens. Okay, there are some different ways that you can be perceived in your organization. And I’m just going to talk about them briefly.

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Jason Mefford: And see if this resonates with you. Okay. The first one is sometimes we’re just tolerated by everybody else. Okay, so what is tolerated me

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Jason Mefford: Well, they know they have to have you around because, you know, maybe you’re publicly traded and they know we have to have internal audit.

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Jason Mefford: They tolerate you maybe they actually kind of like you but they just tolerate your presence. Okay. So, do any of you ever feel like you’re just tolerated by others.

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Jason Mefford: So that’s one of the ways that we’re kind of perceived you know another way that we end up getting perceived as in this is kind of more internally for us but we just feel frustrated

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Jason Mefford: Right is. It’s like, you know, people just don’t get it in and we know what needs to be done, but we just can’t seem to get it done. And so we feel frustrated

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Jason Mefford: You know, do any of you feel frustrated. Another way you know that we’re often viewed is we’re just ignored.

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Jason Mefford: Right you you are in the organization. Nobody really acknowledges that you’re there you’re just kind of off to the side, you’re a necessary evil that we have to have

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Jason Mefford: But nobody gives you the time of day. Heck, a lot of people may not even realize you have internal audit in your organization. Right.

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Jason Mefford: at the executive level. So let me ask you to do you sometimes feel ignored. So could you feel tolerated frustrated or ignored.

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Jason Mefford: Most CEOs feel one of those things. Now, the only way to get out of that. Is there some things that we have to do.

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Jason Mefford: And it’s around technical and soft skills. Okay. If you only have technical skills, but you don’t have the soft skills you’re never going to be perceived as a trusted advisor.

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Jason Mefford: Because you’re not able to communicate the way that you need to, you’re not able to influence people and as a result of that, like I said, you’re going to either be tolerated ignored or frustrated

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Jason Mefford: Okay, and that’s that’s kind of the first one. Now let’s let’s jump in. Next, and talk about executive presence.

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Jason Mefford: And again, this is just because you have a fancy title doesn’t mean you’re being or doing what an executive would do.

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Jason Mefford: Because there’s really kind of three areas that you need to be focusing on. And so I want you to think about this, imagine somebody juggling balls.

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Jason Mefford: Now, if you’re only juggling one ball. It’s pretty easy. You just throw it up and down in the air. If you’re juggling two balls. It’s it gets more difficult, but it’s not

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Jason Mefford: That that hard to do. You can kind of balance and juggle two balls. Okay, where it really comes in is when you start trying to juggle three balls, then it becomes a little bit harder.

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Jason Mefford: And as I said at the beginning, you know a lot of you are probably, you know, focusing maybe on one area, maybe two areas, but you’re not doing all three very well. And this is one of the reasons you know of what we have to do to move into this executive presence so

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Jason Mefford: What are these three different areas. Well, the first one is around stakeholders. And so what we have to do is be able to actually manage the relationships with our stakeholders.

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Jason Mefford: If you are an executive, that is one of the biggest parts of your job is actually developing the relationships with other parts of the organization.

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Jason Mefford: And managing those stakeholder relations. So again, internal audit, again depending on your company. There’s lots of different ones, the obvious ones, the board executive management could be regulators your external auditors.

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Jason Mefford: You know your staff. Other people like that are all really kind of stakeholders and you have to be able to manage all of those stakeholder relationships. Now,

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Jason Mefford: Some of the things you know that most of the time, you know, a lot of the other executives may look at us like we’re little kids, you know,

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Jason Mefford: And I know that can be difficult, but this is where, again, as we learn how to manage these stakeholder relationships we start to evolve from that point.

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Jason Mefford: And the reality is there’s, it’s like a lot like a minefield in organizations often

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Jason Mefford: You know that you have to be careful and understand really how to navigate the executive politics and organizations. If you don’t understand it. It’s just like you’re stepping on landmines.

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Jason Mefford: And eventually, you know, if you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re going to step on a landmine and that landmine maybe the equivalent of a career limiting move we used to talk about these

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Jason Mefford: public accounting when I was there. That was a Colm move a career limiting move. Well, I don’t want you to make career limiting moves.

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Jason Mefford: And so, you know, again, you need to learn how to manage those stakeholder relationships because the reality is if you don’t have the respect and trust of executive management.

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Jason Mefford: It’s either because of what you’re doing or how you are being. And so again, there’s ways that you can learn. There’s things that you can do to change that.

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Jason Mefford: And one of the biggest ways is to not let some of the theoretical stuff in our profession, get in the way.

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Jason Mefford: So, for example, don’t let theoretical independence, get in the way of doing what is necessary and practical

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Jason Mefford: You know sometimes we feel like, Oh, I can’t do what the executives. Want me to do, because that would impair my independence, you know, stop, stop thinking that way.

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Jason Mefford: Because the reality is your organization pays your paycheck, you know, last time I checked, know ca was getting paid by the Institute of internal auditors.

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Jason Mefford: While the standards are important. We want to follow those you have to do what’s necessary and practical for you, your team and your organization.

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Jason Mefford: So don’t get self righteous and in letting things like independence, get in the way of doing what needs to be done. Now another quick point on this.

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Jason Mefford: Winston Churchill, I just watched a movie about him. And one of the quotes that he said was, you will never reach your destination. If you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.

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Jason Mefford: Now, one of the reasons why you’re not, you may not be doing well with your stakeholders is to them. It feels like we’re always throwing rocks at them.

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Jason Mefford: We come back. There’s always improvements that need to be done. We tend to be more negative. And the problem is you know other people view us like somebody throwing rocks at them.

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Jason Mefford: Well, I don’t know if you’re like me, but I don’t want to be around. Anybody who’s throwing rocks at me. I want to stay far enough away from them.

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Jason Mefford: So if that’s a perception that you’re having, there’s some things that need to change. Okay. The second area that we need to really deal with in this executive presence.

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Jason Mefford: Is our staff and, you know, I know, I know a lot of times, this is a very difficult part of the job. You have to deal with HR issues when you are a chief audit executive

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Jason Mefford: You have to find the right people. You have to do what you need to to keep the right people right there are sometimes, you know, you have to discipline.

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Jason Mefford: You know, and think about, well, how am I going to structure, how am I going to staff, all of these different projects. Right.

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Jason Mefford: But here’s another big one, too, is that as you move into a chief audit executive role you move from being a manager to a leader.

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Jason Mefford: And often that is difficult for people to make that transition, you know, a leader is more controlling and direct supervising telling people what to do.

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Jason Mefford: And and this is where that term micromanaging comes in that a lot of times, as we move into the leadership position we continue to manage people and often micromanage people instead of really stepping into the role of a leader.

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Jason Mefford: Because there is a difference between being a leader and being a manager. So again, that may be something that you need to work on as well.

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Jason Mefford: Now the third area of executive presence and this is one that a lot of people forget, but it is managing yourself. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And sometimes this can be the hardest thing to do, but it is the most important thing to do. So, you know,

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Jason Mefford: I’m a fan of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure as well. And so in there you know they they talk about all these famous dead dudes. Well, here’s a couple of famous dead dudes that talked about this.

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Jason Mefford: Layout so right mastering others is strength mastering yourself is true power. And so when we can really master our self.

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Jason Mefford: That goes a long way in our executive presence and it’s not easy to do. Mastering yourself may be one of the hardest things you ever do. And that’s why we need help.

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Jason Mefford: We need help in learning how to do that, how to develop the right habits, so that we can actually have that confidence have the integrity of actually managing ourselves.

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Jason Mefford: You know, Plato also said the first and best victory is to conquer self and I know this is true. And this is actually one of the areas that will have one of the biggest impacts on those other aspects of

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Jason Mefford: Your executive presence. Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret about this, you know, when you’re managing self. Most people work from what’s called the have do be model.

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Jason Mefford: And so it kind of goes like this when I have the time when I have the money, then I can do that. And then I will be calm or be that person.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s what most people operate from this is why people don’t take action because they think, Oh, well, that would be great. But I don’t have the money for that.

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Jason Mefford: And so they never actually get started. They never become the person that they need to be okay.

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Jason Mefford: Instead, you have to flip that model around, you have to be do and then you will have which means sometimes when it’s a little scary. You actually have to take action.

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Jason Mefford: So again, instead of saying, I don’t have time. I don’t have money for that we need to switch that around and be the kind of person who will take the time

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Jason Mefford: And take the money to invest in ourselves. Okay. So again, if you’re an Olympic athlete.

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Jason Mefford: If you say, Well, I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough money to hire a coach and a trainer to be able to help me become an Olympic athlete, guess what, you’re never going to be an Olympic athlete.

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Jason Mefford: If instead you start acting like an Olympic athlete you figure out ways to take the time and to find the money to get the coaching that you need.

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Jason Mefford: That you will really have at the end of the day, you know, a gold medal hanging around your neck, but you will never get that gold medal hanging around your neck.

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Jason Mefford: If you don’t have the courage to take the time and money to begin with and start doing the work necessary to be able to have that gold medal.

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Jason Mefford: So the same thing applies to us if you want to be that confident executive. You have to be willing to invest the time and money and do the work, so that you are actually will have the respect of people when you are that kind of an executive

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Jason Mefford: Okay, so the last of the three areas that I wanted to kind of talk to you today is again about the collaborative community.

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Jason Mefford: And as I told you, you know, to begin with, this is very important, and I know you know a lot of us think, well, I’m independent, I should be able to do it by myself.

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Jason Mefford: Reality is, folks. It just doesn’t work that way. Okay, so, so think about if any of you have

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Jason Mefford: You know, since again we’re we’re close to the beginning of the year. A lot of you may have said you know what

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Jason Mefford: I’m going to start going for a walk or running or exercising doing something like that. Now if you decide, and you are doing that by yourself.

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Jason Mefford: What ends up happening is we usually run out of steam. So the first week or two. We do great. But then, you know, maybe it’s raining outside. And so we think

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Jason Mefford: You know, I don’t really want to get up, it’s raining. I don’t really want to go outside.

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Jason Mefford: And so because it’s just a commitment that you’ve made to yourself and you’re not a part of a community, you just let it go.

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Jason Mefford: And then all of a sudden a week or two goes by and you realize you haven’t been doing what you said you were going to do.

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Jason Mefford: Now flip that around. If instead at the beginning of the year, you said you know what, I’m going to start exercising more and and my buddy.

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Jason Mefford: You know, Frank, or Bob or Joe or sue, whatever their name is hey, let’s go for a walk every day at 630 in the morning.

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Jason Mefford: When you create that group, it builds in some accountability for you.

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Jason Mefford: So again, you do. Well, the first two weeks and then you’re laying in bed going, Oh, man. It’s raining outside. I really don’t want to go outside.

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Jason Mefford: Oh, but Bob’s going to be waiting for me. It will help you get your butt out of bed to go meet Bob because you’ve made a commitment to Bob. That is one of the examples of why having a community around you is helpful. It gives you some accountability and it helps you keep going.

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Jason Mefford: Another reason for having a community around you is, again, as I said before, right now, things may be going well.

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Jason Mefford: But in the future. They may not be going so well and if you don’t have a community that you can reach out to and ask for help.

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Jason Mefford: When the when the trouble comes. You’re going to be dealing with the trouble by yourself.

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Jason Mefford: As opposed to having already developed those relationships with people and so you can actually get best practices asked questions. See what others have gone through

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Jason Mefford: Because here’s, here’s what I found is somebody else has already gone through whatever problem. I may be facing at the time.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, somebody else has already gone through that. Now I can either learn the hard way by trying to figure it out myself or I can learn from others and make it much easier.

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Jason Mefford: I prefer to learn from others and make it easier and I hope you do too, because it really does make all the difference.

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Jason Mefford: You know, as an example, I was I was talking with a with a chief audit executive this person that has been in the industry for a long time 30 plus years.

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Jason Mefford: But there were some things going on, half this person’s organization things that they had never dealt with before. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: And I remember as I was talking to them. They even made that comment. They said, you know, in 30 years of all my training of working for some of the biggest companies in the world.

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Jason Mefford: I have never come across this and you know what, that’s what happens is that at some point in your career, you’re going to come across something that you have never experienced before.

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Jason Mefford: But here’s the good thing somebody else probably has or somebody else from an outside perspective can give you some guidance or coaching to help you get through it.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, this is why community is so important, but you have to develop it before you end up having the problems, usually. Now, I kind of blabbering and gone on for a little while, but is this resonating with you, you know. Are you understanding. Are you seeing

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Jason Mefford: How doing some of these things can actually help you to elevate the status of internal audit and to be able to move your career forward, you know,

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Jason Mefford: We need to change how others are perceiving us. We need to develop our executive presence and we need to become a part of a collaborative community.

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Jason Mefford: Now the good thing is, again, if you are a chief audit executive there’s help out there. Okay, this is exactly what the chief audit executive forum.

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Jason Mefford: Does it is a group of like minded chief audit executives, where you can share best practices. Ask questions get advice, get that sense of community.

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Jason Mefford: So that again as a group, just like Helen Keller said, you know, at the beginning, that, you know, together we can do so much more

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Jason Mefford: That’s the idea behind the chief audit executive forum, you know, it’s, it’s an opportunity to come together. Each month as a group.

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Jason Mefford: Have group calls where we can talk about different things, you know, there’s kind of an educational side of it as well.

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Jason Mefford: But really, you’re able to get thought leadership and best practice best practices from your peers, you know, and really it is an exclusive executive community where you do learn. Hey,

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Jason Mefford: What have others done to help change the perceptive the perception of internal audit in their organization will this work for me.

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Jason Mefford: You know, how do I say, you know, develop my executive presence. Oh, here’s some ways that I can do it.

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Jason Mefford: Here’s some other people that I can look to as an example that I can learn from and can move into that role. And like I said, again, it’s that collaborative community.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, now I want you to, I want you to think about this, because I know sometimes, especially in our profession. We’re very risk averse. We don’t like change.

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Jason Mefford: But here’s the, here’s the thing. Folks like I talked about before. Remember the Albert Einstein quote

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Jason Mefford: If you keep trying to do things the same way, you’re going to get the same results. If you want things to be different. You have to start taking different action.

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Jason Mefford: One of those actions that you can take now is to apply to join the chief audit executive forum.

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Jason Mefford: Now the forum is different. It’s not anybody who wants to get in gets to get in.

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Jason Mefford: You actually have to go through an application process. You have to go through an interview to be able to be offered membership and the chief audit executive forum.

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Jason Mefford: Go out to the web page look through the information and there’s actually a link there where you can submit your application.

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Jason Mefford: This is different than anything else out there. And because of that, it’s a different process for joining as well.

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Jason Mefford: You have to go through an interview, you have to fill out an application. And the reason for that is to make sure that it’s a safe.

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Jason Mefford: Space and the right people are included in there so that you really can have those frank discussions and know that whatever said is kept within the group, it’s confidential.

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Jason Mefford: And and and again it’s like I said it’s it’s these like minded CEOs who were all trying to

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Jason Mefford: Elevate the status of internal audit in our organizations and really move into that executive presence and become a trusted advisor.

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Jason Mefford: In our organizations. So again, if that’s something that sounds like what you want make sure and submit your application.

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Jason Mefford: Now applications are only open until the end of January, because we only open applications, a few times a year. And so this is your opportunity to get in to that kind of a group and start working on those three areas that we talked about.

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Jason Mefford: Now just to wrap up, you know, again, as you’ve listened through this. There’s probably you fall into one of three groups. One of you know one group is. Wow, I’m ready to get started right now. This is exactly what I need. Well, if it’s exactly what you need.

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Jason Mefford: Go, click on the link go fill out your application, get it in today. So we can set up the interview with you just take action now.

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Jason Mefford: If you’re, if you’re one of those people that are saying, Well, I don’t really think it’s for me. Okay.

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Jason Mefford: Right. And this is not for everyone. And in fact, we turn away people each time that are not a good fit. So if you don’t think it’s a good fit.

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Jason Mefford: Don’t waste your time filling out an application. Okay. But at some point in the future, you may realize that you need this. And so we’re going to be here.

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Jason Mefford: When you get to that point and you feel like this is something that you need reach out and let me know. And the next time that we open up membership.

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Jason Mefford: Will let you put in your application and see if you’re a good fit. OK. Now the third group which some of you may be in as well.

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Jason Mefford: You’re sitting there and thinking, Well, I don’t know. I need to think it over. I need to talk to somebody. Okay, well,

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Jason Mefford: Okay, if you need to do that again go out to the page. If you need to talk about it a little bit schedule a time to talk to me.

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Jason Mefford: But here’s the thing. Don’t think too much because the problem is we tend to again in our profession. We like to overthink and overanalyze things

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Jason Mefford: And if you overthink and over, analyze, you usually miss out. And so what ends up happening is there’s still plenty of time until the end of the week for you to go ahead and submit your application.

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Jason Mefford: But if you if you overthink it. You’ll end up sitting on your hands and not make a decision and I don’t want you to regret.

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Jason Mefford: making the decision if three months from now, you end up having that proverbial shit hit the fan. Okay, so don’t think too much about it.

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Jason Mefford: Remember to be having do find a way to make the time, find a way to get the money and apply for the CA forum because here’s the thing I want you to imagine if you know

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Jason Mefford: In maybe as little as three weeks after you join the forum, all of a sudden, you know, you start to realize and get clarity about what you can do differently that will start to make an impact in your organization, how are you going to feel after three weeks when it’s like

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Jason Mefford: You know all that stress all that frustration that I was feeling before starts to get lifted, because now you’re realizing hold it. I can do this. And here’s how I can do it.

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Jason Mefford: It’s going to feel great. What if three months from from now you all of a sudden start getting asked for your advice. Other people start viewing you differently in the organization.

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Jason Mefford: Maybe three months from now, you’re actually invited to the executive table. How is that going to feel it’s going to feel great, you know, what if three years from now.

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Jason Mefford: Internal Audit really is viewed as an equal to others in the organization. If people look at you and realize that you are a very, very valuable part of this organization.

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Jason Mefford: If people are viewing you as a trusted advisor, if they’re coming to your regularly for help. That my friends is a great feeling. So I want you to imagine and think about how good that is going to feel

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Jason Mefford: And then have the courage to take the action now. Because how grateful, you’re going to be three weeks, three months, three years from now.

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Jason Mefford: That you actually had the courage to do what you needed to do to get the help to get become a part of that ca forum and be able to have all of those things that you want.

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Jason Mefford: You’re going to feel really grateful and it’s going to be really, really great. You just have to take action now.

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Jason Mefford: So with that, my friends, I’m going to wrap up again as a reminder applications are due by the end of January for the chief audit executive forum.

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Jason Mefford: So click on the link below go out to the website look at the information and make sure and submit your application and schedule your interview.

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Jason Mefford: And I look forward. For those of you that want to get into this group of like minded chief audit executives. I look forward to getting your applications and being able to talk with you.

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Jason Mefford: And for the rest of you. Have a great rest of your week, and I will catch you on the next episode of jammin with Jason. See ya.