Jamming with Jason E150: Lessons from a CAE with Mike Joyce

In today’s episode we speak with Mike Joyce. We learn about volunteer opportunities that can gain you useful knowledge in your audit career, along with interdepartmental symbiosis that can allow for a much smoother audit process.

If you still want even more. Then you will definitely want to tune in to hear Mike’s advice to newer auditors, or his pointers for auditors that are aspiring to become CAEs.

Mike Joyce is the Chief Auditor and Compliance Officer with Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association in Chicago. He also served as the Chairman of the Board for the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: hey welcome to another episode of jamming with Jason I have a very special episode for you today i’m going to be talking with Mike Joyce.

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Jason Mefford: Who has a very distinguished career unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard of him.

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Jason Mefford: But he’s the chief audit executive or we’ll get into some of that a little bit too, but he also served as the Chair of the board for the Institute of internal auditors, so a lot of great information and we’re going to get to that episode right now.

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Jason Mefford: Well hey today I am talking with Mike joy’s Mike how you doing man.

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Mike Joyce: doing great Jason thanks for having me here today.

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Jason Mefford: yeah I was, I was excited you know when I because because.

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Jason Mefford: You know it’s jamming with Jason we’re both actually are musicians now you are a much better musician than I am i’m a hack in comparison, but it was exciting, because I know when you were.

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Jason Mefford: When you were chair, Chairman of the AIA your theme was audit in tune, and you were kind of bringing in some musical.

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Jason Mefford: kind of analogies and other stuff with it, to which I just loved obviously so i’m so excited and i’m kicking out okay talking to you today so.

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Jason Mefford: So this is great, but maybe you know again for people that have been living under a rock do you want to just give kind of a brief background.

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Jason Mefford: On your career kind of how you got to where you’re at today because you’ve got a position of have a lot of responsibility in your organization it’s a big organization as well.

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Jason Mefford: And that’s always kind of interesting for people to know you know hey if I want to be a chief audit executive someday what’s the path look like what have other people done.

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Mike Joyce: Sure well and again if I go too long, or this is totally boring just.

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Mike Joyce: You know, stop me but I actually which is hard for me to believe began my intro on a career.

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Mike Joyce: 38 years this year.

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Mike Joyce: With the JC penney company’s internal audit department i’m actually from Pittsburgh originally so I started as a staff auditor look most people would in their Pittsburgh office.

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Mike Joyce: And you know, to this day I look back on the 12 years i’d spent with pennies as just incredible.

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Mike Joyce: fortunate on my part to have been with a group that provides such excellent training mentorship friendship.

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Mike Joyce: You know so many of those folks I started with 30 years ago I still keep in touch with today, and so, while I was with pennies after being in Pittsburgh on the strip years I was.

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Mike Joyce: promoted to the Philadelphia field office they had at the time and about a year or so I was then managing that group which was responsible for auditing all of the jcpenney stores basically along the east coast.

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Mike Joyce: North East coast and so that was a great experience, obviously, as many internal it departments experience at that time that was almost 80% travel right to get to the sites things changed quite a bit since then, I was eventually move them to the headquarters in Dallas Texas for pennies.

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Mike Joyce: were another I guess thing that I say that penny is provided to me is that I married one of my fellow auditors.

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Jason Mefford: better than it was Okay, but now well actually we yeah we were in separate reporting change but 30 plus years later, she hasn’t kicked.

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Mike Joyce: me out yet so that’s another.

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Mike Joyce: thing I can chalk up to lead to JC penney but.

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Mike Joyce: You know 30 years ago.

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Mike Joyce: After our kids started being born, we wanted to get closer to family, as I mentioned i’m from Pittsburgh my wife was actually from Chicago.

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Mike Joyce: So I was looking at having an opportunity came came up for me to move to Chicago in 1995 to become the director of audit for what was then a regional hmo here in Chicago.

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Mike Joyce: called rush potential health plans, where I became the audit director subsequently moved to into their controllers role, which was a great learning experience for me by 18 months because that.

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Mike Joyce: Obviously, made me much more empathetic when I came back and auditing because I understood what it was like to be an oddity and sort of a funny story when I became the controller, I was then responsible for remediating some of the issues I had reported when I was the audit director.

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Mike Joyce: And you know my joke is.

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Mike Joyce: For these are done recommendations.

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Mike Joyce: Maybe, so it really did add a different perspective, and you know the other thing I guess, I would add is that the experience of pennies was very diverse, it was much more than just retail stores at that time.

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Mike Joyce: They had drugstore operations, they had a lot of specialty operations, and I was actually my last several years at pennies in Dallas.

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Mike Joyce: Managing the audit function at their life insurance company, so it was that insurance background that prepared me to move into the.

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Mike Joyce: hmo won’t even know healthcare was a little bit different it was still it was still insurance.

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Mike Joyce: And then in 1999 or 22 years ago I had the opportunity to move across town here in Chicago from that organization to the blue cross Blue Shield association.

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Mike Joyce: As the chief audit or Vice President chief audit and compliance officer and again when I got here in 99 it was myself myself and a staff of three.

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Mike Joyce: And today we’re at about 30 we can get into some of the details, but i’m that 30 only 10 are my audit staff, the rest are some folks that helped me with compliance, but the bulk of the group is.

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Mike Joyce: A function that I started in 2000 that we refer to as our National Anti Fraud department.

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Mike Joyce: And that helps support each of the independent blue cross Blue Shield plans in the fight against healthcare fraud, where billions and billions of dollars a year.

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Mike Joyce: In fraudulent claims are submitted to to insurance companies which it has not only a monetary impact because those costs and ultimately pass on to consumers, but a lot of this fraud.

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Mike Joyce: really does serious harm to people’s health their lives right services that should have been rendered the words services, the work necessary that are performed, just to be able to bill and there’s some really.

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Mike Joyce: Bad stories that come out of the fraud world so we’re really dedicated to trying to protect you know our Members collectively and so.

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Mike Joyce: Whereas we have a typical audit staff in terms of backgrounds, most of my fraud staff.

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Mike Joyce: Have law enforcement backgrounds federal law enforcement, particularly in the healthcare field as well as clinicians so it’s a pretty specialized group and those stories, you know we could talk about maybe some other time yeah they’re pretty entertaining.

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Jason Mefford: ya know cuz I remember, as you were talking about that, I mean because, especially in the insurance industry, it is insurance fraud is huge right and like you said, either.

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Jason Mefford: billing for services that were never actually performed or like you said that the scary thing when doing doctors are people are doing things that don’t need to be done, I remember an old documentary I saw about sweaty palm syndrome I don’t know if you.

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Jason Mefford: yeah we experienced that’s right yeah we all did that and that case as a textbook example.

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Mike Joyce: lives were ruined.

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Mike Joyce: And you know very quickly sweaty palm it sounds funny it is actually a real disease but it’s extremely rare extremely rare and that’s where your hands sweat so much that it really impacts your quality of life right you can’t hold things.

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Jason Mefford: In touch anything yeah.

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Mike Joyce: And it’s a very it’s a very complicated procedure to fix that you actually have to deflate of lung and do some things and the problem is that when you actually don’t have sweaty palm.

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Mike Joyce: Your body naturally react so once they’ve changed your palms from releasing a sweat you now start to sweat motor parts of your body you’re not really supposed to.

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Mike Joyce: And so it really had some some bad effects on people, many people actually in addition to that you know the hundreds of millions of dollars that went into that so.

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Mike Joyce: that’s just one example, but it’s a very good example of the kind of things that a lot of people, maybe aren’t always familiar with.

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Jason Mefford: yeah well and I wanted to get a you know I always like to kind of recap, a little bit too, because I think you know as you talked about your career.

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Jason Mefford: there’s I see interesting parallels right with with most of the successful ca’s that I talked to that I interview here with my own career as well.

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Jason Mefford: To where a lot of times people you know they’re like well how do you get there and and and and a lot of times you know, sometimes people are afraid Oh well, if I leave audit then i’ll never be able to come back.

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Jason Mefford: Well, again there’s an example you left audit you’re a controller, you came back and i’ve seen and it sounds like this has been your experience to is actually having some of that outside on and experience now makes you a better chief audit executive right.

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Mike Joyce: Oh absolutely does not only from just from a knowledge standpoint but an empathy standpoint, again I am I can much better relate to you know operational roles, because i’ve been in that role, and I know what the time demands are like.

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Mike Joyce: And it’s not easy so clearly, I think the more experienced people can get the better serve that they are.

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Jason Mefford: yeah well and again to you know it, it kind of depends on on where you want to go but it’s always to me a little serendipitous to as to how some of the experiences that we have some of the the jobs we do, or the projects that we work on.

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Jason Mefford: doesn’t you know at first you don’t really realize until years later, probably why you did that and how it helped you get to where you’re at right like you said, I mean you guys wanted to move back to Chicago.

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Jason Mefford: But the fact that pennies at that time was such a diverse company that it had something like life insurance you worked on life insurance now you had that that experience or exposure to that and that opened the door to you, Dan for being able to take the job with the hmo you know.

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Jason Mefford: which was interesting because a lot of times, people are like Well, no, I don’t want to go do that project but it’s like well hold on just a minute.

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Jason Mefford: it’s probably going to benefit you later on in your career.

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Mike Joyce: yeah you know the reality is.

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Mike Joyce: When you know I started my career probably when you started your career as well, many companies had much more.

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Mike Joyce: There were many more levels to the organization and even as a staff auditor, there was a sort of a pre designed stepping stone right.

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Mike Joyce: Step one step one or two and things are a lot flatter today and in many organizations, there may not be a promotional opportunity but there’s an opportunity to even move laterally.

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Mike Joyce: And to your point, sometimes we have to convince people that that they need to look at the long term that that lateral experience that they would get.

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Mike Joyce: will provide the opportunity for greater things in the future, and I think again in today’s economy those opportunities are going to be more frequent perhaps then a true promotion, but those those will come as well.

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Jason Mefford: yeah well and especially because, like you said, I mean the last especially 10 years but probably even 20 years the makeup to write of the of the audit department is.

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Jason Mefford: is changing, I mean you’ve probably seen that as well, I know you said you’ve got 30 people, but only 10 of them are actually auditors.

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Jason Mefford: And, and I guess into that even the people that are you know your 10 core auditors they don’t necessarily have the same cookie cutter background.

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Jason Mefford: That they did you know when you and I started our career a long time ago, I mean it was always everybody an audit.

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Jason Mefford: X X CPA big big, for it was big eight at the time right, but you know they’ve gone through that and then moved into internal audit where now it’s it’s a lot.

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Jason Mefford: A lot different right, I mean like you said you’ve got people from law enforcement other kinds of backgrounds, that the the audit groups are much more diverse than they were before.

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Mike Joyce: yeah and again, and now, to a certain extent i’m actually fortunate with my internal on the 10 and I mentioned, because actually it’s a very experienced grew up in fact six of the folks actually and more professional experience that I have if you can go.

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Jason Mefford: Oh wow.

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Mike Joyce: So with that you know there’s there’s pluses and minuses pluses on that they can work independently and we, we are very productive with those 10 because they don’t need a lot of.

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Mike Joyce: The challenge, though becomes succession planning and talent development for the future right so, which is a big you know when you think about internal audit function stay that’s a.

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Mike Joyce: Usually in the top five, at least if everyone’s risks at least their own management risks is where’s the rest of my future on step gonna come from it, how do I get the people in there may be more junior ready to move up into those next roles.

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Mike Joyce: Maybe a topic to.

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Mike Joyce: touch on later.

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Jason Mefford: it’s like we could do a whole nother episode on the succession planning and especially with a lot of the generational things.

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Jason Mefford: That we’re dealing now with a big group of baby boomers are they going to leave the market are they not When are they going to leave.

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Jason Mefford: Based on the last year, are they going to stay a little bit longer or there’s been a lot of people that are like screw it i’m packing it up now i’m.

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Jason Mefford: dying right that a lot of people have done so it’s yeah that’s that’s a whole other topic we can go down to that.

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Jason Mefford: Probably don’t know type of that with that all that today, but I wanted, I wanted to bring up to, because I know, one of the things in I know as we were talking before you get asked this a lot to.

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Jason Mefford: You have dual reporting relationships, I had dual reporting relationships right and there’s some people that are you know purists that are like no, you cannot have any other.

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Jason Mefford: role in the organization, other than internal audit, but you know, like like you said to me, before you know a lot of people in your industry do i’ve seen a lot of people with mid tier.

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Jason Mefford: sized companies that have multiple reporting relationships so maybe we can talk a little bit about that because you’ve you’ve had this now, it sounds like the whole time you been.

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Mike Joyce: Yes, it’s grown but yeah so 25 excuse me 20 almost 22 years now yeah and that tool.

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Mike Joyce: You know, and clearly we’re very much a department that closely here’s di professional standards.

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Mike Joyce: And the I stated do allow for these types of relationships again i’ve done responsibly for internal audit and compliance specifically now couple things in my definition and now our world.

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Mike Joyce: From a compliance standpoint it’s not operational compliance that i’ve got accountabilities, for that would be maybe a little bit more challenging.

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Mike Joyce: But it’s really our internal ethics environments training of our employees it’s the management of our code of conduct.

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Mike Joyce: The helpline you know our conflict of interest process the investigation of any allegations that may come up.

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Mike Joyce: And so it’s it’s a little bit different and the key first of all, is is being very transparent about what our role is.

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Mike Joyce: And what it’s not, and so our my internal audit department charter, for instance, is very specific.

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Mike Joyce: lays out what I do is the auditor lays out what I do as the compliance officer and, similarly, our finance audit committee charter.

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Mike Joyce: It lays out the cannibal is that they have to oversee my function as well, so, first of all, you have to make sure that your audit committee, and your Governing Board is is on board and supportive.

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Mike Joyce: And also aware of and comfortable with the sort of safeguards that we put into place so as an example.

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Mike Joyce: You know, every once a while it makes sense to have our compliance function reviewed just to see if it could be doing, you know, a better job we’ve actually got a review of that type scheduled for for this year now, it will be done by some of my auditors, however.

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Mike Joyce: they’re not the auditors that would work on compliance issues and ran into him report issued directly to me as the business owner will have.

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Mike Joyce: issued to our general counsel to provide a little bit of independence, you know I also put into place things like.

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Mike Joyce: i’ve got accountability to review any allegations that come up about any employees, however, and we use a third party vendor to to filter that and to make it anonymous.

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Mike Joyce: Well, if myself or anybody in my reporting chain was the subject of one of those allegations, it would automatically get routed to our general counsel.

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Mike Joyce: And he could determine you know the best course of action rather than risking it coming to me and the perception being created that I, you know would sweep something under the rug.

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Mike Joyce: same with our conflict adventurous forms which we ask people to do every year I approved.

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Mike Joyce: Everybody in the company, except my own team and those again go to the general counsel, so you know, we were very aware of that we put those kinds of measures in place.

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Mike Joyce: and actually I when I do a lot of speaking i’ve talked about the real importance of internal audit functions.

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Mike Joyce: Linking or partnering with a their compliance function if they have one in their companies if they’re not responsible for it because I found that to be very.

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Mike Joyce: beneficial just from an internal audit standpoint to have my finger on the pulse of what kind of issues are being raised, and you know, are there compliance concerns, particularly in an area that we’re about to go do an audit and that could be really disadvantages disadvantages.

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Mike Joyce: Right disadvantageous if.

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Mike Joyce: If that scenario occurs and you’re working at cross purposes and you don’t necessarily realize it, you know and so.

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Mike Joyce: compliance by its nature is always sensitive protecting information but i’m always have the opinion that.

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Mike Joyce: You know, an internal it department to be successful, has to really partner with hr.

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Mike Joyce: Legal and compliance, because those are the three areas that usually keep the information what supposedly to the vest and why there’s a reason for that there’s also benefits to having internal audit part of those discussions, and I think it’s more efficient that way.

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Jason Mefford: Well, I think you know what what you just described, there is great right because, again, it works for your organization you’ve got the transparency there.

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Jason Mefford: you’ve got the checks and balances, so that again and I love what you just said, too, because i’ve seen this you know, in my experience and others as well, you got to have that good relationship with hr.

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Jason Mefford: with legal and with compliance because really you know you add internal audit to that those are really kind of like four.

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Jason Mefford: key functions within the organization that are always should be working somewhat symbiotic right, because if something comes up legally, you know you should probably know about it a lot of times.

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Jason Mefford: things that were investigator and are doing may have an HR component to it right and so having that relationship with those people.

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Jason Mefford: Is makes a huge huge difference in your ability to be successful if you’re fighting with those people if you don’t get along with them you’re probably having a harder time.

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Jason Mefford: Right, then you need to.

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Mike Joyce: yeah and they can be real key allies for you as well, too.

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Jason Mefford: yeah yeah and I think it’s you know it’s again what what works for your.

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Jason Mefford: organization, because that was you know my situation where it’s like okay Jason we want you to take on compliance, we want you to take on risk management.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, great Do you understand right the transparency do you understand right what that means I won’t be auditing those areas and again the executives in the board were like.

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Jason Mefford: that’s cool we’d rather have somebody responsible for it, and doing something about it than not having anything right.

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Mike Joyce: So, and I know some of my peers that have.

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Mike Joyce: Maybe even a little bit more unusual roles, I know, once you bought it or this guy responsibility for information security, which again is unusual so that’s clearly a case where that person.

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Mike Joyce: brings in hires or has hired third party vendors to independently audit that piece right and again, transparency is the key there.

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Jason Mefford: Well it’s interesting because it’s it’s it’s that’s one that I actually had to.

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Mike Joyce: Go.

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Jason Mefford: And well the The interesting thing was because when I was doing research I don’t know if the numbers are still the same but we knew.

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Jason Mefford: Information security was reporting to our CIO, which is always kind of a tenuous thing right so so the CFO said okay do some research find out.

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Jason Mefford: Other than CIO where does information security report and other organizations and it came back the number two place was the CFO the number three place was internal audit, which was interesting.

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Jason Mefford: was when I took those findings back to her, she said well i’m not doing it, so I guess you’re.

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Jason Mefford: kind of kind of interesting anyway.

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Jason Mefford: So this is this has all been great so far, so I did want to jump in a little bit you know because I know you’ve been very active in the Institute of internal auditors, for a long time, I mean you were the Chair.

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Jason Mefford: You know so maybe maybe talk a little bit about that, because I know you know as the Chair and and being on the board.

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Jason Mefford: you end up traveling all over the place, meeting people from all over the world.

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Jason Mefford: An internal audit is done differently in different places in the world as well, so maybe just kind of share a little bit you know some of your experience with that some of the things that you’ve kind of learned.

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Mike Joyce: sure we went through yeah no thanks for that, so I actually.

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Mike Joyce: The same year, I became a Member, which was 1989 I became a volunteer and i’m still in Dallas at the time.

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Mike Joyce: So I was volunteering locally in Dallas and moved up through a number of weeks there in Dallas and one of the things that I just a quick side note here that I often talk about when I give.

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Mike Joyce: Talks particular about how auditors can maybe Google our developing their career is that if you can find the time I i’m telling you all very sincerely that my volunteer experience.

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Mike Joyce: greatly helped my professional growth because you get opportunities as a volunteer in many cases sooner than you would.

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Mike Joyce: Maybe in your professional environment and you’re now responsible for trying to convince people who don’t work for you.

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Mike Joyce: to work together to get some things done, and so, in many cases, you really have leadership opportunities that are frankly.

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Mike Joyce: You can’t really get anywhere else, so, while it does take a commitment take some time I really highly encourage folks, particularly if they’re if they’re maybe a little bit earlier in their careers.

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Mike Joyce: To seek out volunteer opportunities if you can wherever you can because you’ll be better for now.

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Mike Joyce: You know, to your question, the other thing I guess, I would add is that now, after 31 years of volunteering both.

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Mike Joyce: In Dallas and then moving Chicago and, eventually, I was the president of the Chicago Chapter I got involved in some some international committees.

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Mike Joyce: I moved on to the North American board I was the chair of the North American board in 2015.

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Mike Joyce: And ultimately moved up to the chairman of the board i’m currently the past the immediate past, chairman of the board.

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Mike Joyce: And I have built a lifetime’s worth of friendships and and network colleagues based on that that experience and to your point.

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Mike Joyce: Jason and maybe the thing that I treasure, the most from this experience has been getting to know and traveling literally around the world.

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Mike Joyce: and seeing the challenges that internal audit face all around the world, in many cases in much more difficult circumstances and situations, then then maybe we’re used to here in North America.

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Mike Joyce: there’s some really courageous people doing some courageous things in countries in organizations that that are not only non supportive a lot it but but actually a little bit hostile.

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Mike Joyce: And there have been auditors, even within the last year that have lost their lives because of issues they raised no I don’t want to be overdramatic but.

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Mike Joyce: It was a real awakening for me to have that cultural grants, you know, unfortunately, my Chairman year began in July of 2020 and effectively ended six months later, when.

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Jason Mefford: yeah.

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Mike Joyce: As a side note my first meeting that I chaired as president of the Chicago chapter was the week of 911 and so people that were at that meeting associate me with 911 now on the coven Chairman so i’m pretty sure that i’ll never get elected, any kind of volunteer position again.

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Mike Joyce: But you know I also was the first global chairman in there because 80 years that speaks Spanish so because of that, I had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling and speaking.

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Mike Joyce: In Latin South America, Central America, in addition to you know places all around the world and, frankly, these are places I never would have been able to go, probably in my professional career.

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Mike Joyce: In my personal career, so you know the travel was really a benefit yes it’s a lot of long hours, yes it’s an addition to your normal work day.

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Mike Joyce: But I think just the the development that you get an experience you get as well as serving on a board as a board member and even if it’s just in a local community organization.

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Mike Joyce: I think, better prepared me and better prepared my my colleagues to actually have to respond to their own boards in their professional environment.

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Mike Joyce: I there was another board that I was on for a while, where I was on their their audit committee so actually being an audit committee Member.

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Mike Joyce: made me much better I think person to staff our audit committee right as the chief auditor.

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Mike Joyce: And it was it was also a little fun to have the you know the shoe, on the other foot as well too so.

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Mike Joyce: Any volunteer opportunities and while I certainly encourage involvement in professional organizations like the I.

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Mike Joyce: There can be nonprofit volunteer organizations in your local town that could really benefit from the kind of skill set that an auditor has what are not as simple as you know.

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Mike Joyce: Putting in some basic internal controls into a little operation that really every time counts right so.

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Mike Joyce: Again I don’t want to be on the soapbox, but I have found to be extremely valuable to my professional development, and so, if you can take advantage of that I really encourage you to seek it out, and I know a lot of people are looking for volunteers and help.

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Jason Mefford: ya know, and I think I think that’s great because, again, you know, like you said that you’re talking, because I was again going back to my early career right, where I was on the board of some different nonprofits.

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Jason Mefford: You know, some of which were because of the job that I had right like we were a food manufacturing company so.

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Jason Mefford: guess what somebody from our company was always on the local food bank board right, and so I was, I was tasked to do that for a while.

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Jason Mefford: But, but they give you like you said, the shoe is, on the other foot right so now.

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Jason Mefford: Do I know what a board of directors deals with yes, because i’ve actually been on several boards of directors right.

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Jason Mefford: And again, you would never really understand that and you’re interacting with your own with the board of your company right where you’re working.

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Jason Mefford: If you didn’t have some of that other other experience and again a lot of times the people on there don’t have our background, so we can actually be very beneficial.

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Jason Mefford: To these other organizations so yeah you know volunteer at the I if you know if you if you’re passionate about dogs let’s say, well, maybe get on the humane society board or you know some kind of a thing like that to where.

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Jason Mefford: It gives you those other opportunities, especially earlier on in your career that you normally wouldn’t have just within your organization.

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Mike Joyce: yeah you know and a little bit selfishly if you’re up for maybe a larger role your organization.

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Mike Joyce: And you know against folks that have similar experiences to you, but you’ve got this volunteer experience and you’ve got demonstrate leadership experience outside maybe that’s the edge that you know kicks you into the number one slot there, so it can’t hurt.

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Jason Mefford: Well, I can’t hurt and like you said, I mean it it it forces i’d never really thought of it in that way until you talked about it, because you know.

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Jason Mefford: I was a local chapter President, I was a district rap you know kind of thing as well for the for many, many years.

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Jason Mefford: And a lot of the people that do volunteer at the local level are younger yeah I mean they’re seniors you know, maybe managers, but again, it gives you a responsibility or allows you to take a leadership role.

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Jason Mefford: In in that way in working with people learning how to work with people before you’re actually going to get it probably at your organization which, like you said you know.

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Jason Mefford: If i’m looking at two different people and they’re equally qualified they’ve got similar experience, but this person also has some of that volunteer experience or you know board or other stuff they’re probably going to float a little higher as well.

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Mike Joyce: yeah yeah you know and, frankly, that also demonstrates.

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Mike Joyce: Good time management skills, because particularly you know when you’re maybe in more senior levels from a volunteer standpoint, it is very time consuming.

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Mike Joyce: And you know i’m switching to be in organizations that did support that participation, I still had to get my own work done, but that clearly did help that there was encouragement, because I think there’s intrinsic benefits to the organization, as well the front back with you yeah.

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Exactly.

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Jason Mefford: Well yeah Now I know you know, one of the ways that I always kind of like to like to wrap up a lot of these sessions, especially with somebody that’s had as distinguished of the careers, you have is.

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Jason Mefford: You know i’m sure you’ve learned some stuff in your in your 30 plus years right, so what you know and and I know for myself, I made some stupid mistakes when I was young Okay, but.

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Jason Mefford: I learned from them, but you know what what kind of advice, do you give to people that are younger in their career so maybe.

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Jason Mefford: You know, maybe kind of think of will think of like two different kind of groups of people write that in so that that your advice might be slightly different.

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Jason Mefford: But let’s say you know one person might be younger in their career, a new auditor senior auditor somebody who’s kind of newer at that early.

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Jason Mefford: So, so what kind of advice would you give to that person, the other one might be somebody who is maybe at a manager or a director level they’re not really a chief audit executive yet, but they have a desire to do that.

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Jason Mefford: So what kind of advice would you give to those people to help them get to that next that next level as well.

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Mike Joyce: Well, I think that yeah that’s a great question so, starting with the for the less experienced more perhaps more junior otter two things immediately jumped in I guess in my mind.

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Mike Joyce: What is going to sound incredibly basic basic, but it has to do with making sure you’ve got great attention to detail.

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Mike Joyce: Because your credibility is very difficult to build back up once it’s been been blown, if you will, and i’ve seen instances where audit reports, otherwise very innocuous.

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Mike Joyce: had something that didn’t add up right in the economy and actual mistake like that and.

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Mike Joyce: You know you don’t want to either senior manager or worse yet an audit committee number to call that out because yes it’s a dumb mistake but boy everybody’s going to have the back of their mind.

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Mike Joyce: The thought that well if something like this, they missed, you know what else are they missing and as silly as that sounds I can’t stress enough, you know attention to detail.

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Mike Joyce: The other thing probably goes for all levels but it’s important to realize in the beginning, is that, particularly as an internal auditor, the one thing that you have, and that you take with you in every job you have is your personal integrity and auditor is, in my view.

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Mike Joyce: should be can be our role models for the rest of the organization and how they should conduct themselves.

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Mike Joyce: And if you know other employees see that the audit staff is maybe playing looser goose with company policies or procedures.

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Mike Joyce: There will be no incentive for them to follow those procedures and and so you know again sounds basic sounds silly but always remember that people are watching you even if you don’t know it.

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Mike Joyce: And you know the whole walking the walk talking to talk thing I really think you know it’s we have an obligation to do everything we can to demonstrate.

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Mike Joyce: The importance of living, our you know our careers from a professional integrity standpoint as you move up and you’re in the manager role and you’re looking to maybe move even further.

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Mike Joyce: that’s where I excuse me, I think your communication skills and your knowledge of the business really are very important in your ability to interact with more senior levels of the organization.

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Mike Joyce: In a confident manner in an informed manner in a comfortable manner, you know some of us like to do public speaking others don’t like it and even getting up in front of maybe 2020 people at a board meeting.

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Mike Joyce: could give some people, you know cause for concern, so if if that kind of communication isn’t isn’t strong suit.

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Mike Joyce: Trying to build that skill, you know there’s a lot of local toastmasters organizations there’s online training there’s there’s some words, you can go to.

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Mike Joyce: You know, because you do need to be comfortable in that kind of setting and sometimes those settings you know you can get asked tough questions.

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Mike Joyce: they’re not trying to be mean but they just have a legitimate reason to know so that conference I think does come a little bit with experience, but it can also be supplemented with.

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Mike Joyce: With developmental soft skills type of training so having said all that, obviously, the fundamentals, you know sort of a given right I think there’s things that you can teach to be a good auditor.

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Mike Joyce: There are things that are perhaps a little bit more inherent right and communication is skills are certainly one of those things that I think makes you very successful.

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Jason Mefford: well known thanks for that, because that’s that’s again kind of what i’ve been seeing, but it seems like a lot of people still aren’t.

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Jason Mefford: kind of getting in you know it’s like we we like to focus on a lot of our technical skills becoming better technicians.

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Jason Mefford: But once you kind of get to that manager Director level that’s not what’s going to get you a head right is is it’s the communication it’s being able to deal with other people effectively.

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Jason Mefford: Because you know, like you said, the difficult conversations they come in fact the further you go up in the organization, the more difficult those conversations become.

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Jason Mefford: So if you can’t figure out and learn how to communicate how to defuse how to lead people.

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Jason Mefford: You know, in a way that you’re comfortable having those uncomfortable conversations.

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Jason Mefford: Then you’re not going to get to that point right or again if you don’t either want to learn it or you don’t want to deal with it, then.

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Jason Mefford: Maybe stay at the manager Director level because i’ve also seen a lot of people who they get that next job and then they’re like oh man, I should have stayed at my other level I don’t like what i’m doing you.

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Mike Joyce: know and that’s great and there are people are very happy and very good at their level and and that’s great because you know that’s that we need that as well to i’ve also seen people that.

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Mike Joyce: Particularly if they’re just have just been promoted into their first people manager job, maybe they were excellent technicians well qualified.

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Mike Joyce: But they’ve never been to people and that’s a skill as well, too, and sometimes that can be rough at the beginning, so people need to be aware self aware.

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Mike Joyce: and be very open to coaching and mentoring, on how to manage others again, particularly when those difficult conversations come up where you’ve got to coach somebody performance up, and you know, maybe it’s somebody that six months ago, you were at the same level your peers and.

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Jason Mefford: Colleagues, and now.

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Mike Joyce: it’s a little bit more awkward right so.

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Mike Joyce: There are different there’s pluses and minuses you know my my dad used to say it’s great being a manager, except for the people.

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Mike Joyce: Right so obviously joking, but you know there’s a little there’s a little bit of.

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Mike Joyce: undercurrent there that that is worth noting, as well yeah.

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Jason Mefford: Well, no Mike this has been fabulous hey I really appreciate your time today and.

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Jason Mefford: You know, know that people are going to get a lot of lot of value from this and you gave some great advice you know for people that are at the end to that.

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Jason Mefford: everybody’s at different points in their career right, but again just kind of look at where do you want to go, what is it that you need to try to do and yeah the communication, the confidence being able to deal with people.

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Jason Mefford: is important at the manager level I think it’s even it’d be more important further down as we move forward in in kind of the way that work is changing as well as the organizations, become more flat like you and I have already seen in our careers much flatter organizations now.

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Mike Joyce: yeah no absolutely not you know I appreciate this opportunity as well, I had benefited so much from the people that helped me through my career again mentors bosses, so I really like again I could go on day.

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Mike Joyce: But I would like just to add that I appreciate you making me feel more comfortable by sitting there wearing a jacket, while i’m in Chicago where it’s probably.

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Mike Joyce: zero.

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Jason Mefford: And i’ve got four foot snowdrifts my.

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Mike Joyce: house Oh, thank you.

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Jason Mefford: yeah well it’s it’s it’s yeah there’s actually psychological reasons.

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Jason Mefford: Pilot we won’t get into it today right but, but there is actually because there’s a lot more to some of the communication things to with report building and other stuff so yeah.

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Mike Joyce: yeah.

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Jason Mefford: i’m right i’m right up to if I if I came in here in a tank top you’d be like what the heck Jason come on.

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Mike Joyce: Well it’s a casual Friday is what I was exactly exactly.

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Jason Mefford: Well Mike thanks thanks and like I said might have to have you on in the future because there’s a lot of other places, we could end up going to but really appreciate you taking the time.

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Mike Joyce: To time Jason thanks thanks have a good day.

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