E164: Professional Associations are Pre-Historic Dinosaurs

In today’s episode we discuss how professional associations are becoming a thing of the past.

These Associations, like The Shriners or Rotarians… Or a certain Internal Audit related one… Are not meeting the needs of the public and membership is waning.

To join a consistent, confidential community of Chief Audit Executives mentioned in this episode, visit: https://jasonmefford.mykajabi.com/caeforum and schedule your call to see if it’s right for you.

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

Transcript

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Jason Mefford: Welcome to another episode of jamming with Jason hey my friends welcome back in this episode, we are going to be talking about why professional associations are pre historic dinosaurs Now I know you might like dinosaurs, or like the idea of them.

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Jason Mefford: But I don’t know prehistoric dinosaurs well let’s get into the episode and you’ll see what i’m talking about.

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Jason Mefford: Alright, everybody well hey thanks for joining me again for another episode of jamming with Jason.

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Jason Mefford: hey I mentioned that we’re going to be talking about prehistoric dinosaurs today, so if you’re a fan of dinosaurs obviously hang around, even if you’re not.

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Jason Mefford: you’re not going to want to miss this so listen now just to start with, let me do a couple of shout outs to people.

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Jason Mefford: First, one I got a message on linkedin and said I love this this is heading connecting with the best podcast owner for internal audit ooh.

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Jason Mefford: love that and the message says hi Jason i’m marlo Viana an internal audit manager in Brazil.

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Jason Mefford: It is a pleasure to hear your weekly podcasts and your effort to discuss critical subjects for our career, thank you, and please keep doing it so marlowe’s, thank you for sending that out and i’m going to keep doing it in fact we’re doing it today hey how about that okay.

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Jason Mefford: And you know big shout out to Brazil as well, we are listened to literally all over the world, so you know again just like marlowe’s reach out to me on linkedin.

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Jason Mefford: shoot me an email, let me know that you’re listening and what you enjoy the most now also another one Andy Kovacs actually sent it and said, we need more myth busters like you.

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Jason Mefford: So today is one of those myth busting episodes so if you’re familiar with, with the show myth busters it’s it’s actually pretty fun on TV to watch.

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Jason Mefford: Where they go back and they actually look at some of the things that people believe and do scientific experiments to actually see whether that thing is a myth, or whether it is true.

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Jason Mefford: And a lot of times they they bust the myths so today we’re going to work in a bust a little bit of a myth okay Now I know for some of you.

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Jason Mefford: This is already a conversation that you’re having in your head so as I go through and talk today you’re probably going to be nodding your head a lot and saying you know what Jason.

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Jason Mefford: I totally get what you’re talking about i’ve been thinking, the same thing for a long time, so if you’re one of those people.

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Jason Mefford: you’re not alone we’re many of us are thinking, the same things and if you’re not if it’s like this is the first time you’ve ever heard this and it shakes you up a little bit.

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Jason Mefford: Well, you know today’s episode is is intended to shake up people a little bit in actually have you consider and think you know I don’t I don’t want people to.

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Jason Mefford: just go through life and do things as they’ve been expected to do them I like people who actually think for themselves and often buck the tradition.

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Jason Mefford: By doing what they think is right, instead of just going along with what everyone else is doing so with that, let me get in and talk a little bit about.

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Jason Mefford: Professional associations now i’ve been thinking about this for a while this is something that I like I said i’ve thought about i’ve had a lot of different conversations with people, and let me just kind of you know let’s let’s start jumping in and going there.

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Jason Mefford: Now, when when my grandparents okay my grandparents actually lived through the depression.

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Jason Mefford: Here in the United States, they were they were a couple actually part of their family, they were farmers out in the Midwest and during the Great Depression and the dust bowl they ended up having to move West right because they lost everything that they had.

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Jason Mefford: They were farmers by nature, and they and they moved out to the West and back at that time you know, in the 30s 40s and 50s especially here in the United States.

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Jason Mefford: A lot of people belonged to different associations so things like you know my grandparents were elks they would go down to the elks lodge a couple times a week.

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Jason Mefford: meet with their friends, sometimes they’d there’d be music or dancing or other things, and they would get a sense of community.

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Jason Mefford: You know they’d be out working in the fields, doing the stuff that they needed to during the day, and it was a way for them to go and get community and develop friendships with people in the Community.

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Jason Mefford: That they weren’t directly working with, and this went on for a long, long time I mean associations, like that, here in the United States we’re a very big deal and a very big part of people’s lives for a long time now starting you know the 6070s and especially in the 80s.

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Jason Mefford: Membership and a lot of those associations started going down now, there were several different reasons for that and, again, as I said, my grandparents were elks but some of the other associations, like this, you know the rotarians.

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Jason Mefford: The shriners you know, these were some of the the ones that a lot of people actually.

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Jason Mefford: joined and had community with in fact i’m going to talk about the shriners here in just a little bit too so hang on for that, but what ended up you know happening, when my grandparents, you know we’re alive.

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Jason Mefford: Things were just different right, I mean a lot of times, especially in the United States there weren’t a lot of media options again remember this was the 30s 40s and 50s before TV.

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Jason Mefford: And so, at night people didn’t turn on the TV and get entertained in their home they would go to these clubs or associations for their entertainment Okay, and so they served a very good purpose.

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Jason Mefford: In fact, most of these also had a charitable arm to them, I was a Rotarian myself.

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Jason Mefford: In fact, a lot of the things that you know the Rotary stands for, you know, polio eradication clean water literacy, I very much agree with those things.

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Jason Mefford: But i’ll tell you again, my reason why i’m no longer a Rotarian and i’m going to get there in just a minute okay.

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Jason Mefford: So, as I said, these clubs, they were filling an important need that people had for community.

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Jason Mefford: Now, as things changed, you know again at that time to a lot of times the husband was the only one who was working outside of the home, and so the family dynamics were a little bit different but as we started moving moving forward.

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Jason Mefford: Both you know husband and wife are both partners ended up starting to work there was childcare issues, some of these other things.

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Jason Mefford: to wear a lot of a lot of the membership in these types of clubs and associations started going down.

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Jason Mefford: In fact, I was in winnipeg Canada okay shout out to all the Canadians who listen, but I was in winnipeg probably about 20 years ago.

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Jason Mefford: And the hotel that I was staying in they were actually having a regional conference for the shriners and it’s pretty obvious because the shriners wear hats I love hats right.

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Jason Mefford: But they have a very distinctive hat and so they were all over the hotel because they were having their conference in the hotel, where I was staying.

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Jason Mefford: And so you know I love just talking to people and getting to know them, and so I struck up several different conversations with.

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Jason Mefford: With the shriners who were there and we’re kind of saying hey you know why, why are you guys here well we’re having a conference okay well, what do you, what do you kind of talking about.

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Jason Mefford: And 20 years ago, mind you, this was 20 years ago they said, you know we’re having a very tough time having younger people join.

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Jason Mefford: And again, I could look around the hotel and I could see all these people were in their 60s and 70s okay Gray hair retired.

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Jason Mefford: There were not very many young people around and they said, you know what we’re struggling to get new Members to get younger members.

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Jason Mefford: And we’re trying to figure out why Okay, or how we can do things different now again a lot of these clubs still haven’t been able to figure this out because things have changed okay.

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Jason Mefford: And so, when I talk about prehistoric dinosaurs okay that’s because dinosaurs became extinct right because they were not able to change.

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Jason Mefford: With the times and, unfortunately, a lot of professional associations are dinosaurs that are not changing with the times they’re not changing with the times and i’m going to get to that here.

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Jason Mefford: In just a minute, but again, let me talk about you know I told you again, I was a Rotarian love that you know, for the time when I was a Rotarian.

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Jason Mefford: But I ended up having to quit, and the reason was not because I didn’t believe in what they were doing, but it was because I was traveling.

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Jason Mefford: And they had you know certain meetings once a week that you would go to, and I was literally out of town and couldn’t attend those meetings at that particular time.

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Jason Mefford: And so again, it was because I was busy because I had these other obligations that I was not able to attend this again is one of the reasons why so many of these clubs and other things like that are having difficulty because our lives are now different than they were before.

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Jason Mefford: And we can’t afford or don’t take the time to go and do some of these things because honestly we’re busy right, I mean i’m guessing if you’re like most people.

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Jason Mefford: you’re busy too and you’re trying to figure out how to fit everything in as well Okay, and so again, as I said a lot of these clubs and associations their memberships have been going down.

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Jason Mefford: Now we see the same thing in in churches as well right that that a lot of people less fewer people are going to church for some of the same reasons that i’ve been talking about before.

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Jason Mefford: A lot of people got got their community by going to church they’re not getting it that way now.

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Jason Mefford: The same thing is starting to happen with professional associations as well Okay, and so again, you can think about all the different ones i’m going to use an example because there’s many different professional associations.

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Jason Mefford: But i’m going to use the example today of the Institute of internal auditors because, again I know a lot of people listening might be in the internal audit space.

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Jason Mefford: And you may be members of the Institute of internal auditors, but here’s what i’m going to tell you okay.

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Jason Mefford: Is that again, these are dying on the vine, if you will, just like these other clubs, churches and other associations that i’ve been talking about.

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Jason Mefford: Now, why is that the case because they’re not fulfilling the needs of people now right things have changed, but a lot of these associations, continue to be dinosaurs stuck 40 or 50 years ago.

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Jason Mefford: And because of that they’re not relevant anymore, because they’re not teaching they’re not providing a community that people need and honestly when you’re busy you really have to pick what’s most important and where to spend your time.

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Jason Mefford: Now, again, some of you may be saying wow that’s just not right Jason I love the I I go to my meetings, all the time well, let me give you a little information now i’m here in orange I belong to the orange county California chapter.

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Jason Mefford: And that chapter has seven or 800 members okay seven to 800 members of that local chapter of the AIA.

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Jason Mefford: But they struggle to get 30 people to come to meetings now what does that tell you well for some reason 95% of the people it’s not relevant to them.

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Jason Mefford: Even though they happen to be members on paper, they don’t go to the meetings which means it’s not a priority to them, for some reason okay.

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Jason Mefford: And again, sometimes that might be hey i’m just busy I mean honestly I was that way, a lot, why should I spend half a day going to a one hour training.

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Jason Mefford: That honestly often sucked anyway okay why, why would I take four hours, out of my day to go to a one hour training.

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Jason Mefford: hey, why not instead you can just get the one hour training at your desk whenever you want to and from a place like see risk Academy.

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Jason Mefford: Right that’s why so many people are switching to things like on demand, training, where they don’t have to show up at a particular you know date and time or waste a bunch of time trying to go somewhere on person.

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Jason Mefford: Just like your other entertainment options they’d rather be able to sit down on their couch or in front of their computer and just pull up and do one hour of training.

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Jason Mefford: and honestly it’s the same cost anyway, as if you were to go to something like an hi a meeting right, but you don’t waste the time Okay, so do you see what i’m seeing.

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Jason Mefford: Is that times are changing so are you changing with the times, or are you acting like a dinosaur as well.

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Jason Mefford: I don’t know if that’s a question that you have to answer, but we know what happened to the dinosaurs, so if you’re acting that way, maybe you ought to quit.

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Jason Mefford: Okay, unless you want to become extinct, like the dinosaurs and i’m guessing you don’t want to do that okay.

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Jason Mefford: So let me go back because, again I said i’ve been thinking about this for a long time i’ve been thinking about things like my grandparents and my experience with Rotary.

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Jason Mefford: and honestly now my experience with the AIA okay now i’ve been hearing from several different people that I know.

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Jason Mefford: that they are not renewing their I am membership i’ve heard this from a lot of different people that i’ve talked to.

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Jason Mefford: They said, you know what it doesn’t interest me anymore i’m not getting any value out of it i’m not going to renew my membership next year or you know at this time, where I did not renew this last year.

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Jason Mefford: And when I first heard people saying that you know I kind of thought Oh, you know because I I was a president of an eye Chapter I was a district rap I served on lots of committees, I did lots of things with the AIA.

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Jason Mefford: And so to me it almost felt like I would be disloyal if if I didn’t belong to that or if I didn’t just believe everything that they said.

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Jason Mefford: And I know you know in previous episodes i’ve kind of talked about you know, religion and how sometimes you know if you leave religion or you leave traditions that you have been indoctrinated into.

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Jason Mefford: You know, at first, it feels like well i’m not being true I can’t do that right, because I was raised this way well, some of you may be feeling the same way, because, as I said, I felt kind of the same way to about the IIA.

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Jason Mefford: Excuse me, growing growing up in it, you know serving volunteering doing all of the different things that way as well.

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Jason Mefford: But I will tell you I told you i’ve been hearing from people for the last several years that they’re not renewing.

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Jason Mefford: And I thought that will never be me well guess what folks this year, I had to seriously think about it for two or three weeks and I almost didn’t renew this year.

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Jason Mefford: Next year will I renew I don’t know now why because, again, a lot of the things that are being taught the things that are out there.

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Jason Mefford: I don’t think are very relevant anymore they’re 40 to 50 year old things that is not how we actually audit.

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Jason Mefford: In fact I think i’ve mentioned this before I think there, there has come a point where, following to the letter of the law, a lot of the standards and a lot of the practices.

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Jason Mefford: That are espoused by professional associations actually hurts you in your career and it actually hurts your organization, so my opinion is.

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Jason Mefford: When it’s when something crosses the line like that to where it’s actually more harmful to you than helpful I think it’s time for people to speak up and actually say something about it.

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Jason Mefford: So that’s what i’m doing today i’m being a myth buster and i’m talking about it i’m just talking about the elephant that many of you are probably already having this discussion in your head.

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Jason Mefford: Now, what makes me say that well again i’ve had lots of discussions like this with people and I just had one this last week i’ve helped hundreds of people pass the certified internal auditor or CIA exam right from the IAEA.

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Jason Mefford: And you know honestly I teach people how to pass, knowing that I don’t believe or think that some of the answers are correct, but I help people learn what those quote unquote correct answers are so that they can pass the exam.

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Jason Mefford: But I had somebody just this last week, who told me, you know what i’m really struggling with part two.

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Jason Mefford: Because I i’m i’m not getting the answers correct I don’t understand what they’re saying, because what i’m being taught is not what we are doing in practice.

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Jason Mefford: Now I know to some people who would be staunch they would say, well, that must mean that that person isn’t really doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

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Jason Mefford: In their internal audit department and shame on them right well knowing this person, a little bit that’s not the case folks they’re actually providing quality work.

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Jason Mefford: Value Added work for their organization, but they just don’t follow some of the historic wrote dogmatic types of things that were done in audit 40 or 50 years ago.

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Jason Mefford: And so again he’s struggling with the point of hey you know this this differs so much from what we’re actually doing in practice i’m having a tough time passing the exam.

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Jason Mefford: that’s an example of what i’m talking about folks is again it’s nothing against any any particular professional association, but what I have seen and it’s not just from the IAEA, but from others as well, they are still stuck in the past they have their own agenda.

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Jason Mefford: And so, because of that, I just want you to wake up and start asking yourself questions is that the best use of my time or Would I be better off to spend it elsewhere.

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Jason Mefford: Because again I know you’re all busy I mean everybody that I talked to is stressed out they’re overworked and they’re trying to figure out what they can do differently.

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Jason Mefford: This might be one of those areas where you can cut back, why keep trying to you know already if you don’t feel like you know you’re just doing it out of obligation, then maybe stop right there’s other options as I talked about now.

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Jason Mefford: At the beginning, I was talking again about some of the clubs and how they they filled a Community need, for example, that my grandparents had and going to the elks.

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Jason Mefford: And one thing I know about humans is, we want a sense of community and because of that we search out ways to have that community in our life.

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Jason Mefford: Some people find it through religion and by going to a particular church, some people find it through hobbies or other things like that, and again, things have changed, you know I know people that.

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Jason Mefford: Their Community they like to play online video games and their community is these people that they play video games with each day.

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Jason Mefford: that’s where they find their Community they don’t go to church or go to other places, to try to find it they find it there in a new way that again it wasn’t even an option 40 or 50 years ago.

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Jason Mefford: So whatever you do, and this is one of the reasons why I wanted to talk about this today is, we all need community.

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Jason Mefford: We all need some kind of community now, if you want to find that Community and professional associations, if you find that community in those professional associations.

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Jason Mefford: Then, keep going to those professional associations Okay, but if you’re like a lot of people that i’ve talked to and you feel like you’re just going because you’re supposed to well Maybe you can find Community elsewhere that will serve you better.

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Jason Mefford: And so start asking yourself what are some of those ways if you’re not sure reach out to me because i’ll give you some examples right and an example today that i’ll give you as well, is.

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Jason Mefford: For chief out of the executives, you know chief audit executives, that is one of the loneliest jobs in the world and having been there, multiple times, I can tell you.

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Jason Mefford: CES long for Community and in because of that they try to go to some of these different things there’s options that are out there that just really are not very good.

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Jason Mefford: And unfortunately again they’re not consistent they’re not confidential and they’re not a Community, and I know i’ve talked before on here about Community versus networking.

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Jason Mefford: How the two are different and you don’t need networking unless you’re a salesperson but you do need community.

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Jason Mefford: You need those that group of people that are actual friends they’re not just acquaintances these are people that know you, these are people that you are comfortable sharing information with.

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Jason Mefford: You know when things are going good when things aren’t going so good, you have a place to go that is safe and confidential okay.

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Jason Mefford: And so, again, there is a place like that for chief audit executives and it’s called the cae forum.

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Jason Mefford: Now why am I talking about this at the end here, well because, again, a lot of Chief audit executives look to professional associations.

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Jason Mefford: or professional services firms to try to get that sense of community but here’s what i’m going to tell you, you will always be find it lacking.

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Jason Mefford: Looking in those two places, because they are not actually Community okay instead they are usually places to try to you know pat you on the back, make you feel better about yourself.

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Jason Mefford: And then sell you a bunch of services, but if you’re a chief audit executive who wants that consistent.

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Jason Mefford: Confidential community of other CEOs and i’m talking to a real Community people who know you people who are there for you and will go to bat for you, if you need help.

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Jason Mefford: Then the chief audit executive forum is something that you really should consider.

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Jason Mefford: Now why am I, bringing it up today too because again that CA forum only lets people in once or twice a year.

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Jason Mefford: And this is one of those times so if you’re listening to this and your chief audit executive you owe it to yourself to check it out.

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Jason Mefford: to sign up for a quick call and see if it’s something that is a good fit for you, because again that’s where you will find that community.

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Jason Mefford: Now, for those of you, that are not ca’s again where can you find Community they can be from all different places right.

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Jason Mefford: But again you’re probably not going to find them in those professional associations are some of the other things and it’s okay to question it it’s okay to stop.

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Jason Mefford: If you don’t want to go Okay, especially again if you think that it’s actually hurting you more than it’s actually helping you.

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Jason Mefford: Because honestly there’s lots of other places, you can actually go to get training to get Community through things like Facebook groups.

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Jason Mefford: As I mentioned already, you know people that do online gaming there’s communities there different communities for hobbyists.

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Jason Mefford: I was just talking to one of my brothers who is into woodworking and actually has started going to a Woodworkers Guild.

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Jason Mefford: He actually makes pens and other stuff like that, out of wood there’s lots of different places to go, but the idea is you need something in your life so find some of that community.

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Jason Mefford: And again why am I talking about this today, because so many of you are stressed out and you don’t have any place to go when you’re stressed out.

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Jason Mefford: And I know i’ve been there okay that’s one of the reasons to why community is so important for you alright so with that my friends i’m going to wrap up for this week.

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Jason Mefford: Go out again don’t just go along, because you think you’re expected to go along think for yourself and choose for yourself on exactly what you’re going to do.

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Jason Mefford: Whether it’s professional associations or anything else do what’s right for you and in the best interest of you, your family your organization and the people that work for you so with that.

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Jason Mefford: Thanks for sharing this time with me and i’ll catch you on the next episode of jammin with Jason see ya.

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