Regulatory compliance professionals have historically advanced within the profession by becoming subject matter experts. In the increasingly complex regulatory environment financial institutions are facing, leadership skills are often more important than subject matter expertise.
Leadership ability requires an entirely new set of skills. Skills that not only encompass knowledge and expertise in the regulations and activities of compliance, but the ability to effectively interface with business line leaders in order to successfully manage the intersection of increased regulatory risk and the demands of business in a highly competitive industry. More specifically, the new skills needed in today’s compliance leaders include the ability to:
- understand their own leadership style and the leadership styles of other compliance officers and business people
- develop a strong leadership voice and presence
- embody effective assertiveness and direct communication with peers, more senior business people, and direct reports
- motivate and inspire teams
- handle difficult conversations
- solve intractable problems
- develop greater self-awareness and a deeper understanding of how to avoid becoming an obstacle to your own success
The level and rate of change taking place in regulatory compliance makes this transition a significant challenge even for the most experienced compliance professional. However, with this challenge comes an opportunity for transformational change.