In this episode, I consider the theme of mentoring in compliance.
In the story The Adventure of the Six Napoleons, Inspector Lestrade says to Holmes, “Well,” said Lestrade, “I’ve seen you handle a good many cases, Mr. Holmes, but I don’t know that I ever knew a more workmanlike one than that. We’re not jealous of you at Scotland Yard. No sir, we are very proud of you, and if you come down to-morrow, there’s not a man […] who wouldn’t be glad to shake your hand.” This comment provides insights into how Holmes is viewed by other law enforcement officers; Holmes is a sort of living legend and the other officers respect his skills.
The matter involved the theft of jewelry as Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard brings Holmes a seemingly trivial problem about a man who shatters plaster busts of Napoleon. One was shattered in Morse Hudson’s shop, and two others, sold by Hudson to a Dr. Barnicot, were smashed after the doctor’s house and branch office had been burgled. Nothing else was taken in any of the break-ins. It turns out that the thief had stolen several pieces of jewelry and then hid them in the Napoleonic busts. The thief, having been released from prison on an unrelated offense, was tracking down the busts in which he had placed the jewels for hiding, breaking them open and reclaiming his purloined property.
What are some of the ways that you might mentor a younger or less senior compliance professional? I think there are several ways suggested by Conan Doyle as epitomized by the statement by Lestrade and his relationship with Holmes and Watson.
1. Passion- CCOs and seasoned compliance professionals tend to be passionate about compliance even if (like myself) they have a legal background and came to compliance from a corporate legal department. You should work to transmit that passion to others you are mentoring.
2. Developing Networks-Introduce your mentees to others in your organization, so that they can be exposed to different leadership styles and see how such leadership styles work in various areas and with different constituencies.
3. Develop Purpose-This can be aided through reflection, introspection and ability to change as a leader. Moreover, rather than influencing others through individual speeches or stories, the everyday connections between a compliance professional’s sense of purpose and the compliance vision can work to form an indelible impression about the importance of compliance to an organization.
4. Next Generation of Compliance-it is equally important that you communicate that to your mentee as it is certainly important that each generation of compliance leaders be fit for the future and be committed to continuous improvement going forward.