Why the Compliance Officer Rules and You Will Be the Hero

Remember great epic series like The Game of Thrones, The Tudors or Spartacus. There’s always the bad guy (the king) and the good guy (the hero). Next to the bad guy (the almighty king) is always a personage who is called the king’s counselor. His job is to advice the king about what the king should do to avoid future dangers. You often hear him say things like ‘danger is coming’ or ‘the enemy has gathered’.

In times of peace the king’s counselor doesn’t have a particular important role. Remember, his job is to give the king advice. But when there’s no danger that threatens the king’s position, what’s there to advice? That’s why the king’s counselors role is far more important when there is fear. Fear to make the wrong choices, fear that the army is being slaughtered or fear of conquer of the realm. The king has to make important decisions and relies on his private advisor and specialist in fighting and avoiding dangers: the king’s counselor.

Now think of the role of the current compliance officers and rule-makers in the financial services industry. There is fear everywhere. Fear to not following the rules (wrong choices), fear to being sued (slaughtered army) or fear to even go bankrupt (conquer of the realm). The board of directors have to make important decisions to avoid those dangers. So they trust on the specialist in avoiding dangers: the compliance officer and rule-makers. That’s why the role of the compliance officer is so important nowadays.

The Story of the Hero

Now the hero comes along. But who is the hero? The hero is someone who believes in a higher cause. Something that’s far more profound than avoiding dangers. The hero has a vision of a better world in the future. A vision which he stands for and what he brings into the world.

The hero encouters many problems on his mission to create a better world. At first the hero – who lives a prosperous and happy life and is respected by all – is visited by counselors who begin pointing out the heroes many flaws and tell him that he is unfit to remain. The hero resists, but to no avail. He is send off to a new world. There, adrift and alone, he flounders. But with the help of a few he meets during his exile, he transforms himself and vows to make his way back. And eventually he does return. Where he is welcomed to a place that he hardly recognizes but he still understands is home.

The Hero’s journey

The hero has a mission. He is on a  journey to fulfill that mission. The journey has 3 main parts.

1. Departure

2. Initiation

3. Return

The hero hears a call, refuses it at first and then crosses the threshold into a new world. During initiation he faces stiff challenges and stares into the abyss. But along the way, usually with the help of mentors who give the hero a divine gift, he transforms and becomes at one with his new self. Then, he returns, becoming the master of two worlds, committed to improving each. This structure underlies not only the epic series as mentioned earlier (The Game of Thrones, The Tudors, Spartacus) but also epic stories such as The Legend of King Arthur, Huckleberry Finn, Star wars and The Matrix. And many, many other epic tales.

Picture yourself the role of the king’s counselors nowadays in the financial services industry. The compliance officers and rule-makers (king’s counselors) are telling you as an advisor or financial planner (the hero) that your work has many flaws. You know that they act this way out of fear. But you, you have a vision. You know that there are some thresholds to cross, but eventually you will return to a new world where you will thrive again. A world where there is no fear and which is not about products anymore, but about relationships. In the new world people are connected to each other like never before. You know if you want to thrive in this new world you must not only use your abilities which worked in the old world (knowledge). But also the skills and aptitudes that are necessary to be successful in the new world. You have to master the art of building relationships. When people have good relationships with their trusted advisor, fear will diminish, positivity will return and the hero thrives.

And off course, in the end the hero wins and people live happily ever after.

If you are ready to become a hero, I’d like to know this:

What is the biggest treshold you have to cross right now?

Please, leave your answer here below in the comment field.

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To your success,

Ronald Sier