Blog Post

Compliance Officer Executive Leadership Skills

Richard P. Kusserow | January 2023

Becoming the Compliance Officer is the result of successfully performing past services in lesser capacities. However, elevation to a position that involves interacting with executive leadership means stepping up and demonstrating different capabilities and facing demands that are significantly more challenging. Those taking on the responsibilities of Compliance Officer and working as a member of executive leadership may also encounter unique challenges to being accepted as part of the leadership team. The following are key principles involved in evidencing executive leadership.

  1. Self-Awareness. Being self-aware at the executive level goes beyond knowing one’s own strengths and weaknesses, preferences, and patterns. It also includes being aware of the effect and impact of one’s actions and behavior on others. 
  2. Communication. All those in leadership roles must be able to effectively communicate their goals to gain understanding and support from others through honest interaction that includes appreciating and respecting others’ points of view.
  3. Impact. Being able to persuade, promote, and explain positions effectively is a critical factor for successful Compliance Officers and involves establishing a working network with others to achieve objectives.
  4. Delegation. Compliance Officers must rely upon others to carry out tasks, which means being able to delegate to others and motivate them to undertake tasks and projects. How well the staff carries out these instructions will determine the value of the results.
  5. Adaptability. Being successful at the executive level means being able to convert knowledge from previous work experience to new situations. Old methods won’t always translate well at the executive level, and it is important to determine what it takes to be successful at the executive level.
  6. Thinking Strategically. This begins with focusing on the mission and goals of the compliance program and how to adapt it within the context of the culture of the organization.

Be sure to complete the 2023 Healthcare Compliance Benchmark Survey.

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About the Author

Richard P. Kusserow established Strategic Management Services, LLC, after retiring from being the DHHS Inspector General, and has assisted over 2,000 health care organizations and entities in developing, implementing and assessing compliance programs.

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