Rising from the Mailroom to the Boardroom
Unique Insights for Governance, Risk, Compliance and Audit Leaders
Boards and business leaders expect their key advisors to deliver fresh insights, and increasingly expect them to demonstrate foresight. To achieve what is expected, it is crucial to understand the dynamics of conversations in the boardroom and around the audit committee table. This book provides those unique perspectives.
The journey from the ‘mailroom to the boardroom’ follows the story of a young banker who moved into the internal auditing profession as part of the ‘new breed’, then rose through the ranks into senior leadership and chief audit executive roles, before assuming audit committee and board roles that had an immense influence on governance, risk, compliance, and audit professionals. Success does not always follow a smooth and uneventful trajectory, and this story reflects insights from both the ups and the downs of the journey.
Each chapter shares insights, better practices, case studies, practical examples, and real-life challenges and draws them together into 101 building blocks, each one providing crucial career-long learnings.
The storytelling provides insights to people at all levels on the importance of positioning oneself to step into leadership roles, helps them understand how to evaluate and pursue potential career growth opportunities, provides tips on how to holistically manage and advance their career, and inspires higher-level thinking that enhances governance, risk, compliance and audit practices.
Table of Contents
Other Recent Books by the Author
What Others Are Saying
About the Author
Part 1: Learning the Ropes
1. Packing a Pistol in the Mailroom
2. Looking for Meaningfulness in Customer Service Mottos
3. Oh No – Another Surprise Audit; the business is a-Changing
4. Rising Above the Norm
Part 2: Embracing Executive Challenges
5. Don’t Worry … They’re All Honest Here
6. I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
7. Another Nudge in the Right Direction
8. Composing the Melody in the C-Suite
Part 3: Shaping the High-Level Agenda
9. Positioning Yourself for the Other Side of the Boardroom Table
10. Making It Count Through Philanthropy
11. Holding Court at the Audit Committee Table
12. Boardroom Conversations
Part 4: Postface
13. The Formative Years
14. And We Told You So … the 2020s
15. A Glance into the Future
Bruce Turner is a well-respected transformational leader who has extensive experience on audit committees and boards, coupled with deep and broad professional governance, risk, compliance and audit experience. He is well-positioned to see things through the eyes of an audit committee chairman and board director, while his exemplary record as a CAE means he can reconcile audit committee and board needs with what internal audit and risk management practitioners could (and should) be providing. He is just the second professional internal auditor in Australia to receive Order of Australia honors recognizing his impact on the internal audit profession. He has more than 40 years of practitioner and leadership experience in internal auditing across the globe, traversing the energy, financial services (commercial, merchant, and central banking), government, manufacturing, and transport sectors. He has mentored, supported, nurtured and led audit committee members, and developed and delivered highly-regarded audit committee training courses. He is well-positioned to share his wisdom in this book.
"I have just finished working my way through your book Rising from the Mailroom to the Boardroom. What an impressive book - I can only imagine the amount of work that you must have put into this.
I enjoyed your personal reminiscences - the image of you turning up to a meeting with your auditors in an orange wig will stay with me for a long time. More seriously, I was impressed with the resilience that you had to display when growing up and at various other stages in your career.
I agree with Dianne Hill. It would have been a great help to me when I first became a manager to have had a book like this as a guide and a resource - many mistakes would have been avoided and many more things may have been achieved. It is a wonderful compendium of advice and things to look out for.
There was so much that I found myself agreeing with and wishing that more people realised (eg, to name just three at random, the importance of the secretary/secretariat; the need to do more about domestic violence; how we introverts can benefit from quiet spaces ………..). The book should be a great help to many now in the workforce (not only in internal audit).
It was very kind of you to include me in the group of Legends - it was always a pleasure to work with you - I learnt a lot from your approach to auditing."
-- Audit Committee Chairman
This book will support aspiring professionals, business leaders, and board members in becoming fit for the future. It collates fresh ideas and strategies to help people address daily workplace challenges and ultimately develop in their careers.
The author, Bruce Turner, is a well-respected transformational leader who has extensive experience on audit committees and boards, coupled with deep and broad professional governance, risk, compliance and audit experience, across the government, health, manufacturing, and financial services industries. As such, he is positioned to see things through the eyes of an audit committee chairman and board director, so that he clearly reconciles audit committee and board needs with what should be provided.
Bruce shares his insights on holistically managing and advancing a career across five decades through storytelling, case studies, practical examples, illustrations and photographs. The visuals are amazing! These insights will inspire the adoption of better practices. He has not shied away from reflecting on both the ups and the downs of the journey to show that even though a career does not always follow a smooth and uneventful trajectory a significant legacy for the wider community sits at the end of the rainbow. The cautionary tales about challenges that can test ones resolve help to open one’s eyes to the challenges.
The original Four-I Framework for Career Development (intuition, ideas, intent, and impact) reflects on the different stages of a professional career from learning the ropes for a firm career foundation, through helping others succeed and embracing executive challenges, to ultimately shaping high-level boardroom and c-suite agendas. The takeaways are drawn together into 101 building blocks, each one providing crucial career-long learnings.
The book is fresh, well-written, relevant, and generates insights that help readers to optimize their impact and outcomes. It will help business leaders, governance, risk, compliance and audit leaders to look beyond the known, enabling them to rewire their inherent thinking processes to accommodate the expectation that they deliver value through relevant insights and foresight, and ultimately meaningful outcomes.
Bruce captures the essence of change in the executive summary when he espouses, "Governance, risk management, compliance and assurance professionals have evolved from simply sharing a hindsight perspective to delivering fresh insights, and are increasingly expected to demonstrate foresight. In delivering insights and foresight it is crucial to understand the dynamics of conversations in the boardroom and around the audit committee table. This book provides those unique perspectives."
The insights immersed throughout this book will aid boards and audit committees to embrace world class oversight practices to their performance and conformance activities by inspiring improvements in the secretariat and others that support them. That will, in turn, help close the gap between what boards and audit committees expect and what is being delivered from business leaders and governance, risk management, compliance and assurance specialists reporting to them.
Dan Swanson CIA, CISA, CAP
President and CEO of Dan Swanson and Associates