Internal auditors tend to be very good at most managerial tasks. We understand the importance of budgets and schedules, and we believe in developing clear policies and procedures. We undertake regular planning activities, we require periodic performance evaluations, and we institute strict quality-control mechanisms that help ensure the value of our work.
Internal audit training programs are typically designed to teach each of these tasks, and most of us learn these lessons well. But even in larger internal audit departments with extensive training and development programs, it’s not unusual to find that, in one area, we sometimes pay scant attention: and that’s to leadership skills.
I believe we are hurting our professional development by ignoring this subject. Whether you are an audit intern or a seasoned executive, it’s almost impossible to be effective without strong leadership skills. Many of us aspire to be in charge of an internal audit group or to take on other leadership roles in our organizations, but even the most junior auditors are often called upon to lead specific tasks.
To be sure, even the best leaders make mistakes. But there are a few areas where we seem to stumble most:
That’s my perspective. You might have other tips that can help internal auditors become better leaders. If so, please share them here.