Compliance author and CCI columnist Mary Shirley catches up with fellow author Kristy Grant-Hart to talk about her forthcoming book, “Your Year as a Wildly Effective Compliance Officer” and (briefly) about Grant-Hart’s time as a high school improv star.
Mary Shirley: It’s lovely to sit down with you again Kristy, what’s keeping you most busy right now?
Kristy Grant-Hart: Hi Mary! I’m delighted to be with you, too! My speaking season is finally slowing down now that we’re heading into the holidays. It was a doozy this year — New York, Switzerland, London, Dublin, Washington D.C., Atlanta. I love speaking, but it’s nice to be able to look forward to some time at home.
MS: You’re already well known in the space as an author with multiple ethics and compliance titles to your name. How does this book differ from your others and for those that loved the previous works, what will they love about this new offering?
KGH: This is my first book that takes place over time. It has a tip for every workday, plus writing prompts and a place to keep track of your weekly wins. It’s more journal-style. It’s meant to help the reader to internalize the tips and to put them into practice, rather than simply reading them.
MS: I love the angle of it being like a living document, rather than just a moment in time experience — it’s the gift that keeps on giving! What was the impetus for writing this book?
KGH: I saw a review of my first book that said something like, “you can only do what’s in this book if you’re Kristy!” It was quite biting and made me feel bad. I wanted to make sure the information that I’ve written about motivation, influence, persuasion and kicking your career into the next gear didn’t feel esoteric or impossible to accomplish. This book is my way of putting practical application of my techniques and making them easily digestible.
MS: That’s quite the backhanded compliment; I’m sorry it stung. I’m glad you took the feedback and used it to motivate a helpful new initiative. I think that’s one of the secrets of success in life — to listen with an open mind and heart, even if it’s not what we were hoping to hear and then making it work for us. I guess I would phrase that as positively weaponizing critiques. Probably just normally referred to as learning from feedback. I like my phrase better. Is there any particular profile of practitioner you envisaged this book was written for?
KGH: The book is written for anyone who works in the compliance and ethics profession or who works in an aligned function like audit, legal or human resources. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at — whether you’ve been in the profession 10 years or 10 minutes. Heck, if you’re just interested in the profession, this book is for you.
MS: I love how interactive this book is, including making dedicated opportunities for reflection. How do you recommend readers use the book to get the most out of it and how should it be viewed within the suite of your other works?
KGH: If people are anything like me, they’ll read through the whole book quickly and then go back and work through the prompts and weekly reviews. The book is meant to be worked through over the course of the year so that the tips can be implemented and wins can be tracked.
Ultimately, it’s up to the reader, but I’d recommend doing the weekly win tracking no matter what. By the end of the year, you’ll have a list of 52 things you did well, and that can strongly influence your annual review and chance for a raise or promotion.
MS: It was really nice to hear more of your personal story in this book. Will you share something most people don’t already know about you that has helped shape you into the beloved compliance influencer you are today?
KGH: In high school, I was part of an improv team called Downstage! We did all kinds of crazy performances for hundreds of people. My favorite activity was when the audience made up a song title and a place for the song to be staged. It’s like being in a musical you’re making up on the spot. Once I ended up making up a song about losing my pet dinosaur in a mall! Improv is definitely a useful skill, especially when I’m speaking to a crowd or giving training.
MS: Well, I think we now know more about the origin story of why you are known as the best of the best when it comes to showmanship in presentations. Where can we find the book?
KGH: After Nov. 30th, it can be found here on Amazon or in your local bookstore for next-day order. Thanks so much!