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Compliance and servant leadership

Joseph Agins ( is the Institutional Compliance Officer for Sam Houston State University in Houston, Texas, USA.

Have you ever worked for a boss who treated you poorly? A “leader” who envisioned themselves as the hammer and you as the nail? Now, how about someone who put your needs first? A leader who valued your input, listened, and helped you to succeed? I will venture to guess we have all had both experiences. So, which one did you work harder for?

As I reflect on my professional career, those leaders I respected and admired most were all servant leaders. They were more than “a boss.” They had high expectations but were also mentors and leaders who listened, cared, and were invested in my success. I respected and wished to emulate them both professionally and personally. I can say absolutely, I worked hardest for them and did so gladly.

As compliance professionals, we know employees can be afraid or intimidated by us and may sometimes view us as the hammer as opposed to a partner in their success. Might we realize better results when stakeholders buy in to our programs, because they want to and not because they have to?

I say “yes” and believe practicing servant leadership can help!

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