Systematic Risk Management Blog

5 Traits Risk Managers MUST Possess

Posted by David Spence on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 @ 10:02 AM

Excerpts from Chapter 12 of  Managing Risk - Systematic Loss Prevention for Executives, by Vernon L. Grose 

"Only Outstanding People Should Apply" . . . That is the sign that ought to be placed in the window when hiring a risk manager or Chief Risk Officer.  
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. . . Some people see risk management personnel as policemen – those who enforce rules and regulations.  Others think of risk management personnel as firefighters who are always running to the scene of an accident or loss, putting out the fire, mopping up the mess, documenting the extent of the loss, and talking to the press.  Risk managers are sometimes seen as psychiatrists – good listeners, but seldom offering anything other than a good ear.  They have a million plausible theories but none of them get implemented by hardheaded and cynical management.  Risk managers can even play the role of chaplain because they preach lots of moralistic sermons and project a “holier-than-thou” attitude – especially after a costly accident. Any of these sound familiar?

describe the image. . . When I interviewed my first applicant for a risk management position, I wondered, “What criteria should be used to evaluate this candidate?  What kind of people should do professional risk management work?  Should they be technical or business oriented or managerial?  Or all of these?”  As the time of the interview grew nearer, I took out a small piece of note paper and wrote down five characteristics that seemed to describe the type of person we needed.  Believe it or not, those five traits were never revised – and hundreds of people have been hired since then, using the same list. . .

. . . Figure 12-1, The Pentagon of Peculiarity  depicts those five traits that seem to set the risk professional apart from others as a pentagon, and they are a formidable five.  They are dubbed “peculiar” to emphasize that the traits are “distinctive, particular, unique, special and out of the ordinary.” . . . . .

. . . One additional aspect – possibly an axiom – concerning the proper background for those working in risk management needs attention.  And this may be startling to some.  Only a very small percentage of people working in this field should be there permanently, perhaps 10 percent at most.  The following are several reasons for this unusual postulate:  . . . .

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We at Omega Systems Group know it is critical that a risk manager or chief risk officer must possess a unique combination of skills, traits and talents.  Download Chapter 12 of Dr. Grose's best selling book, Managing Risk – Systematic Loss Prevention for Executives to understand his perspective and recommendations.  And contact us to discuss your biggest risk management challenges.

Order Chapter 12 Now!

Topics: assessment, creative employees, loss, risk manager skill set, risk manager traits, accidents, Analytical Inclination, risk manager qualities