When I set out to write my book Trusted Advisors: Key Attributes of Outstanding Internal Auditors, I was determined to identify those skills and characteristics that separated good internal auditors from great ones. To ensure I wasn’t overly influenced by my own biases, I surveyed more than 200 chief audit executives from around the world. They spoke loud and clear about the skills they believe it takes to excel in our profession and to win and sustain trust from those we serve.
At the top of the list were attributes we would expect: ethical resilience, dynamic communicators, critical thinkers, relationship builders and business acumen. But there was one leading attribute that, I believe, is often overlooked: trusted advisors are “results-focused.”