Star Wars is about a rebels who are seeking to reinstall a democratic system from an empire. It has brought some iconic characters. Let’s take a look at the characters and see what kind of compliance officers they’d make.
Han Solo: A go-it-alone type of guy, though he does have his trusty sidekick/partner, Chewbacca. He makes decisions based on his own understanding of the world. He is not extremely open new ideas without seeing some sort of evidence. He doesn’t like taking orders, though, which is fine for small investigations, but Compliance is a team effort with an organizational structure around it. – 6/10
Luke Skywalker: Naive but willing to learn. Persistent but most of that comes from his personal reasons, which isn’t something that comes up very often in Compliance. He learns to think more systematically, but his wisdom is learned at the cost of his right hand. Pretty steep cost for education. – 7/10
Princess Leia: Has a strong moral compass, but it comes with stubbornness and not very resourceful. She is stubborn and prideful, which doesn’t serve a cause, it just serves her ego. She isn’t resourceful in that she doesn’t take advantage of her uniqueness as the only woman among men, believing that it isn’t appropriate. She is right, of course, but that’s the two sides of morality and resourcefulness. – 7/10
Chewbacca: All instinct, no forethought, his decisions often lead to more damage. He is good at execution, however. He gets things done. He doesn’t get distracted very often. on the other hand, he often does not understand humans, which is a problem in Compliance. Both in terms of managing the business and complying with regulations, he would have to learn to shore up this weakness. – 2/10
Darth Vader: He is deluded into thinking that has chosen the correct path. Once doing so, he is dedicated, competent, and strategic. His management style is a bit of a concern. He kills people when they do not perform. Murder isn’t a management technique a Compliance Officer can condone. – 5/10
C-3PO: Incredibly knowledgeable about protocol, but completely oblivious to applying that knowledge. A serious deficiency that leads him to trouble and many times leads his team into trouble. He only seems to make right decisions under perfect conditions, which, in reality, there is no such thing. – 4/10
R2-D2: Feisty, persistent, exact, stubborn, dedicated, he makes the right decision all of the time. His only limitation is his physical being. But in Compliance, that should not be a problem. One problem, though, is his inability to acquire human language. That’s a problem since managing Compliance on all front require good communication skills. – 8/10
Obi-wan Kenobi: Hermit, once capable, dedicated, persuasive, he would be very good for AML, financial crimes, investigations, or advisory, but he doesn’t really have the best management skills. He is incredibly persuasive, but that does not mean that he can solve every problem that way. Still, he is incredibly adaptable, which is a good skill to have in an ever changing regulatory environment. – 8/10
Boba Fett: Rugged, independent, resourceful, and is a good detective. But he really only works for himself. This is a problem, of course. Compliance is a team effort with an organization and a division of labor. He isn’t likely to fare well trying advise people. He is more likely to get impatient and kill them. – 3/10
Lando Calrissian: A gambler, good at reading people, has his head on straight, is a charismatic leader of a city, he has many connections, he is a very good businessman. He is a well-rounded professional, adaptable. I wouldn’t trust his technical abilities, though. He doesn’t seem like a kind of person who would know how to fix things. – 9/10
Jabba the Hut: Good natured, albeit, deadly. Powerful, leads a very diverse organization with a wide reach. However, he is impatient and likes to be entertained. Compliance is not usually entertaining. Also, he wouldn’t do well being part of a team unless he was leading. He is also vengeful and keeps score. A Compliance Officer has to be able to let go because not everything can be solved right away. – 6/10
Palpatine: Knowledgeable, powerful, learned, patient, strategic, tactically sound, leads a very compliant organization. Considering he was the person who corrupted the senate and took over as emperor, he is willing to break all rules to create his own. He would be a terrible Compliance Officer. – 1/10
Yoda: Wise, funny, knowledgeable, but is impatient and cranky. Patience is a requirement in a function that requires the partnership of other control functions. He has a history of working with other leaders, willing to debate and listen. A very good trait to have in a Compliance Officer. – 7/10
Okay, so, if you want to be a very good Compliance Officer and need a Star Wars character to look up to, look up to Lando Calrissian.
Marcus Maltempo is a compliance professional with more than a decade of experience helping banks, law firms and clients manage investigations and regulatory responses. He is a member of ACAMS and ACFE.