How To Lead In Finance

As a qualified accountant you have probably invested a huge amount of time, energy and money in gaining your professional qualifications.

Not unreasonably you want to get a return on your investment.

Like most professions the only way to get more money is to take on management and leadership roles.

Some take this on enthusiastically while for others it is a real struggle.

This in some ways is not surprising.  The good news is whether you take on the role enthusiastically or reluctantly you can still become highly effective.  So how should you approach leading in Finance if you want to be effective.

Acknowledge It Is A Different Role

You no doubt got appointed because you were good at your job.  Perhaps you were the person who was great at getting things done.  If so there is a real temptation to carry on doing.  This is when you fall into trouble.

As a leader you are being assessed on your ability to get results through others.  If you don’t acknowledge this you are greatly damaging the chances of you delivering success.

Adopt A Leadership Style Appropriate To Leading Fellow Professionals

As an accountant you are leading smart and talented people.  They not surprisingly want to utilise their talents.  Light tough styles with high levels of involvement are far more likely to be effective than directive or authoritative styles.

Accept There Is A Lot To Learn

Lifelong learning is talked about a lot.  As a leader you really never stop learning.  You will try things and they won’t work or work as well as you expected.  All of this feedback provides opportunities to learn if you are willing to accept that there is lot of learning to be done.

Don’t Feel The Need To Be An Expert In Everything

A positive trait of successful leaders is that they understand and accept that they cannot be an expert in everything.  When you accept and embrace you don’t feel the need to have the final word on everything.

Listen A Lot And Speak Less

Good leaders are good listeners.  Great leaders are great listeners.  When you are willing to listen you get greater insight, which helps you make better decisions and get the buy-in and support of others.

Build A Successful Team Around You

No matter how good you are personally, there is only one of you.  The results you do or don’t achieve is highly dependent upon the team you build around you.

Create The Right Environment So People Perform To Their Potential

Fellow professionals want to grow, develop, achieve, progress and perform to their potential.  Make sure you create the environment where people are encouraged and supported to meet their aspirations and perform to their potential.

So that’s my thoughts.  What else would be on your list of essentials for effective leadership in Finance?

Duncan Brodie helps accountants achieve more career success.  Learn more here.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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