Tell People How It Really Is When Leading in Finance

You’re a leader in finance.  Your organisation is struggling to meet sales targets and as a result is making a loss.

As a leader in finance you know that this is sooner or later going to result in some cash challenges.

In these situations it might be tempting to just muddle along.  The problem with this is that if people aren’t aware that there is a problem, they are not going to be in a position to help find or contribute to a solution.

While you can do a lot as a leader in finance to help improve the situation, there is only so much you can do.  You and your team is unlikely to be a major area of expenditure for the business.

It’s a fairly common dilemma for a finance leader.  The question is how transparent should you be?

My perspective is that as a minimum you should:

  • Make sure everyone is aware of the amount of income that’s needed every month to cover costs.
  • Have a way of keeping people updated on how the business is actually performing against the income target.  If it’s possible to do that real time, even better.

I know some businesses are reluctant to share financial information.  They fear that:

  • People will be anxious
  • People will leave

I understand that.  Equally the people in the business are often best placed to find creative ways of overcoming challenges and exploiting opportunities.

So for me it’s always better to tell people how it is when leading. 

What’s your perspective?

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 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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