In many respects leading a finance team should be relatively easy. After all you have a group of highly committed individuals. People who are smart, driven and usually results focused.
Of course what should be easy and what is easy is often very different.
So what are some of the challenges in leading a finance team?
Challenge #1: Providing enough growth opportunity
One of the most common things I hear from fellow accountants is that they want lots of opportunity to grow and develop.
Of course there’s only so many opportunities. There’s also a lot of routine stuff that needs doing.
Challenge #2: Making the time
Throughout your accountancy career you have more than likely been busy. A lot of time is spent on tasks and doing.
There’s a danger that you simply get too task focused and as a result doing make time for leading the team.
Challenge #3: Stepping back
You know you have talented people. Question is are you allowing them to fully utilise their talents?
Many accountants find it hard to step back and be hands off.
How to overcome the challenges of leading the finance team
Treat everyone equally
They say work migrates to a busy person. There’s a lot of truth in this. Work migrates to people because they get things done.
Make sure as a leader you are treating everyone equally. Seeing their individual potential and giving them the opportunity to take on specific projects.
Create an only you can do list
You probably have a lot to do. Chances are you will also have to attend a number of meetings and may even be part of a leadership team.
For that reason you have to have on your task list things that only you can do. If you don’t you will never make the time for leading.
Start empowering and stop micromanaging
You have to step back. You can’t micromanage. You have to let go.
Will people make mistakes? Of course. They will also learn from them. Just as you do and did.Don’t waste the talent at your disposal. Empower and trust and you will achieve better results.
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.