The Finance Leader Podcast

082: Encore Episode - Learn Leadership

April 19, 2022 Stephen McLain Season 10 Episode 2
The Finance Leader Podcast
082: Encore Episode - Learn Leadership
Show Notes Transcript

Learning to be an effective leader will set you apart positively in the eyes of the senior leaders and executives you work with and will help you advance in your career. We are already expected to be technical experts in our field, so learn leadership to give you the edge you need to advance. 

Episode outline:

  1. Leadership starts with our mindset,
  2. Our personal character is key,
  3. We must lead and influence necessary change, and 
  4. A few areas we can positively change.

Please connect with me on:

Consider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.  This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.

For more resources, please visit On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.

You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.


Hi, this is Steven McClain of the finance leader podcast due to an unforeseen family emergency this week, I am sharing a replay of episode 50. I apologize for not being able to share what I had planned. But I will share that episode next week, which will be about social skills. I appreciate my podcast family and thank you for understanding. Here's an encore episode of episode 50. Learn leadership to bring a greater impact and joy. And thank you for this week is the 50th full episode of the finance leader podcast and I'm talking about the importance of leadership for finance and accounting professionals. I believe that learning to be an effective leader will set you apart positively in the eyes of senior leaders, and executives you work with and will help you advance in your career. We are already expected to be technical experts in our field. So learn leadership to give you the edge you need to advance. Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the finance leader podcast where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I am your host Stephen McLean. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. This is episode number 50. And we'll be talking about leadership and how you can make an impact with leadership and we'll highlight the following topics. Number one, leadership starts with our mindset. Number two, our personal character is key. Number three, we must lead and influence necessary change. And four, I will address a few areas that we can positively impact with leadership. John Maxwell said, leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another. Now as of this episode, I have published 50 Full Episodes plus 20 Bonus episodes across all the major podcast providers with listeners in 57 countries from around the world. Additionally, the finance leader podcast was listed in feed spots top 15 corporate finance podcasts to follow and 2021 I wanted to bring you a podcast that had a focus on leadership for finance and accounting professionals. Because it's professionals in finance and accounting. We are already expected to be technical experts, you know to do the closed cycle to perform financial projections to analyze key metrics to assemble the financial statements to audit transactions and many other functions around financial performance. But leadership is where you can make a huge positive impact across your entire organization. We are so much more than just the numbers. We can use the numbers to help senior leaders to bring about positive change for the best of the organization and to execute the strategy. There are so many leadership areas that I could talk about for this episode. But I just chose a few to spotlight. A leader grows other leaders, a leader brings their team along with them as they develop and improve. Even though all leaders must manage their people and the processes. I want you to balance your time with leading also, and not just managing. When you manage you're getting things done. Now it's about marking items off your to do list. But has your team improved. Has the organization gotten better? A manager lives in an owl. A leader focuses on the future and is okay with taking risk today to grow their team members skills. And in the long run, your team improves in the organization improves. And improvement requires patience and understanding. Because not all things will go well. This is where learning and growing happens. To become a better leader you have to get uncomfortable. It is when we challenge ourselves that we grow to be comfortable is to be stagnant. If you see a team that is comfortable, then what you see is complacency, which lacks Innovation and Excellence for an organization to live in must be learning, growing, changing and adapting. Now the best leaders have these traits high integrity, they build trust. They have solid morning and evening routines. They have a working individual development plan. They make the people around them better, and they achieve results and they anticipate the future. I also wanted to share with you several of the most popular episodes from the podcast in case you haven't heard of them yet. And I recommend that you go download them so you can listen to them. Now the first one is episode two called for key finance leader responsibilities. And I talked about the four responsibilities. The first one is influence positive change or a great idea. The second is developing your team followed by achieving results, and finally seeing the future. The second episode is episode 10. And that was about empowering your team. In this episode, I talked further about how to develop your team members, so they take on more responsibility. I also talked about micromanagement, which I definitely discourage. The third episode is episode 19. And that was about developing your executive presence. This topic is key to rising into the senior ranks of an organization. executive presence is your ability to lead an organization with confidence. executives in your company are looking for those who are confident in their abilities, and can effectively lead another popular episode was episode 23. And that was about five great habits to improve your day. In this episode, I talked about a few key habits that you need to adopt or improved to be more organized, such as improve your morning and evening routines, reducing stress, I talked about time management and having written goals and also better team communication. Now another episode was episode 28. And that was improving the monthly clothes process. This episode was big, and it's still very popular. This was about improving the monthly clothes, not from a technical perspective, but from a leadership perspective. And I also created a downloadable product that you can use as an example from the episode. Now finally, I want to talk about episode 36. And this is all about goal setting for 2021. This was the first episode that I published this year, where I challenged everyone to forego New Year's resolutions and to have written goals with a plan. Because New Year's resolutions fizzle out soon after January is over. But a written goal with a plan is a lot more helpful, and it will help you succeed in your goals. Now let's talk about a few key points about leadership. Number one, leadership starts with our mindset. Our mindset determines everything. It's how we view ourselves, how we view ourselves in the world, what we believe will affect our actions or even a lack of actions, which then affects our leadership and career potential. If we are already leading a team, any negative change to our mindset will affect the overall effectiveness of our team. Our inner circle has a great effect on our mindset. It is believed that you are a composite of the five people you hang around with the most. So be careful who you let into your inner circle. They should be both supportive and can be honest with you in a constructive way. They should have a strong work ethic and be motivated. I believe and communicate always that if you change your mindset, you will change your outcome. Now number two, our personal character is key. If we expect our team members to do the right thing every day, including committing to excellence, then we must set the best example of character and the same commitment. Our team will copy our behavior and our attitude. They will copy our work ethic you are being watched and evaluated for acceptable behavior, what you do, they will do this is why it's so important to do the right thing always we need to continually set that great example of integrity, respect for others personal growth and also a commitment to excellence. Additionally, we must approach our team with empathy so we can help them to make the best of whatever they are dealing with. As a reminder, there is no conflict between showing empathy and holding people accountable, you can do both. Number three, we must lead and influence necessary change. With everything we do, we must avoid the status quo. The status quo is where we become comfortable in our processes, and our products and services. Being comfortable means the end of our organization, we can never become so comfortable and complacent that it puts the business in jeopardy. And this takes leadership leaders look to improve unnecessary change to processes and how we help the business adapt to changing conditions. We have to help senior leaders overcome their own bias regarding the areas they are responsible for. We know the numbers and we know the trends. In our role as finance and accounting leaders. It is our responsibility to communicate and influence better decisions with the organization's resources and in how the strategy is executed. Now here are a few areas that we can positively impact. Now going a little bit further from the last point. I want you to partner with senior leaders so you can help them deliver the strategy. We don't just report numbers or submit journal entries, but we create value added messaging that helps other leaders understand what is actually happening. We know the numbers, we can help shape better decisions around resource decisions. I believe we need to have active partnerships, not just reporting the numbers, but thoughtful discussions about what is actually happening. I believe that if you take on that leadership role, you can help influence senior leaders in the right direction, based on what has happened within the company's financial performance. And if you pay attention to the industry if you pay attention to the trends, and you can also help them steer the senior leaders in the right direction. As far as strategy, you combine trends in the industry, with the numbers you are seeing, and also which way the numbers are trending, then you can help them make better decisions. I believe in this. I believe that in partnering with senior leaders, and not just reporting the numbers is key is critical to success. And that is why I want you to embrace your role as leader in this field. Now, the second thing that you can positively impact is to develop your people, leaders develop more leaders, I want to encourage you to do the opposite of micromanaging. And that is to empower your team to grow them to take on more responsibility, and to act without having to ask permission. For every action that must be done. I want you also to improve communication. Our team members often feel frustrated due to a lack of communication, I believe that you should be sharing critical information quickly with your team. Additionally, group problem solving helps everyone go to the next level, you would be surprised by how much information is available across your team for a particular problem, and courage talking and sharing of information across the team. Your team members should be not working in a vacuum, cross talk and share information, your team has it and you as the leader must encourage the team to help each other out. I do not encourage everyone working separately and in a vacuum. Because the person you are working next to and I'm talking about when we get back to the office or the person on your team that's also working on a particular problem, they probably have a piece of information that you need or your team member needs that is missing and may solve the problem and may fill a gap that they're having problems with within a projection or trying to analyze a piece of information that a senior leader needs. That's why I want people to reach out and ask for help talk to your team members have them cross talk with each other. Again, that piece of information that may be missing is probably someone that just a few seats away from them. And so that's why you want to encourage that sharing of information that helping each other out, encourage that. I also believe that as leaders, we need to be continually improving our technical processes, leaders ensure that processes make sense, are we doing the best we can with a particular process like financial projections, or a model that's being used, or a file we use to generate journal entries. It takes leadership to challenge what we are doing to make it better and to ensure it makes sense. Now for an easy one today, I encourage you to address your own leadership ability. Be honest with yourself, and identify areas to improve leadership can be learned. And sure you update your individual development plan with skills that you need to work on and ensure you are using written down goals because writing them down helps with achieving them. This episode is sponsored by my course through finance leader Academy is called advanced your finance and accounting career developing a promotion strategy that will set you apart. To advance your career you must set yourself apart from your peers, finance and accounting professionals are already expected to be technically competent. This course helps you establish your professional Foundation, and how you can set yourself apart from your peers by growing your leadership skills and developing your executive presence, you can go to Steven For more details on this career advancement course. The link is also in the show notes with this episode. Thank you, I have a free guide for you. It's called the leadership growth blueprint for finance and accounting managers. In the guide I talked about three leadership areas communication, Team growth, and empowerment. Plus a few recommendations around challenges with the systems you are probably using to complete your work. The link to the guide is in the episode description. Or you can go to Steven Please use it to help you with a few leadership wins today. Thank you. Today I talked about the importance of leadership and highlighted the following points. Number one, leadership starts with our mindset. Number two, our personal character is key. Number three, we must lead and influence necessary change. And four I highlighted a few areas that we can positively change with leadership. Leadership is always about making the people around us better. And that takes risk to develop our team is to have them operate out of their comfort zones to build and when Find skills that will carry them to the next level. The goal is to empower them to do more, and to perform tasks or lead projects with little supervision. And that takes building trust and being patient while your team members grow. Now I want to leave you with a second quote, author Oren Woodward said, average leaders raise the bar on themselves. Good leaders raise the bar for others, Great Leaders Inspire others to raise their own bar. Next week, I will be talking about the current challenges of our work experiences, as we may be returning back to the office over the next few months. Now one question I will be asking is, how will you be handling how you all will be working together in person again, especially if you have brought on new people since you all have been working from home? Now? Will it be awkward? Do we have to relearn common courtesies for the office? Probably, it's an interesting topic and I can't wait to share it. I hope you enjoyed the finance leader podcast, I am dedicated to helping you grow your leadership, because it is leadership that will set you apart from your peers. You can get this episode wherever you find podcasts. And until next time, you can check out more resources at Steven and sign up for my updates so you don't miss an episode of the show. And now go lead your team and I'll see you next time. Thank you