The Finance Leader Podcast

Bonus Episode 28: Your Future Senior Leader Role

October 05, 2021 Stephen McLain
The Finance Leader Podcast
Bonus Episode 28: Your Future Senior Leader Role
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Show Notes Transcript

This is the time to prepare for your future senior leader role. Don’t wait until you are a senior manager looking to break into a more junior executive position. Work on the key skills today and change your mindset.

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.

Please join 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.

Please follow me on:

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2. Twitter: smclainiii
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Stephen McLain:

Hi, this is Stephen McLain of the finance leader podcast. This is bonus episode number 28. We are in the fourth quarter of 2021. This is the time to work on those last2021 goals and start to develop your 2022 goals. So you start next year running, and we get to celebrate what we accomplish this year. If you fell short,then that is okay to reassess where you are at, adjust your plan and keep moving forward. We don't sit still, and we don't overthink or worry what we didn't get done, I want you to have a forward thinking mindset focused on that long term goal.And don't let distractions get in the way. That means changing friends, and installing boundaries around your time,energy and focus if you need to.If you change your mindset, you will change your outcome. I also want to share a leadership technique. This is about handling a crisis situation where a series of errors leads to something going wrong, and a senior leader gets involved and they want to know what happened.So how do you figure out what happened on the team. Generally people will go into self preservation mode, if you don't handle it properly. And this starts with the environment, you create an environment of self accountability and owning an error. This starts with you owning your own actions. We don't blame. And we don't create a situation where team members are throwing others under the bus. Because this will destroy team unity. Get the team together and go through the situation, talk it over with everything in the open and create a solution going forward that fixes it. This is often about communication, in my opinion is the best way. Not everyone will agree but that's okay. We want the team chemistry preserved after this event. And after you have discovered what happened, it's important and you all get to move forward together without talking behind each other's backs in the open communication is best next week season eight will debut this season will be all about the role of Chief Financial Officer.topics will include the CFO mindset required senior level skills, how CFOs add value, the expectation of a C suite executive, the CFO hiring and selection process, and a CFO pathway where we talk about backgrounds, experience skills and roles that typical CFOs have. This will be a great season and it starts next week with the CFO mindset and please download a free CFO pathway guide that I have prepared for you. You can go to finance leader to download this free guide. And also please join my free Facebook group, the finance leader podcast community Facebook group, links to the free guide and the Facebook group are in the show notes. To help you prepare for this upcoming season I want to share an encore episode from Season Five, which is Episode 41.prepare now for your future senior leader role. This is your time to evaluate your long term goal and how to get there. This upcoming season will help you evaluate your own background skills and experience to see what you need to work on. Please enjoy this encore episode about preparing now for your future senior leader role. Next week begins our CFO series. Thank you Please enjoy.Your desire is to be a senior leader one day and hopefully progress to be CFO and even CEO.You haven't listed as your long term goal. But you need to start working on becoming one today.You need to develop the skills and mindset and to grow into an effective senior leader and start doing that today. Don't wait until you are a senior manager looking to break into a more junior executive position.Work on the key skills today and change your mindset. Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the finance leader podcast where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I am your host Stephen McLain. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. This is episode number 41. And now we'll be talking about preparing and planning for a senior leader role. And I will be talking about the following four areas.Number one, develop your executive presence. Number two,I want you to start working on three key skills. Number three,protect your professional reputation. And number four, can you lead change at the organizational level? jack welch, former GE CEO said before you are a leader success is all about growing yourself when you become a leader. Success is all about growing others last week on episode 40. I talked about playing it safe in your career.playing it safe will not help you advance to the executive suite, you need to take risk.You need to risk doing something difficult and maybe beyond your present capabilities to get better, and to show what you can do to show off your skills to show off your abilities. You need to ensure you are getting the opportunities you need, and the training and development resources that are available.Don't fear what people will think about you for asking what you need to develop. If you don't care about your own career, I can promise that others will not care. You have to perform at a high level to garner a strong reputation for excellence. And then go get those opportunities to show what you have. As far as skills and abilities like leadership, you need to continue to communicate with your supervisor about what you want to do. I always recommend to people to share their goals and to share what they want to achieve with their supervisor. Because probably your supervisor can match you up to something to help you along with your goals. So take that risk, don't fear it. And if that supervisor doesn't want to help you, then it's probably a sign that you need to move on. This week, I am talking about your future, I want you to start now in preparing yourself for a senior leadership role. That is a director position and above.Don't wait until you're a senior manager to work on your skills and mindset. The executive level mindset. And the necessary skills require work planning and assessments. Now leading with integrity, building trust,developing and taking care of your team, and achieving excellence are the constant requirements of all leaders.These are the non negotiables I want you to continue to grow your business knowledge, and how do the different business systems and functions work together to execute the strategy. That's one more piece of your skill and ability is understanding how the different systems within our organization work together to complete and execute the strategy. And this is why our goal setting process is so important. I know that most of you listening are looking to become a CFO and CEO in the future in our goal setting process. And in our individual development plans, we must address what we need to work on now. To prepare us to become a senior executive. We need to develop those skills and work on our mindset. We need to work on our confidence and how we influence positive outcomes.And by the way, how are you doing with your goals this year,this is the time of year in February, that New Year's resolutions wither away, the beginning of February, people fall back into bad habits, they get too busy for self improvement. And then get into a rut. Again, it's a never ending cycle, they lose focus, they lose momentum. The everyday grind destroys resolutions,because they are not rooted in a plan. But what we're gonna do is have a plan is have written down goals. And then we put them on the calendar, and we continue to assess them. Every day, you need to be looking over your goals.Where are yours posted? So you can look over them? Are they on your wall? Are they near your monitor? next to your bed in your notebook? Where are they?Hopefully everywhere I mentioned, I want you on fire for your goals. I want you dedicated and focused. Now senior leadership is about steering an organization in the execution of a strategy leading an organization can be challenging, senior leaders are looking for people to grow and groom into senior positions. And they want to know that they can trust you when it gets tough.And when it gets time to solve problems, which is every day.Can people count on you during a crisis? Or any tough situation that comes along? Can they trust you with their people? Can they trust you with coming in with the big ideas? Can they trust you with executing the strategy?Can I trust you with sharing the vision of the organization and getting people rallied around that vision? Can you communicate it? Can you talk about it? Can you get people excited about the work that they do every day? Now let's talk about four areas that I believe you need to be working on now. To prepare yourself for a future senior leader role. And number one, you should be working on your executive presence. You need to show confidence as an executive. Will others follow you now how is your demeanor? Are you calm? Do you speak with confidence? Do people believe in your ideas and what you have to offer to the organization? Are you respectful? Do you show respect and treat others with dignity at this point, you're probably thinking about some executives have worked with who haven't really shown this, and haven't really been respectful and haven't really treated people with dignity. And I say that as finance and accounting professionals who are with me in this forum, we should always be striving to treat everyone with respect and dignity, we can lead without using fear and coercion.No, we can do it better. I talked about executive presence back in Episode 19 of the podcast. And it's also part of my advance your career course,that I offer through finance leader Academy, you need to look like a leader, you need to act like a leader and become a leader that others will follow,and that others will believe in,that your team can look to you and be happy that you are directing the organization. And I always want you to lead with integrity, and set the example set a strong example of good behavior, treating others with dignity and respect. always watch your actions and your words, and focus on developing and growing your team at and look like a leader always.Number two, I want you to develop these three skills.First skill is communication.Can you communicate with clarity conciseness? And also confidence? Do people understand what you're trying to communicate? With no confusion?Can you communicate clear guidance? Are you able to positively influence others? And can your team Believe in your vision? This all requires strong communication skills? The second skill is relationship building.Do you know how to connect with people. If you desire to lead in a significant way you must connect with those you lead.This connection still means you hold everyone accountable. Often leaders think that they need to remain distant to keep the team on track. And that if you do form strong connections, that you are weak, and this is not true at all. It's when you connect that you become an effective team. You can do this through becoming an active listener, continue to build strong connections with your team, and know what they are feeling know where they are at.And no way you can help them solve problems and overcome obstacles to the tasks that they are working on. Now the third skill is strategic thinking. We need to see the organization as a whole. You need to be able to solve complex problems and lead teams who are charged with solving complex problems. How do you lead a team, solving complex problems for the organization thinking and solving problems at a strategic level requires flexibility, patience, and vision. strategic thinking helps you to determine options for the challenges your company faces in the future. Now this is a critical skill to develop. So I want you to find courses on these three skills, and then add them to your individual development plan. There are additional skills to learn but I want you to focus on developing these right now. Now number three, I want you to protect your professional reputation.You need to guard your reputation continually what you post on social media should be encouraging and not demeaning,nothing extremist, or even perceived to be extremist, do not do micro aggressions. I want you to watch your behavior and change your behavior to be supportive. I want you to focus on self awareness. So you pay attention to your behavior and your words, and how do you speak to people? Do you speak respectfully, or rudely and condescending how you act will determine how far you can go in your career organizations will protect their reputation by not associating with people who are outside the norm. And bottom line, if you are doing these things outside the norm of respecting people, you probably don't belong leading people anyway, and leading organizations and you probably have a bigger problem. So I want you to focus on that anyway.Number four, I want you to learn to lead organizational change.You must know your industry and be able to see the trends. I want you to follow and pay attention to industry leaders.In any organizations, including government agencies, who may affect change. You have to have a balance between knowing what's critical to change, and not being an alarmist, getting everyone crazy, you must focus on what's important. Some people just can't change nor doubt and that means death. For any business, we must be ready to adapt. And often it's the small changes that hardly anyone notices. And sometimes it's the huge transformative change that will require special leadership.The key to leading is confidence and that lies in your body language, your demeanor, the words you choose your integrity,how you react and respond and how you solve problems. For people to follow you. They must believe in you. There's a difference between doing what you ask and going All in. When we show confidence, it gives others a comfortable way to get their tasks done. But when we lead with confidence, and we have a strong connection, a real relationship, that's where we build others and start to accomplish the bigger work of the organization together.Together is where we go to a higher place, a higher level of goal achievement, lead with confidence, and show great respect for your team build strong connections, and you will be amazed by who follows you and what you can get done. Now for an easy one. Today, I want you to look over your individual development plan and add in the skills I mentioned earlier, and that's communication,relationship building and strategic thinking. I want you to find courses and books to help you grow these skills. I want you to conduct skill assessments to determine your needs, and also the level of expertise. I want you to be working on your executive level skills constantly continue to grow, continue to work on these,continue to do this skill assessments and just figure out where you need to go and your expertise on these skills. I have a free guide for you. It's called the leadership growth blueprint for finance and accounting managers. In the guide, I talk 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 Stephen McLain calm. Please use it to help you with a few leadership wins today. Thank you. This episode is sponsored by my new online course offerings through finance leader Academy is called Advanced your finance and accounting career.Developing a promotion strategy that will set you apart. Are you having difficulty getting recognition from your leadership, despite all the hard work you pour into your job and your organization. This course helps you analyze what you bring to the organization. How you can set yourself apart from your peers do high visibility work,and developing your leadership skills. Plus how you can devise a strategy to move ahead, you can go to Stephen more details. Today I talked about developing into a senior leader role and I talked about the following. One you need to work on your executive presence.Number two, you need to develop these three key skills. And that's communication,relationship building, and strategic thinking. And number three, you need to protect your professional reputation. And four, you need to learn to lead organizational change. Next week I will be discussing improving your morning routine.I hope you enjoy the finance leader podcast I am dedicated to helping you grow your leadership. I hope you enjoyed the show. You can get this episode wherever you find podcasts. Until next time, you can check out more resources at Stephen McLain calm and sign up for my updates so you don't miss an episode of the show. And now,go leave your team and I'll see you next time.


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