The modern CFO requires a different set of skills and perspective to navigate the complexities of the new global marketplace. Traditional business concepts are changing into more a dynamic and socially conscious environment where you must be able to solve much different problems than as a team manager. When you combine a strategic skillset with your finance and accounting knowledge plus a growth mindset, you will be able to succeed at the executive level.
The following outline is used during the outline:
Please join The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast. https://www.facebook.com/groups/financeleaderpodcast 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 stephenmclain.com. 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 financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Please follow me on:
1. Instagram: stephen.mclain
2. Twitter: smclainiii
3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant
4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiii
The modern CFO requires a different set of skills and perspective to navigate the complexities of the new global marketplace. Traditional business concepts are changing into a more dynamic and socially conscious environment, where you must be able to solve much different problems than as a team manager. When you combine a strategic skill set with your finance and accounting knowledge, plus a growth mindset, you will be able to succeed at the executive level. 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 66. And I will be talking about the CFO skill set, and I will highlight the following topics. Number one, you must transition your skill set as you advance in role and responsibility. Number two, anticipate the future business environment and coach the development of options within the decision making process. Three, can you adapt and lead change for clear and consistent communication includes being able to listen effectively. And five, continue to grow personally and to develop your team. The CEO of Yelp, Jeremy Stoppelman said you have to be very nimble and very open minded. Your success is going to be very dependent on how you adapt. My goal is always to help you to be more prepared to achieve your goal of becoming a CFO. This is what this podcast is designed for. To help you achieve CFO, I have always believed that is leadership that will set you apart. Through leadership, we get to help our team members improve and achieve their goals. Through leadership, we get to influence positive outcomes in our company. As you grow your team members, they take on more responsibility and help you achieve excellence within the team's tasks. And as you grow your influence in the company, you will emerge as someone with potential for greater responsibility this season about the CFO and the C suite has been going very well thank you for the support. Two weeks ago in Episode 64. I talked about the CFO mindset. Last week in Episode 65. I discussed the C suite dynamic and how senior executives partner together to lead the organization. This week in Episode 66. I'm talking about skills and next week, I will go one step further by highlighting how CFOs add value. This week and next week's episode will be complementary to each other. I'm going to dive into a few critical skills this week that you must develop as you rise above the role of Team Manager. The time is now to start working on them. You must change your perspective and move on from developing spreadsheets and coaching a team on how to develop spreadsheets to a senior leader who knows what to ask to get value added information. Then you let your managers coach the spreadsheet builders into figuring out how to do it. Can you effectively communicate what you need? Are you clear and concise? any misunderstanding between you and your team could lead to wasted hours and even days what information is required for senior leaders to do their jobs. You will not be developing this information yourself. But you will need to coach your team to meet the needs across the company. To do this effectively, you need to know the technology and systems your team is using and how it can be used embrace technology and how it can shape how useful information can be developed. Successful senior leaders exhibit executive presence which means an expectation of high but humble confidence. Ideally humble. Your team will want a leader who knows what they are doing, can communicate clearly can lead with calmness and can give direction when things are unknown. It's a skill to show confidence even when you don't really know where to go. But you instill the will to overcome adversity. You must show confidence in the ability to lead in tough times. Each day will present a new set of challenges each day will be different. Some days might be quiet, some days will be a crisis that requires extra ordinary leadership. This all begins and ends with your mindset. Being rigid in your perspective will not help you to succeed at the executive level. flexibility and adaptability must be your approach every day. The business environment requires you to be able to adapt to change and to also know how to lead change. This is not business as usual. The business environment today is more demanding and complex than it ever was. You have to think differently, your organization has to approach challenges differently. And the marketplace has a set of requirements that you must meet, your organization must be more socially conscious. The market expects your organization to add back considerable value into the global community and the environment, to not just take in the name of profit only. But to add back value to all stakeholders, and not just the obvious stakeholders, but anyone affected by your business? Are you able to decipher and navigate these challenges and solve these complex problems? Are you able to lead the financial interest of the company while also meeting the demands of the socially conscious marketplace? Know how to train, align and empower your team. Because it's important as you work on the Strategic Finance challenges your company will face. Your team will need to know how to support the company with value added information. You need to learn how to communicate what is needed, and Coach what value added means for leaders across the company. Don't demand but you need to coach and develop create an environment of learning and development. But some will say, Well, I want people to be able to perform at a high level already. And I agree. But that doesn't mean you don't coach them and empower them to act. We all need development that let's not overlook the importance of self awareness as a strategic skill. How do you interact with others? How do you treat others. As you rise in role and responsibility? It's essential that you become more self aware. So you never forget to treat people with respect and dignity no matter their role. Self awareness is the conduit for effective leadership, and for setting the example for others. Unfortunately, not everyone has had a great example of leadership that is worthy of following, or they themselves were mistreated, and they in turn, do not show respect or dignity for others. Be aware of how you affect the people around you. Be the leader that others want to become set a great example and everything you do every day. Please consider following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. My usernames and the links are in this episode's show notes. Now let's talk about a few key points about the CFO skill set. Number one, you must transition your skill set as you advance in role and responsibility. The time is now to start learning strategic skills and building them into your daily leadership. What you have done as a team manager or director will not be what you get hired as a CFO, you need to prove you have the critical skills, mindset and perspective to lead an organization, not just a team or department, you need to start learning and changing your habits and thinking processes now. Number two, anticipate the future business environment and coach the development of options within the decision making process. Effective senior leaders pay attention to cues in the market. So they can anticipate moves within the economy, the industry, their competition, and the overall business environment. You have to know the environment you're operating in, and learn to focus on what is important as this will help you shape how you coach your team, as you explore ways to add value to the business and to execute the strategy. Decision making is always about developing options and acknowledging facts and assumptions that will affect that analysis. And also preserving decision space. decision space allows you to make the decision at the right time. So you need to be anticipating things that are going on within the business environment and what your competition are doing. So you can preserve that decision space. You don't have to make a decision quicker than you normally would. What do you think will happen next in your industry? And how will your competition adjust their approach? Learn to anticipate and over time you will gain experience? What the right cues are. Number three, can you adapt and lead change? leading an organization requires you to be flexible and be ready for change. It's difficult for some people, people like routine and they like to be told what's critical to work on. But at the strategic level, this is on your shoulders to determine. Most importantly, as I had discussed last week, is that you must partner with other senior leaders to solve complex problems. This is where adaptability, flexibility and leading change becomes apparent. What if one of the other senior leaders presents an idea that is different? Well, what do you do? Do you shun the idea or do you open your mind and let the idea develop? And then upon its own merit and possibilities? Will the idea be worth exploring further? Number four clear and consistent communication includes being able to listen effectively. A trait that a company or a team doesn't work together, well usually goes back to how effectively and how clear do people communicate with each other. Clear and concise communication wins the day every day. Be very specific for what you need in what needs to happen, and eliminate ambiguity when giving direction. How are your listening skills? Do you know how to effectively listen? Listening requires you to focus on the one talking, and letting them finish their thoughts without interrupting. Number five, continue to grow personally, and to develop your team. Be a lifelong learner and always curious about the business about the market and about learning your craft. set the example for your team so they know the merits of continually learning. Learning will be the way you develop beyond your current role. Experience is one element of your development, but learning will help you to develop the critical soft skills we are talking about. In this episode. A committee looking to hire a CFO will look at your experience, knowledge and role history, and what industries you worked in. But they will also evaluate your strategic skill set, and how well you interact with others. The most important lesson today is that you must transition your skill set way before you are even consideration for the next role. While you're still managing a team you need to be changing and growing your strategic skill set. Many of these skills require you to change your behavior and thinking processes. And that takes time and practice and the awareness of what you're doing. Now for action today. Perform an inventory of the skills you have today. The hard skills and the soft skills and know where you want to go in the future. What is your goal? Is your goal to become a CFO? What is the difference to that analysis? You have to be honest with yourself. Learning a new soft skill isn't as easy as watching a YouTube video once and then you master it like you can with a hard skill or a technical skill. How many times have you pulled up a YouTube video to learn how to do something on Excel or PowerPoint or on Word, or how to do a hard skill how to do a projection. You can't just do that with some of these soft skills. You need to learn these over time and you need to be looking at how you interact with others and how you think it takes practice to develop strategic skills. You need to be aware of how you are thinking how you are speaking, how you view the world and how you process information. Change your habits and over time, you can develop the necessary skills to be successful at the executive level, but you must start today. Today I talked about the CFO skill set and highlighted the following points. Number one, you must transition your skill set as you advance in role and responsibility to anticipate the future business environment and coach the development of options within the decision making process. Three, can you adapt and lead change for clear and consistent communication includes being able to listen effectively, and five continued to grow personally and to develop your team. Today was an introduction of critical skills you need beyond the technical skills you have relied on for your career. Up to this point, you needed to know how to set up a spreadsheet so you could perform an analysis are a projection or to do your monthly close tasks to be considered and to work effectively. As a CFO, you need a different set of skills, which require you to change your thinking and your behavior, which is not easy to do sometimes. So become a lifelong learner and build your strategic skill set. In next week's episode, you will see how we combine these skills with your experience and knowledge to add incredible value to the organization. He I have a Facebook group called the finance leader podcast community. This is a place where we can help each other to grow and be prepared for the next step in our careers as finance and accounting professionals. So please join the link is in the show notes with this episode. I hope you enjoyed the finance leader podcast I am dedicated to helping you grow your leadership skills to change your mindset to clarify your goals so you achieve the role of chief financial officer. You can find this episode wherever you listen to podcasts. Until next time, you can check out more resources at finance leader academy.com and sign up for my weekly updates show you don't miss an episode. And now go lead your team and I'll see you next time. Thank you