Whether you are aware of it or not, on some level you are continually leading. In addition to setting a good example in job-related activities—such as adhering to key internal control requirements, ensuring proper segregation of duties, and modeling appropriate financial processes—there are many ways you can enhance the impact you make on others.
By improving your leadership skills, you will be able to build a "top gun finance team" throughout your career in any financial process. Here’s a list of guidelines to enhance your abilities as a leader:
- Have a clear vision of yourself and your goals.
Who are you? What do you stand for? Why and how do you want to influence others? How can you contribute to the growth of your colleagues and your department?
- Recognize and utilize your strengths and gifts, as well as those of your team.
What things come naturally for you? If something seems easy to you, it is likely to be a strength. Do you make the best use of your strengths? No one excels in every area, but everyone excels at something! Also acknowledge your weaknesses and tap into the strengths of all members of the team for the greater good.
- Live by your morals and values, maintain your integrity, and adhere to your organization’s code of conduct.
There’s no such thing as having a “little integrity.” One either has it or doesn’t. Make sure you stay true to yourself and your core beliefs. Set an example by modeling respect and professionalism in all of your dealings.
- Lead others with inclusiveness and compassion.
You might not have all the answers, but opening your ears, mind, and heart to the ideas and concerns of others is a big step in the right direction.
- Set definitive goals and follow concrete action plans.
As simplistic as it might seem, knowing where you’re going is integral to reaching your destination! You have to define your personal goals and the goals for your team before you can map out a plan to achieve them.
- Continue to educate and improve yourself and advocate for department-wide training.
Never stop growing, learning, improving, and evolving!
- Maintain a positive attitude at all times.
Negativity feeds negative thoughts and thwarts productivity and the enjoyment of work. Being positive, on the other hand, motivates, encourages, and energizes yourself and others.
- Be a strong communicator.
Continually strive to understand and be understood. Diligently work to improve your verbal, nonverbal, and listening skills.
- Model dignity and respect.
Lead by example. Help your team members learn how to disagree without devaluing each other.
- Motivate others to greatness.
Motivating others toward success will increase the group’s energy, improve the quality of your projects, enhance your processes, and move you and your team forward toward achieving your goals and vision as you build your “top gun finance team.”
Points to ponder
As you go through the steps on this roadmap, consider the following “points to ponder” below to continue your leadership journey:
- What traits do you admire most in leaders that you are apt to follow?
- Which of your leadership abilities are you the most comfortable?
- What leadership skills would you most like to acquire? How might you go about acquiring those skills?
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