Some people are born leaders, or at least that’s how the myth goes. These natural leaders seem to exude confidence. They don’t suffer from fear of failure and they make decisions easily. Not all of us feel this way, however. Most leaders experience doubt, and worry that they’re not cut out to be a manager. There are ways, however, that you can build your confidence as a finance leader, quietly deal with your fears and guide your team to success.
Making decisions in ambiguity can be tricky for many finance and accounting professionals. To develop confidence as a finance leader make your peace with the fact that complex business decisions rarely come with a 100% clearly defined path to success.
Ideally your team is a source of productive, innovative ideas. By tapping in to their perspective and doing what you can to gather a reasonable amount of data, you can increase your confidence that you’ve done what you can to mitigate risk.
Download the “Finance Manager Survival Guide” for 12 must know strategies for new finance managers.
Perfection does not exist. Holding yourself to an unreasonable standard can create unnecessary fear of failure and that fear can trickle down to your team. Once you accept that you will occasionally fail, it will free you to make confident decisions.
Read “5 Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Failure” to learn how to remove doubt and become a more confident manager.
Switch your perspective to a solutions-focused mentality. Evaluate the situation and determine what has been tried, what’s within your power to change and if you have the people needed to execute on a plan. Ask yourself if there are quick wins that you can accomplish. By focusing on possible solutions, you’ll gain a sense of control and this naturally builds confidence.
Once you make a decision, commit to it. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be flexible enough to alter course if you need to, but it does mean not second-guessing yourself at each step of the way.
Even if you’re not feeling courageous, project it. Your direct reports will feel your confidence and follow suit.
Don’t feel obligated to become a leader. Maybe you’re a brilliant financial analyst and that’s what’s best suited for your character. But if you do decide to assume the mantle of leadership, then building and projecting confidence is an integral part of getting people to believe in you and follow. Understand that ambiguity exists and that occasionally you may fail. Do what you can to mitigate risk, source your team’s input and once you make a decision, commit to it. Become a person that people would want to follow even if you didn’t have a title.
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