October 7, 2013
What does it take to be an exceptional manager? Here are some of the things that all of the best finance managers have in common.
Great finance managers work every day to improve themselves and make themselves better – better at analysis, better at helping others succeed, and better at driving value for their company. They’re not the types to fall in love with the status quo. Where others find only barriers, they see opportunities crying out for innovative solutions. Great finance managers, in short, always have one eye on the bigger picture, and another on the smaller details.
So what does it take to be an exceptional manager? Read on to find out.
In a world of tight deadlines, a great finance manager must build constructive, cross-functional business partnerships with others in their organization. But that, in turn, requires a collaborative communication style that can secure buy-in both from their own team, as well as other departments.
The best and most capable finance managers have strong interpersonal skills, which they draw upon to transcend their traditional role and connect with their non-financial peers. They understand each department’s key drivers and impress upon colleagues their understanding and respect for these. They have no issue setting their ego aside – a big part of what makes them exceptional relationship builders.
“Do as I say, not as I do” is not the mantra of a true leader. On the contrary, leading by example is the hallmark of every great finance manager. They look to shape and model the behaviour of their colleagues and subordinates, encouraging attention to detail, ethical behaviour, and prioritization. Refusing to complacently accept existing processes and procedures as they are, they help to instil among their staff a commitment to continual improvement.
At the same time, good leaders promote accountability for errors – including their own. They own their mistakes, knowing that perfectionism is a two-way street: people won’t trust you enough to admit to their failings if you aren’t willing to admit to yours.
To be a great finance manager, you need to be a strong listener, and a capable problem-solver. Show your team that obstacles are meant to be overcome – either by going around them, over them, or through them.
Great finance managers are always trying to add value to their organization. They see the business in terms of all of its working parts, and not just in terms of the numbers. This holistic view has them asking: “What do we need to achieve our short-term objectives? Where will the company be in two years?” Equipped with a keen strategic mind, they can help to drive sales, offering up ideas at critical junctures that will transform theoretical insight into tactical advantages. Their financial plans and forecasts proactively identify risks and opportunities, while their results-oriented nature ensures that company deliverables are achieved.
Great finance managers share a number of qualities that make them strong leaders. They’re the kind of people whose drive and skillsets can turn the mundane into the exceptional.
Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on Facebook for more great tips and advice!