This article is co-written by
Talita Ferreira and Anders Liu-Lindberg
past weeks, we’ve uncovered that a new
leadership model is needed in Finance. That’s because the
function has been transformed over the past two decades and look vastly
different. Finance is now a people business as opposed to systems and
processes. That requires a completely different leadership style.
week we discussed how the current way of leading quickly gets leaders into trouble, sends
engagement towards the bottom, and your employees flying out of your company.
We might even say that this is a burning platform.
week we’ll start to address the burning platform by showing you a new way to
lead. A new leadership style that requires you to adopt a growth mindset and see your people as the most important
asset to deliver company value creation. Are you ready to challenge your
inner-most self and start leading in a new way?
Without a growth mindset, you will get stuck and doomed to failure
Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck spent years researching
achievement and success. Her research shows that people with a growth mindset,
approach problems in a ‘can do’ way, learn from their mistakes and are willing
with a fixed mindset believe when they have failed, they will be doomed to
failure in the future; they are far less likely to try new things, they believe
in the power of natural talent and abilities, tend to blame others when things
go wrong and have a desire to look smart.
effective as Finance business partners we need to adopt this can-do mindset
where we are willing to try new things, experiment, adapt and learn with our
teams and find what is right for the business overall. If we have a fixed mindset, we might believe that we can’t grow,
change and move forward.
contrast, people with a growth mindset see problems as a challenge and an
opportunity to learn. With all the challenges facing us in business partnering,
BI & analytics, finance operations and outsourcing, etc. we need to embrace
the growth mindset that will allow us to learn and adapt as fast as we can.
Here’s a look at the new you — the new
leader in the finance function.
Authenticity POWER Model®
Source: ‘The Authenticity Dilemma Resolved®’ by Talita Ferreira
= Consciousness + Connectedness; to unlock intuition and purpose
Self-awareness is the state of a deep
understanding of ourselves. It is the ability to
observe our behaviours, motivations,
thoughts, habits, feelings and emotions. For example, when someone is pushing
our buttons in the work environment, it is to try and understand why and which
limiting self-belief this is activating for us. Or when we have a repeated
emotional response, it is being able to trace it back to the underlying value being crossed.
For instance, if you get very angry when you
present numbers to the leadership team and they challenge the numbers
continuously, you might have values of transparency and openness that are being crossed. The
leadership probably don’t like what has been presented, as they want better
results. You feel you have been true to your values, did the best job
you could, but was still triggered by the whole event.
Understanding yourself better will mean that
you can see the situation a bit more at a distance. The ego is the underlying
state that might be holding us back from a greater self-awareness.
Connecting to the core
is having a deeper
understanding of our core values, biases, ethics, passions and purpose. Our
purpose is not merely doing a job, but rather what motivates and drives us and
gives us a feeling of immense pleasure as we are adding value and making a
It is doing the things we love that unlock our
passion. It is about not only being interested in targets and objectives within
the finance department but rather providing our finance teams with a greater
’why’ of how we are making a difference to the organization
overall and how we are adding value.
Simon Sinek always says people don’t buy what
we do; they buy why we do it. A greater purpose for finance is, for instance,
that we empower the business to
make better financial decisions aligned to the long-term strategy. We empower
them by providing insights that lead to greater decisions.
Fears and limiting self-beliefs can hold us
back from unlocking our greatest purpose. Before we connect with other people
or engage with social intelligence effectively, a deep understanding of
ourselves is crucial. Without self-awareness, we cannot start the journey of
connected relationships or purpose-driven collaboration with other people.
relationships are rooted in trust with unconditional respect
for differences. The ability to be brave, not being afraid to carefully show
vulnerability – after all, it is a sign of strength – and to have more empathy
for our counterparts and to learn to suspend judgement of other people.
For example, putting ourselves in the shoes of
Sales or Marketing and trying to understand their motivations and behaviours, instead of judging them when they
do not think exactly as finance
professionals do. Our innate human competitiveness and the desire to be right
can hold us back from having a deeper connection with other people, fostering
trust and emotional safety.
when we create new purpose-driven relationships and partnerships. It is only
possible once we have done away with ego-driven, competitive behaviour based on fear and limiting
self-beliefs, and when we stop trying to control every situation.
Once we achieve this, we will be co-creating in
a way where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is when we are more conscious of ourselves
and more connected to other people and acting as true business partners.
When we can truly unlock our inner Authentic POWER, this will lead us to be
phenomenal finance leaders, creating cultures of trust and focusing on
developing individuals to become amazing leaders themselves.
Our Authentic POWER shines through all the following aspects of our lives:
of knowing who we are;
Overcoming fear;and our limiting self-beliefs, which help us to
discover the potential behind our greatest fear and creates a;
Whole Integrated Being; which allows;
Effortless flow; between all the various aspects of our lives;and creates
Resonance with purpose.
This new model will help us as finance leaders,
to embrace this new mindset, to drive change more effectively and understand
ourselves better. Leaders, who foster creativity
and use the diversity of opinions in their teams to unlock innovative ways of
Leaders, who coach and develop people instead of telling them what to do, moving away from the traditional command and control behaviours. Finance leaders who cultivate trust and are direct, open, honest and bring out the best in other people. We want you to take the first step and realize that it is all about your mindset as a business partner and as a leader that wants to be more connected and conscious and lead more effectively. Our next article will be about gaining a greater self-awareness; in our opinion, after the right mindset, self-awareness is a critical piece in the puzzle to unlock how we need to lead for the future. How is that for a start to leading differently? Do you agree that something must change and what that change is? Tell us your story, and we’ll help you bring this model to life!