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Inspiring financial leadership

By Mike Saxton - Head of Finance Africa Governance Initiative When people in our organisations think about the finance team, inspiring and leadership aren’t necessarily the first words that come to mind. ...

Post by CFG

By Mike Saxton - Head of Finance Africa Governance Initiative

When people in our organisations think about the finance team, inspiring and leadership aren’t necessarily the first words that come to mind. However, I think the FD role specifically, and other financial management roles too, can and should offer our organisations inspiring leadership. I recently completed a course run by CFG by this name, and it was really valuable. The course itself covers areas such as strategy, change management, coaching and perhaps most interestingly innovation.

My ACA qualification (a number of years ago now) gave me solid technical financial expertise. I’ve also read quite broadly on leadership and management and done a number of financial leadership roles. The unique thing I wanted from this course was to knit these elements together – and that is exactly what it provided. Essentially it addresses the question : ‘how do you go about helping to lead an organisation well from a finance role?’ It did this in three areas which I’d summarise as : models, mentors and mates (which is a bit of a stretch – but never let the right word get in the way of alliterative points.) Models, as each session provided one or two helpful and practical models  – presented through a finance lens. Mentors, as each session had an experienced speaker from the sector who talked about how these models work in practice. All finance professionals – some current FDs, some who are now CEOs. I particularly appreciated the fact the group is small enough to be able to ask questions, including my favourite : ‘what is the one thing you wish you knew earlier in your work life?’. And mates, through the chance to discuss ideas with peers and share respective experiences. This is particularly useful for people like me from organisations with relatively small finance teams. For me, inspiring financial leadership at its core is about us providing good leadership to our organisations. Good leadership will inherently be inspiring. No course can do this – but it certainly is a great step on that journey.

Visit  http://cfg.org.uk/ifl for more information about the next dates for this course.

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