As you know, I'm a huge proponent of investing in leadership training for finance professionals - or anyone who wants to grow personally or professionally.
That passion was born primarily from my personal journey from finance leader to successful business owner, from someone that suffered stage fright to a professional speaker and facilitator.
This is a story I'm telling a lot lately as it's the public speaking season at school, I have spent hours this week marvelling at the confidence and clarity of character that kids bring to the stage.
They are single-handedly planning to 'cure' racism, solving the problems of the 'middle child' and sharing profound origin stories, all six years of them.
Watching their visions, their curiosity, and their powerful presence (all bundled into checkered dresses and mary-janes) is beyond inspiring.
As the role of CFOs continues to evolve, one question remains at the forefront:
How can CFOs deliver profound value to their people, businesses, and communities with this level of confidence and clarity?
This feat is one of the biggest challenges facing the CFOs, it requires a strategic approach, encompassing purpose integration, curiosity and powerful executive presence.
We know that CFOs are no longer just financial gatekeepers; they are strategic leaders with the power to shape the direction of their companies.
But what's the best way to achieve this? Let's talk about some practical strategies that value-driven CFOs can adopt to elevate their contributions and enhance their leadership presence.
Purpose integration is the bedrock of delivering profound value. Aligning the CFO, their team, and the organisation's mission creates a powerful synergy that propels everyone in the right direction.
Much of my leadership training work focuses on fostering a growth mindset, encouraging lifelong learning and connecting the organisation to each individual meaningfully because I believe that CFOs who inspire their teams to adapt, innovate and continuously improve are the CFOs of the future.
Purpose-driven finance leadership brings cohesion to the organisation and empowers the CFO to more readily support the CEO and Board to navigate through uncertainties and challenges with a clear sense of direction.
Curiosity: Unleashing the power of inquiry
A curious CFO seeks to understand the real needs and priorities of business stakeholders, leading to better-informed decisions and innovative solutions.
By engaging in open conversations and active listening, CFOs can discover unique insights that lead to innovative solutions.
Embracing curiosity as a core value drives CFOs to explore new possibilities and discover untapped opportunities for growth and impact. This is why curiosity is something I emphasise with CFO coaching - and it's as simple as coming out of the back office and just sticking your nose in other people's business.
Powerful executive presence: Building trust and credibility
To deliver profound value, CFOs have to exude a powerful executive presence.
It goes beyond technical expertise - embodying confidence, credibility, and gravitas. A well-developed personal pillar of high performance is essential to support this executive presence.
In the words of social scientist and all-around legend Rosabeth Moss Kanter, "Confidence isn't optimism or pessimism, and it's not a character attribute. It's the expectation of a positive outcome."
CFOs who invest in their own well-being, resilience, and adaptability can confidently lead their teams through challenging times and earn the trust of their stakeholders.
And no one knows how to prioritise rest, play and personal routines like children do. Funnily enough, I believe we would all benefit from a daily fruit break, after-lunch mindfulness, weekly PE and rock-solid sleep hygiene.
Profound value can't be achieved with a checklist
Delivering profound value is not a singular event but an ongoing journey for value-driven CFOs.
By integrating purpose, embracing curiosity, and developing a powerful executive presence, CFOs can make a lasting impact on their people, businesses, and communities.
As CFOs embrace their role as strategic leaders and change agents, they have the opportunity to shape the future of their organisations and achieve success that knows no bounds.
How are you encouraging your own curiosity?
How are you fostering a growth mindset?
How are you strategically shaping the direction of your company?
Love to hear your thoughts...