The Leadership competency covers five key skills: Lead the Finance Function, Become a C-Suite Business Leader, Manage People, Drive the Culture, and Represent Your Business Externally.


Lead the Finance Function

As the finance leader, you are responsible for developing a well-rounded finance function that can keep up with the evolution of your business. To fulfil your finance function’s objectives, you need to structure your team appropriately, hire the right people and create a high-performance team culture.

Become a C-Suite Business Leader

As well as leading your finance function, CFOs are also typically board members and therefore need to act as a business leader. This requires you to support the leadership team by providing valuable insights, supporting decision making and challenging the board.

Manage People

Managing people effectively is essential to success in any organization, and it’s no different in the world of finance. CFOs need to create a productive and positive work environment for your team and encourage everybody to exceed their targets. You need to ensure that you are playing to everybody’s passion and strengths, whilst covering for people’s blind spots.

Drive the Culture

The modern-day CFO plays an increasingly important role in driving your company’s culture. Your business culture has a huge impact on the behaviour of your workforce, their ability to thrive within their roles, and the overall reputation of your company.

Represent Your Business Externally

The CFO is a vital member of a company’s leadership team and this inevitably brings increased exposure to the outside world. You play a key role in representing your business externally, for example with investors, bankers, customers, suppliers and regulators. It is important to manage external stakeholders effectively to maintain positive relationships, support the success of your business and keep everybody updated on the progress of your company.

Each of these requirements are essential components of your CFO role and must be implemented effectively.

Leadership Criteria

Assess your competency across the five Leadership skills with the Ratings Guide below.

Skill1. Basic Level2. Intermediate3. Advanced
Lead the finance function
Determine your purpose, structure your finance activities, shape the team and deliver your responsibilities.
Leads a significant element of the finance function by managing people and being responsible for delivering team targets.Performs the number one finance function role. Leads the team and takes responsibility for recruiting, training, motivating, appraising and managing people. Acts as a role model to other team members and mentors certain individuals.Leads the finance function, determines its purpose and ensures that it is delivering the key requirements of the company. Shapes the team, sets objectives and takes full responsibility for deliverables. Creates high performance cultures and develops an environment for people to deliver their full potential.
Become a C-Suite business leader
Enable the vision, set the right pace, share the bigger picture, monitor activities, collaborate, keep people informed and help people to succeed.
Plays a key role within the company management team. Communicates the strategy and helps people to succeed within their roles.Is a member of the board and works closely with other C-Suite members to help deliver the business plan. Champions initiatives, monitors activities and participates in firm-wide collaboration.Is a vital member of the board of directors. Enables the vision, aligns the company's activities with the strategy and sets the right pace to hit key milestones in an achievable manner. Delivers the business plan, shares the bigger picture and communicates regularly to keep people informed of progress.
Manage people
Determine your people plan throughout the business life, recruit, manage, engage, motivate, align, delegate, develop, mentor, set objectives and create self-leaders.
Manages a team of people on an ongoing basis. Recruits new team members, delegates tasks, develops people, motivates the team and monitors performance levels.Aligns people to the company strategy and ensures that each team has the necessary skills to function effectively. Coaches individuals to deliver their responsibilities and mentors people to achieve their career aspirations.Determines the people plan throughout the company during each stage of the business life cycle. Understands what motivates people to deliver their full potential and creates the optimal environment for individuals to thrive. Creates followers and develops others to become self-leaders.
Drive the culture
Promote your desired business culture, champion diversity and inclusion, act as a role model and exhibit the right values
Communicates regularly to ensure that everybody understands the company culture and knows what is expected of them. Acts as a role model and exhibits the company's values at all times.Recognises strong behaviours and rewards people for their achievements. Calls out bad behaviours and is prepared to have tough conversations when required. Removes barriers that may hold people back. Champions diversity and inclusion.Reviews the business values and checks that they are consistent with what the company stands for. Aligns people strategy with the culture and ensures that the business’s reputation appeals to its target clients. Drives the desired culture across the business and inspires the workforce to deliver the company’s purpose.
Represent your business externally
Build trusted relationships and build confidence with shareholders and investors, customers and suppliers, regulators and market analysts. Get involved in public relations activities and support third party negotiations.
Builds strong relationships with external stakeholders and communicates performance updates. Liaises regularly with shareholders, investors and regulators. Contributes towards negotiations with key customers and suppliers.Participates in key presentations to external parties and showcases their role as a key member of the management team. Generates trust and confidence amongst external stakeholders in the management team's ability to deliver the business plan.Represents the business within its market segment and across wider society. For example, through public speaking, panels, presentations and videos. Provides regular performance updates to market analysts. Features within the company's PR activities and contributes towards press articles where appropriate.

Assess and Develop Your CFO Competencies

Explore the rest of The GrowCFO Competency Framework and take advantage of the following resources to assess and develop your strengths and skills gaps.

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