#55 The Biggest Finance Leader Challenges

In this episode of The GrowCFO Show Dan Wells and Kevin Appleby discuss the 9 biggest finance leader challenges

In this episode of The GrowCFO Show Dan Wells and Kevin Appleby discuss the 9 biggest challenges faced by finance leaders and what you can do to address some of the underlying issues. We hear about the biggest finance leader challenges all the time from our GrowCFO members, and its given us a great insight into the issues you need help with.

What are the 9 biggest finance leader challenges?

The challenges fall into 3 broad areas. The first one concerns making more impact. The issues that you raised with us include:

  • Contribute more towards strategy
  • Make more impact during Board meetings
  • Grow your confidence and overcome Imposter Syndrome

We covered those 3 topics in the first GrowCFO finance leader challenge in September, and a large number of you participated in the 3 30 minute events and then followed up with the tasks we gave you in the sessions.

The second is all about interacting with others, and you tell us the main issues are:

  • Build stronger relationships
  • Enhance your communication
  • Improve your gravitas and perception

We are planning a series of finance leader challenges that cover these running from 1st to 3rd November and you can register here to be part of that event. https://www.growcfo.net/finance-leader-challenge/

The final three challenges relate to delivering your responsibilities and include:

  • Avoid feeling overwhelmed with tasks
  • Maximise your team’s performance
  • Influence and obtain people’s buy-in

There’s a further series of events coming up in January to help you with these.

The top 3 finance leader challenges

1. Imposter Syndrome

This is the biggest issue raised by our GrowCFO community towards becoming the best version of yourself.  Around 80% of finance leaders suffer from this and 56% of our GrowCFO community identified this as being one of their top three biggest challenges towards delivering their full potential.
Here are the typical challenges highlighted to us:

  • Stepping up into the top role
  • Getting more exposure to the Board
  • Youngest person in the Board room
  • Least industry knowledge in the management team
  • Representing the firm externally
  • Working outside of comfort zone
  • Doing lots of things you have never done before
  • Not always a right or wrong answer

2. Avoid feeling overwhelmed with tasks

The second biggest issue, and one that has a strong bearing on all the other issues
Here are the typical challenges highlighted to us:

  • You simply have too many things to do
  • Finance leader picks up many tasks outside of finance that nobody else is doing
  • You are still too involved in the detail and unable to extract yourself for more value added tasks
  • Lack of the right skills in the rest of the team to properly support you
  • Company is growing but the finance team isn’t, more work falls to the same people
  • Putting processes and systems in place to deal with new business

3. Contributing more towards strategy

This is the third biggest issue raised by our GrowCFO community towards becoming the best version of yourself.  29% of our GrowCFO community identified this as being one of their top three biggest challenges towards delivering their full potential.
Here are the typical challenges highlighted to us:

  • Struggling to free up time to think strategically
  • Unsure how to contribute towards strategic objectives
  • Not being consulted on key decisions
  • Never been involved in strategy before
  • Lack of toolkits to help you document and deliver the strategic plan

Events

If you want to find out more then you can register for the following upcoming events. https://www.growcfo.net/finance-leader-challenge/

Finance leader challenge: Interacting with others – November 2021

Building relationships – Monday 1st November from 1pm to 1.30pm.

Communication – Tuesday 2nd November from 1pm to 1.30pm.

Gravitas, perception and being seen as a barrier – Wednesday 3rd November from 1pm to 1.30pm.

Finance leader challenge: Getting things done – January 2022

Feeling overwhelmed with tasks – Monday 24th January from 1pm to 1.30pm.

Maximising your team’s performance – Tuesday 25th January from 1pm to 1.30pm.

Influencing and obtaining people’s buy-in – Wednesday 26th January from 1pm to 1.30pm.

Find out more about GrowCFO

If you enjoyed this podcast you can subscribe to the GrowCFO Show with your favourite podcast app. The GrowCFO show is listed in the Apple podcast directoryGoogle podcasts and many others. Why not subscribe there today? That way you never miss an episode.

GrowCFO is a great place to extend your professional network. You can join GrowCFO as a free member today and take part in our regular networking events and webinars. 

Premium members also have access to our extensive training centre. Here you can enrol in our flagship Future CFO or Finance Leader programmes. 

You can find out more and join today at growcfo.net

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Improve your gravitas and perception

A large number of finance leaders highlight the need to improve your gravitas and perception. Many feel that they are not always properly listened to during key discussions and that most people think of them as simply being the numbers person. This restricts your ability to influence the wider business agenda and to exert influence during decision-making.

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