“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work” – Seth Godin. I think leadership is about two things that are continuously and endlessly evolving: communication and the development of people including you. Financial leadership is also about the same two processes.
If you’re the leader of a nation, an army or a company, you need people to understand you and you need to understand them. Your constituents must be able to hear your message clearly and your message needs to resonate with them to allow them to follow you and do great things.
Being compassionate, listening to the needs of others and making challenging decisions that move people and situations forward, allows people to really become who they need and want to be. This is where the communication transcends the art of effective speaking and listening into thoughts and actions that move people forward, including you, in the development of your mission, culture and company.
“True leadership lies in guiding others to success in ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well” – Bill Owens.
Financial leadership means you’re able to clearly articulate the goals and means to achieve these in your company. And, you have an effective means to gather and process the needs of others thereby allowing them to contribute their best performance. Their contribution is a direct reflection of your commitment to developing them. The way you do this is by creating an environment that has their success and development come first. The support you give allows them to develop. You cannot expect the development to happen first and your support follow. People need you to light the way.
“But all I really want to know … I want you to show me the way” – Peter Frampton.
Logically that makes sense. People need us to show them the way. If we don’t, they go their own way. We need to see this and get in front of it. However, all too often we get lost in the busyness of what we do and who we need to be as that leader. We follow a downward trajectory as a result of our lack of a work system. The key is to be more than we do.
‘Being’ means creating a consciousness that can see the path and guide the ‘doing’ down the needed path. Stepping back every day to ensure the work is done and the ship is still heading in the desired direction, the being. That’s the key: have the disciplines in place to get the work done and have time to guide the journey. Continuous communication with your stakeholders allows them to develop and this happens because you create the environment.
By David Lund
David Lund is an international expert who has been branded ‘The Hotel Financial Coach’. Just as any great hotel is true to their brand, so is David. His client commitment is about exceptional service. And his #1 focus is to help his clients gain a fast Return On Investment from his workshops and personalized coaching. David’s background includes over 30 years as a regional controller, corporate financial director, hotel manager and controller throughout North America.