Leading and managing in any discipline is challenging.
In Finance I really believe it is even tougher.
There are several reasons why:
- You have a lot of committed people.
- You have a lot of ambitious people.
- You have people who want to have their say.
- Not all technically brilliant people are good managers.
Faced with these challenges you might wonder how to get the best results when leading and managing a finance team.
Here’s my thoughts.
Really understand each individual
You might wonder if this is really different in Finance.
Personally I think it is.
Within your team you are likely to have people at very different stages in their career.
Depending on where they are in their career, some might be looking to progress while others might be quite content with where they are.
It’s therefore important that you sit down and really understand what each individual wants to get from their role as well as their career aspirations.
Sometimes managers worry about having this conversation because they worry that if they help those who want to progress.
You can of course think about it differently.
People will leave at some point. One of the most common reasons people leave is because of their line manager.
If you go out of your way to try and make the experience of working with you a positive one, chances are you will retain them longer.
Spread the load
You might have heard the term work migrates to a busy person.
Sadly it’s true.
So often the temptation is to load more and more work on to the person that you know gets things done.
Now short term that might be fine.
Longer term it’s more of an issue.
Eventually the person who delivers gets fed up.
For that reason it’s really important to spread the load.
Also be mindful that the highly ambitious and highly motivated individual may not always be the best at saying no when asked to take on something else.
Show more trust
Having really motivated and committed people in your team is something many in other disciplines envy.
Yet there’s a trap too.
Those in Finance generally end up getting promoted because they build a reputation for getting things done.
When you become a manager or leader the role changes.
It’s less about being the musician in the orchestra and being more of the conductor.
To put it slightly differently, it’s about being more facilitative in your approach.
It’s about letting go, showing trust in others and resisting the temptation to micromanage everything.
Does it take a bit of time to get good at this?
Of course it does. At the same time it’s a win-win for you and the whole team.In truth managing and leading in Finance is tough. Often it’s small but significant changes in your approach that yield the best results.