The finance world is a tough one. Competition across the industry is stiff, and even though there are thousands of highly qualified professionals in the field, only a few get to climb up the corporate ladder and lead well-known firms. Below are some of the traits exhibited by successful finance executives:
Negotiating is essential for any senior executive, but even more so for someone in a leading financial role like Basil Mahadeo. Whether it is working with clients on long-term deals, getting the best price from suppliers, or persuading employees to accept pay freezes being able to bargain and charm your way into agreements that benefit the company is paramount when climbing up the corporate ladder.
Every good leader has what is needed to move an organization forward, including taking risks. A successful finance executive knows when to take a calculated risk and pull back. They understand that sometimes it is necessary to put money on the line for a company to grow, even if there is a chance of losing it all.
Firm grasp of numbers
In the world of finance, everything comes down to numbers. A successful finance executive understands this and can easily read and interpret financial reports. Not only are they able to make sound decisions based on this data, but they can also explain complex financial concepts in an easy-to-understand way to those who are not as familiar with numbers.
Finance executives need to look for detail, from reviewing balance sheets to crunching numbers. This attention to detail goes beyond just analyzing financial reports, and it extends to every aspect of the company, from marketing to operations. Grasping complex situations and identifying potential problems quickly is essential in any leadership role.
Since businesses are becoming more international, it is no longer enough for finance executives to have only a domestic perspective. They must think globally, understanding the various cultural implications of their business decisions. It is not unusual for a finance chief to have worked in five or six countries and be completely at ease operating in different currencies and accounting standards.
Finance executives need to think strategically, looking ahead and planning for potential problems and opportunities. A successful finance executive is always two or three steps ahead. They anticipate changes in the marketplace and design strategies to keep the company on track. They can take big, complex situations and break them into easily digestible pieces.
In any leadership role, good communication is key. This is especially true in finance, where executives need to relay complex financial information to those who are not as familiar with numbers. They must also effectively communicate with employees and other stakeholders about the company’s vision and goals.
Know how to Plan
The ability to set goals and stick to a plan is essential for anyone in finance. However, it takes on even more important when one reaches the upper echelons of an organization. At this point, finance executives are responsible for their work and setting up clear guidelines to help everyone else succeed. They must delegate effectively and track employees’ progress toward specific milestones.
No one ever gets ahead by being a pessimist. Instead, successful leaders have a positive outlook and always look for improvement. A can-do attitude is essential, and finance executives need to inspire and motivate others, especially in challenging times. They also need to set an example by doing their best work and leading by example.
While other important qualities contribute to success as a finance executive, the above ten are the most common. The finance department is one of the key areas that any organization relies on, and finding people who possess these skills can be challenging. However, with hard work and perseverance, anybody can successfully climb up to this position within an organization.