By Kathy Spearing | June 5, 2019


Most professionals can spot a strong leader right away, just by observing the actions of the person. Typically, you can tell by the way they interact with people, the way other people behave around them, as well as the level of production that comes out of their teams (hint: it’s high!)

The finance function is so crucial to a business and the finance leader has to be just as strong as any other business leader, if not more. Often, effective leaders share many of the same characteristics no matter the department. These high-caliber attributes such as integrity, effective communication and drive help to differentiate them from other individuals.

There are many articles out there that detail the ins and outs of strong leadership. In fact, I came across an Inc.com article recently that discusses the signs of strong leaders. This topic is particularly important to me, so I decided to share some of the information from the article, along with a few thoughts of my own. Take a look at the 5 Signs of a Strong Finance Leader below!

1. They spread joy. 
We’ve all worked with that one person who instantly puts a smile on your face when they walk into the office. This is the type of leader who spreads joy to the people around them, fosters an environment of inclusion and productivity, and encourages teamwork every day.

2. They give their teams a sense of purpose. 
In the article, the writer discusses how allowing employees to meet the people they are helping is a great motivator. For finance or corporate accounting teams, being able to build working relationships cross-functionally is key. This can help put names to the numbers which can give their roles more meaning. While this isn’t a possibility for every business, strong leaders can still manage to give their teams a sense of purpose in other ways. As a result, employees who feel like they are important to the overall business are more motivated and likely to help build success for the company.

3. They champion people development. 
Great leaders know that developing their teams and helping them become better is essential to success. Exceptionally strong leaders identify their colleagues’ skills and help them sharpen those skills through personal and professional development programs.

4. They build trust. 
Strong leaders also know that to develop other leaders, trust is essential. Managers and leaders who establish honesty and trust from the beginning allow for better communication and stronger partnerships. Instilling trust in such a way shows true integrity and overall good graces.

5. They are effective communicators. 
Like building trust, building an environment that encourages open communication is one of the hallmarks of a strong leader. When managers allow for open communication and transparency, teammates feel included and involved in the business, and they know that their opinions and thoughts matter to their manager, making them feel more comfortable—and often more productive!

What are some other signs of a strong finance leader? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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