What can you, as a leader, do to help your finance team be the best that they can be?

What can you, as a leader, do to help your finance team be the best that they can be_

With so many different aspects of leadership to juggle on a day to day basis, sometimes leaders don’t have the luxury to stop, breath and reflect on how they could do things differently, or better, especially when it comes to their finance teams.

But we all know that without great teams, who are delivering their best, there is no great business!

To help we asked our partner John Slattery, of INSPO, about his views on leadership and helping your team to be the best that they can be. Here’s what John had to say…

Involve Rather Than Tell 

Often when things get super busy activity can fall into the tell category. When you and your team are up against the wall to deliver on tight timelines you may feel there isn’t time to involve. In my experience this is the time when it matters the most.

It’s vital to involve staff in decisions and in creating solutions so that they feel part of that process, and the team. The other wins are that they learn, develop and up-skill when it comes to decision making and solution creation. The earlier they start this in their career the better for all involved.

It’s also great to remember…

“..that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Actively involving will without doubt make your team feel better, and support them being at their best.

Walk the Talk

Another important one – especially for leaders. In my experience, as an employee and working with businesses through Inspo, leaders are seen as role-models and standard-bearers within a business. If a business invests in shaping its culture, or any contributing aspect of, leaders HAVE to embody it first. If leaders do, staff and teams are more likely to follow suit. And so, will begin the formation of a culture and lasting positive behaviours. This can only mean good things for your team.

Live & Breathe the Culture

Following on from the tip above, the culture of a business is key in determining its success. How do you create and shape this intangible concept within a business?

For me, it’s the product of four factors. Firstly, it’s having a vision for the business that can inspire all. The second factor is a set of values that I would see acting as a ‘moral compass’ for the behaviours and thinking within a business. The third factor is a mission statement that clearly states how an organisation wants to conduct its business each and every day to make the vision a reality. The last factor is honouring the purpose of the business.

The purpose is the ‘why’ statement – the fundamental reason for the business ever coming to existence in the first place.

A business may have some or all of these factors in place. What’s most important is how seriously they are taken – irrespective if there is only one or four in situ. The culture of a business will be driven by the combination of the quality and life given to whatever of these four factors are in place.

As a leader you have a responsibility for living and driving the culture. Lead by example and your team will naturally follow. And so will the space for them to be the best that they can be.

Trust Builds Successful Teams

In a recent “Leadership” post by Forbes they revealed that “nearly one third of employees don’t trust management”. How can staff, teams and businesses succeed if trust doesn’t exist?

Trust is a core personal value of mine and one I believe underpins success in leading a team, and ultimately the success of the business.

I could talk ad nauseam about the Trust Equation and other models that offer guidance on how to create a trusting environment within a team and business. For now, I’d like to highlight the importance of one aspect of the Trust Equation. That is ‘self-orientation’. In simple terms, this is the extent you focus on yourself or others in how you maintain and grow relationships.

The Trust Equation strongly indicates that the more you show real consideration for others the more trustworthy you are seen to be. Whether it be shaping a culture or having a career conversation with a staff member, being sincerely interested in, and taking positive action around the views, ambitions, ideas and concerns of others is going to support the creation of a trusting environment. Understanding and supporting their ambitions will naturally lead to the creation and development of trust.

And the payback for the creation of this trust is likely to come in the form of greater levels of commitment from staff and willingness to go the extra mile for the business.

Want More Insights and Support in Leading Your Teams?

Barden and Inspo have a common drive. Barden helps companies build great teams and Inspo helps teams to be great, together. Simple.

If you’d like to hear more about this work feel free to contact Ed Heffernan in Barden, or John Slattery in INSPO.

Read about Barden and INSPO’s partnership here.

For more great insights on leading your team visit our blog section here.



At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to hello@barden.ie and we will take it from there. Easy.

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