In today’s financial sector, financial leaders continue on breaking the mold and expanding their influence throughout their organizations. Over the past couple of years, many businesses have seen growth in their departments, namely in the diversity of the previous experiences of their employees and C-suite.
Interestingly, finance executives have most frequently reported their roles have grown over the past three years to include more information technology, human resources, and operations efforts to name a few. As the role of the financial leader continues to expand, leaders across all industries are finding that they have more opportunity to find individuals suited for the leadership role than ever before.
The Ever-Changing Position
Financial executives’ positions involve playing many roles that incorporate positions much like a strategic advisor, a data scientist, a collaborator in addition to their traditional responsibilities in the financial sector. They collaborate with human resources in areas as diverse as hiring and compensation, compliance, and organizational culture. Furthermore, they also pair up with their IT counterparts on initiatives ranging from technology investments and systems implementations to cybersecurity.
Many financial leaders find they must collaborate with chief information officers on IT-related decision-making as technology becomes only more critical for everyday business operations, highlighting the need for a financial officer to be aware of the trends impacting the industry.
The Skills A Modern Financial Leader Needs
According to Markets Insider, the influence a financial leader stems from their vast skill set. They define the top skills as:
- Leadership: Developing and retaining a talented team are top priorities for accounting and finance managers. Executives must excel in guiding their staff, including managing and motivating a multigenerational workforce.
- Collaboration: As their roles expand into nontraditional areas, financial executives can succeed only if they work well with colleagues in other departments.
- Communication: Financial leaders must be comfortable sharing information with diverse audiences, from entry-level staff to the CEO and board of directors.
- Technological aptitude: Financial executives don’t need to know all the tricks of new tools, but they should have an innate curiosity about them and a short learning curve.
- Change management: Change can be scary, particularly when it comes to the workplace. Leaders must be able to share company news, good and bad, and what it means for their teams.
With a deeper understanding of technology and HR, this broad skill set has enabled financial leaders to address all challenges by adopting a robust approach to the financial sector, allowing them to move beyond the numbers and expand their influential role across all walks of the industry.
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Jenny Schecher is a Client Services Director & Social Media Manager at The Millennium Alliance. Jenny is an avid contributor to our blog, Digital Diary, as well as all social media platforms. When she is not writing about digital transformation and technology, she is working with her team to make visions come to life at our events. (and eating all of NYC's best food.) Follow her on Instagram: @jennyschecs or find her on LinkedIn!
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