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Taking the Leap Career Tips for Finance Professionals

Taking the Leap Career Tips for Finance Professionals



Slides from the recent October One Stop Update for Accountants Conferences in Auckland and Wellington New Zealand ...

Slides from the recent October One Stop Update for Accountants Conferences in Auckland and Wellington New Zealand
Leadership by Design was asked to speak at the above conference on "Taking the Leap Career Strategies for the Finance professional." We knew we had taken the right angle NOT to talk about Career Plans when we asked the 150 delegates how many of them had a Career Development Plan? We don't seek out to highlight Finance professionals as being any different from any other work groups to although of course they may be. Those that indicated they had a plan numbered less than 10 and even allowing for those that have a plan but were reluctant to raise their hands by any stretch of the imagination it was a small minority.

Perhaps not surprisingly what research there has been seems to support this view that the majority of mid-career managers do not have a career plan.

It is interesting when you consider these two perspectives:

1. The world is volatile, complex, changing and full of ambiguity

2. Despite endless restructuring and significance job losses in the last few years there is still a talent shortage



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  • Tank you I am very pleased to be hereGreat topic I work all the time with HR ad other business leaders I have had a HR GM role in a large organisation I have even ben the Auckland Branch president of the HRINZ Have to pin my colours t the ,asg here I don’t believe in HR transformational leadership I don’t believe HR or marketing or IT or even Finance can transform organisations by themselves But I do believe leaders can help transform organisations And I do believe people engagement is a strategic issue
  • The clock represents our commitments, appointments, schedules, goals, and activities.The compass represents our vision, values, principles, mission, conscience, direction, and what we feel is important- how we lead our lives.
  • Traditionally career has often been seen as a journey tied closely to age and experience
  • Well, there are deadly lateral moves that ideally you should avoid, and by deadly, I mean lateral moves that move an individual across the same job function or the same product division. In other words it doesn't enable the individual to acquire a relatively new skill set. And I think that lateral moves are also deadly if your CV contains only, or mostly, lateral moves with no promotions. But I think that there are lateral moves that are actually good for your career, so my advice would be, don't shy away from lateral moves, and they may in fact boost your career.
  • How can we navigate in such a dynamically changing world?
  • All of your work comes together in an overall career plan that specifies how you will attain your career goals. You should incorporate professional development into your plan and then use it as a roadmap that will enable you to systematically move your career in the direction you want. Review your plan with knowledgeable people inside and outside your organization to make sure it is realistic and the best possible plan for you.
  • Your plans and jobs will change, so don't try to plan out your entire career in advance. Each position will help you learn what you're good at which can help to direct your career. Positions will sometimes change or move away, so you shouldn't get too attached to a pre-conceived notion of what your long term career plan must look like to be successful. Despite what your parents may have told you, there are no safe fallback jobs anymore. Also, if a job is safe but you can't stand it, then it is no way to spend your career.2. Find positions that focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses. If you work in an area that requires you to do things that don't resonate with your strengths, it will be nearly impossible to be successful. There are some good resources recommended about finding ones strengths, such as the Marcus Buckingham series. Knowing your strengths will allow you to better choose positions where you spend more of your time doing things that you do well and enjoy.3. Your career is not about you, but rather about what you do to help customers, clients, and co-workers to be successful. Using your strengths and enjoying your job is important, but they must be applied to helping others, not just yourself.4. Persistence is more valuable than raw talent. Your career isn't a sprint, but more like a marathon. You need to continue to show up, practice, and never give up.5. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. The only people who don't make mistakes are those who never try anything. When you do make mistakes, learn from them. If you make a really big mistake, you'll know because it may be named after you (This has something to do with the choice of the main character's name).6. Leave an imprint. When you look back at your career, you'll want to be able to know that you made a difference that mattered.
  • 1) There is no plan. No career can be mapped out in its entirety from start to finish, don't even try. Do things for fundamental reasons, not instrumental ones.
  • 2) Think strengths, not weaknesses (Diana references Martin Seligman of "Authentic Happiness" and Marcus Buckingham of "Go, Put Your Strengths to Work" by showing them to Johnny as bobbleheads. She even introduces MihalyCsikszentmihalyi's "Flow" research to the befuddled employee).
  • 3) It's not about you. It's about the customer, the client, making your boss look good while using your strengths.
  • 4) Persistence trumps talent. Dogged determination is the key to success, and is much more easily maintained when you are doing things that feed your passion.
  • 5) Make excellent mistakes. If you are constantly concerned about doing things wrong, you will miss out on extraordinary solutions. To quote Diana, "the most successful people make spectacular mistakes - huge, honking screwups! ...each time they make a mistake, they get a little better and move a little closer to excellence."

Taking the Leap Career Tips for Finance Professionals Taking the Leap Career Tips for Finance Professionals Presentation Transcript

  • Taking the Leap Career development strategies for the finance professional Graham Hart, Director, Leadership by Design
  • Two powerful paradigms direct us:
  • Overview It’s a VUCA world Getting different perspectives Asking the right questions Getting ready for opportunity
  • A Career: “as a person’s course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life)“ (OED) Explore and Establish Growth Maintain and Adjust Lower Aspirations Decline
  • Up down or sideways? Enrichment opportunities such special projects or assignments Lateral career moves Vertical career moves Exploration of related job titles or departments in preparation for a possible internal move Realignment of your career with your personal goals which might mean a downward move reduced hours or other changes Relocation to another business unit or city.
  • It’s a VUCA world Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous
  • Insights from Neuroscience 1. 2. 3. 4. We think in maps Perception is driven by our hardwiring Changing old wiring is difficult Making new wiring is easy
  • Getting Differing Perspectives 6 Sources of growth: 1. A job change to a more challenging role 2. A developmental task while in a current role 3. Role models, coaches and mentors 4.Feedback 5. Courses and Reading 6.Personal learning and reflection
  • Some of the important functions that mentors carry out include being a: Coach or counsellor, Sponsor and advocate, Role model, Supporter, Sounding board, Listener, Critical friend, and Career advisor.
  • An approach to Mentoring
  • Who is in the driving seat? Most Executives mid- career have no plan
  • Start with your desired outcomes or risk doing nothing or going nowhere
  • What questions should I be asking?
  • How is your Mind-set driving you? Optimistic rather than pessimistic Solutions rather than problem based Agile rather than fixed Inquisitive rather than accepting Courageous rather than timid Self aware rather than self-denial Comfortable with ambiguity
  • Dynamic Plan : How to accelerate progress Periodically ask yourself What training or skills development do I need to achieve my goals? What relationships or network do I need to build to achieve my goals? What are potential obstacles or challenges to my goals and how will I handle them? What new habits will I need to develop? What industry and professional information will I need going forward?
  • YOUR BRAND • What are we talking about and what’s at stake? • Impact & influence • Your on-line social & professional profile • Personal presentation
  • Career Direction Assessing Self Performing Marketing Self MY PLAN Exploring options Developing Skills
  • Getting Ready for Opportunity 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. There is no plan. Think strengths, not weaknesses. It's not about you. Persistence trumps talent. Make excellent mistakes. Leave an imprint.
  • There is no Plan
  • Think strengths, not weaknesses
  • It’s Not About You
  • Persistence trumps Talent
  • Make Excellent Mistakes
  • Make Excellent Mistakes
  • Leave an Imprint
  • Free leadership and career resources And Sign up for our newsletter http://www.leadershipbydesign.co.nz Follow us on Twitter Graham@leadbydesign