Are your financial leaders performing to standard?

Behind every team is a strong leader who drives each and every member towards a common goal.

At least, this is the image that most businesses strive to achieve. However, the complexity of our modern world has created an array of challenges for company leaders, especially chief financial officers (CFOs). 

How can firms implement the right methods to develop leadership skills in the finance department and throughout the company? 

Struggles for CFOs

According to Robert Half, 66 per cent of CFOs believe that it is more difficult to be a company leader now than it was five years ago. Senior Executive Director Paul McDonald explained that a number of trends, such as disruptive technologies and increased regulatory compliance, require a wider perspective. 

"Those at the helm must be proficient in their chosen field but also current on big-picture issues facing their industries and organisations," he said.

Many CFOs are facing greater external challenges.Many CFOs are facing greater external challenges.

While staff members in the US are satisfied with their leaders, a KMPG study found that chief executive officers around the world are struggling to get the most out of their CFOs.

Out of the global CEOs questioned, 30 per cent stated that their CFOs are not meeting their expectations. Some key areas of improvement that CEOs highlighted included getting more experience in areas outside of finance (45 per cent), stronger leadership skills (41 per cent) and a broader focus (38 per cent). 

In order to ensure success, businesses should look into senior financial recruitment to ensure that CFOs have the support they need to succeed.

Fostering successful leadership

Although Australia has plenty of talented individuals, these skills can sometimes be difficult to translate into effective leadership. 

75 per cent of business professionals believe that their workplace needs better senior management.

According to a survey from the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne, 75 per cent of business professionals believe their workplace needs better senior management. However, the majority (53 per cent) had at least one person they respected in a leadership position, which indicates that there is potential for effective management within most companies. 

This is where an HR consultancy can offer great benefit to unlocking the abilities of senior managers. Knowing how to apply theoretical skills in the right context and situation can be a struggle, but an HR expert can help guide potential leaders in their decision-making process.