The Bottom Line: Prioritize, Transform, Repeat
You're almost at the holiday break. Or maybe you're already there? Either way, I'm not stopping this newsletter. You still need great content, even if you aren't working!
You Become a Leader by Inspiring Others to Follow
You might be about to unplug for a few days and enjoy some quality family time. Holidays are great for that, and you definitely should take the time to be with your family. But, you know what else is good about a holiday break?
It gives you time to reflect and figure out what you wanna improve about your work, your leadership, or your company for 2019.
So let's start with leadership. We could all use a few leadership tips, right? I don't think anyone claims to be done learning how to be a great leader.
Entrepreneur recently dropped an article about leadership that got me thinking.
The author of this piece, Curt Cronin, writes about a few traits of good leaders...
1) Hire people who disagree with you. Just hiring "yes men" isn't going to push your department or team forward. You'll just get more of the same. Instead, focus on people who have different viewpoints from you in the hiring process.
2) Be open about your faults. Sometimes you feel like you gotta know everything, right? You don't. You truly don't. Own your weaknesses, be open about them, and your direct-reports will respect you more.
3) Ask questions rather than giving answers. If you struggle with this one, don't feel bad. It's common. The best leaders work on asking more questions. You should constantly question things and try to figure out how you can make things better.
4) Shine the spotlight on others. Pretty obvious one here. But, it's still worth mentioning because underappreciated employees are more likely to leave. Want to keep your top performers? Show them off!
Plenty more to learn in this article from Entrepreneur...
The New CFO Mandate: Prioritize, Transform, Repeat
I've got some data for you. The latest McKinsey Global Survey uncovered a ton of info about CFOs and the role that finance leaders play within their companies. I'm going to get right into it. No sense in writing a lengthy intro.
Changing Responsibilities, Unchanged Perceptions
The survey results prove that the CFO role is broader and more complex than just two years ago. The number of functional areas reporting to CFOs has increased from 4.5 in 2016 to 6.2 today.
CFOs are also increasingly more involved with digital initiatives. We're talking about things like business-process automation, cloud computing, data visualization, and advanced analytics.
This is counterintuitive because most CFOs believe that they're most effective when focusing on traditional finance activities. And that makes sense, but you're probably going to continue to be pushed in new directions.
Guiding and Sustaining Change
There's some good news here, though (as long as you like change). CFOs are playing an increasingly active role in company transformations. In fact, McKinsey's survey found that CFOs are the 2nd most likely leader to initiate change (just after the CEO).
Unlocking the Power of Talent
More good news! CFOs are also taking a more active role in their companies' talent strategies. Why is this good news? Well, a solid talent strategy (among other things) will help keep your turnover rate low. I don't think I need to explain how expensive turnover can be.
That's all I've got for you in this email. You should read the rest of this one, though.
The Hit List
What else am I reading (and writing) this week?
1) I recently wrote about 2019 business travel trends that you should know about. Among other things, keep an eye out for "bleisure." But maybe find a better word for it.
2) 2019 is coming fast, and so are tax compliance milestones. Zenefits put together a calendar with all the dates you need to know.
3) Oracle writes about Kimberly Ellison-Taylor who is a CPA standing at the intersection of finance and technology.
4) Ton of good content this week, so how about a bonus piece? There's new 401(k) legislation in the pipeline. Forbes tells you what you need to know.
Pick of the Week
Remember how I just wrote that more functional areas are reporting to the CFO than ever before? I wasn't kidding...