Shocked? Well, in today’s economy and business environment it’s not rare or uncommon to get fired. Downsize, upsize, right-size, wrong-size; whatever you may call it, something happens that may not be your fault but you get seriously impacted by it. The new reality is that all jobs are temporary.
If it has happened, take a deep breath and put your chin up. Everything happens for a reason. May be it’s the cause for a great restart of your career with a promising new employer. But, if you are still holding a job, take a sigh of relief. You can do something proactively to avoid this stressful disaster.
Job security does not exist anymore, anywhere. Life-long jobs with one employer are things of past. Experts are predicting a professional in 21st century to make 7-8 job moves over their lifetime career. We are transitioning into a free-lance society. What is required for your professional success is to actively manage your career.
Try the following 7 approaches for a successful career management. Learn it and practice it before it’s too late.
Peter Drucker was an amazing futurist who has the ability to foresee future with an incredible precision. This is what he said in 1997:
“Universities won’t survive. The future is outside the traditional campus, outside the traditional classroom. The distance learning is coming up fast.” Peter Drucker, June 16, 1997
I have been doing corporate executive training for a long time but never tried an online class. Being a big fan of Peter Drucker, his quote really touched me to the heart and I decided to give online training a try for a CFO coaching program that I have been developing for a long time.
I offered it as an online coaching program to my global network and soon we had 20 senior finance professionals enrolled from around the world including UAE, KSA, Pakistan, East Coast and West Coast in USA and we jump started the coaching with 90 minute weekly online sessions through GoToMeeting.
Frankly, I was not sure about the effectiveness of the online medium for executive coaching but now almost towards the end of the program we have realized some amazing results.
Here are the five reasons I believe online learning works better for executive education over the traditional classroom:
Didn’t it happen that you had the greatest ideas along with necessary credentials and relevant experience to impress your boss but he hardly listened? You may think he is a jerk or an idiot not to understand or appreciate your ideas. But the truth probably is that your boss is not an idiot. What he is missing is your influence.
Influence could be the most powerful weapon in your hands when you deal with your superiors. Influence is the vehicle through which your message is carried upon. It is the packaging that wraps around your core message. Without a carrying vehicle or proper packaging, you run the risk of your message getting lost in transition.
In our communications and negotiations we over zealously endeavor to convince our point of view using lengthy arguments. What we don’t realize is that a little bit of influence may go a long way even without the need of much logic and reasoning. If you are able to create influence in your relationship with your boss, the communication can become much more effective and meaningful.
To build up and enhance your influence on your boss and other superiors, follow this simple 5-step approach:
1. Establish your Authority:
Your formal authority may be limited as defined by your position or title but your informal authority could be unlimited based on your knowledge and expertise. When people know your potential they start to give you the due respect and treat you as an expert. Let the world know about your credentials, background and relevant experiences. Boldly and aggressively describe your achievements and accomplishments on your LinkedIn profile and invite your seniors and other colleagues to connect. They are sure going to notice it and respect your expertise.
I usually start my CFO trainings with a simple question; “If business world during the last 15 years, on a scale of 1 to 10, has changed by 10, how much do you think the Finance function has changed?” And the answer consistently has been between 4 and 6.
The reality is that the role of Finance function in a modern business model is still not quite well defined. As a result we struggle to meet the expectation of our business partners. Resource structure and processes are quite different from one entity to another and even the role of CFO is not well understood.
In a high performance modern day business, Finance main role should be to help maximize the value creation by (a) Measuring the value created (recording), (b) Understanding and advising what drives value (analyzing), and (c) Minimizing the leakage of value (controlling). This role however can be performed if Finance and the CFO deeply understand the value creation part of the business model.
The role of the CFO is continuously evolving and in many organizations it is not well defined. A lot of CFOs therefore struggle to understand the critical nature of their job and adopt a conservative approach of narrowly defining their roles by duplicating the job of their controllers.
The CFO role is unique and powerful enough to get involved with any part of the organization. Generally, CFOs can initiate projects on their own that benefit the business and at the same time substantially expand the scope and responsibility of their own role. It is an opportunity as well as a challenge.
If you are a CFO with narrowly defined scope, here are 7 strategies you can apply immediately to upgrade and redefine your job:
You always wanted to be a bright star in your Finance career. You worked really hard completing your accountancy exams and entered the profession with great excitement. You made good progress moving your way up the ladder to the current position with an ambition to ultimately reach the CFO level. But now you feel somewhat stalled or lost. Are you still on track?
Well, not everyone will reach to the top. As you move up, the journey is only going to get tougher. It’s like mount climbing. During the middle of the climb, as you are getting tired and exhausted, you need more energy. More than anything else you need a solid strategy to manage your energy and ultimately reach to the top.
Mid-career challenges resemble mid-life crises. You become overwhelmed with growing complexity in your responsibilities and become somewhat blindfolded to certain trends that on the surface do not look important but may seriously hurt your career growth and significantly reduce your chances to accomplish your ultimate career goal.
Here are the 7 reasons that may disqualify you for a the CFO role: