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What are the first few steps you'd take to hit the ground running when you're offered a new role as a Finance Manager?


Rex Jackson
Title: EVP and Chief Financial Officer
Company: JDS Uniphase
(EVP and Chief Financial Officer, JDS Uniphase) |

The first thing would be to try and learn whatever you can about the actual business you will be supporting. And if you can get your hands on materials to read up on the company before you start, that's even better (since you'll be "drinking from the fire hose" on everything else once you start).

Also ask for the basics: org charts, annual operating plans, objectives for your area, any single or multi-year plans for finance, etc.

I'd then make sure you get with your immediate manager and map out objectives for your first 100 days. Nothing beats establishing that baseline and then hitting it (makes a great first impression).

Lastly, I'd ask your manager and others in your group what the biggest negatives, hurdles, obstacles etc. are facing your function. Good to see what you're up against coming out of the gate.

I've seen so many new hires simply "show up," and very few who arrive on a mission. The latter are a pleasant surprise.

Good luck.

Aminu Ado
Title: ACCA
Company: TKPL

Thank you very much @Rex for your insightful comment on this.

However, just a follow up question on the issue of the members of the Finance Team. Is it a wise idea to profile the skills and experiences of the team members so that one deals with that in terms of placement and re-deployment to perhaps more suitable finance roles in the first 100 days, as part of managing your direct reporting staff?

Do you think this is capable of engineering trust and confidence between the new manager and his team members?

Topic Expert
Linda Wright
Title: Consultant
Company: Wright Consulting
(Consultant, Wright Consulting) |

I have a what I expect meeting to delineate my leadership style. Then I use a questionnaire with questions like "if you could change just two things about the way the Finance department is run, what would they be and why". Then I sit down deskside with each department memberk to get to know their desks, processes and character. That way I get to know them; they get to know me.


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