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Q&A Forum

What is the most significant concept, habit or strategy you have learned, this last year, which has helped you be more effective and successful in your position?


Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

Pour yourself into your people. Grow and develop them to be the best at what they do and never stop challenging continuous improvement.

Julie Freer
Title: Controller
Company: Ascentis
(Controller, Ascentis) |

Christie - Love your answer! The success of your people is your success.

Richard Rafdahl
Title: President
Company: Cost Reduction Specialists Inc.
(President, Cost Reduction Specialists Inc.) |

Excellent strategy. Thanks for great response.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

It is a constant improvement and to switch back and forth from a 35,000 foot level and operational level.

Richard Rafdahl
Title: President
Company: Cost Reduction Specialists Inc.
(President, Cost Reduction Specialists Inc.) |

Thanks Emerson, having the ability to slide up and down from the detail and tactical needs to the 35,000 ft level is a great skill. I have found that the best managers are those that understand and respect the processes and challenges associated with the day to day operations but also have the ability to see the big picture, future business trends and have a vision for improvement.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Thanks Richard. As I said, it is a constant improvement and learning as I still find myself (from time to time) stuck in either place and have to reorient or look at things from the other perspective. The skill is arriving at a decision with those two perspectives in mind.

Renee Jaenicke
Title: Director of Internal Audit
Company: Renown Health
(Director of Internal Audit, Renown Health) |

Look for the underlying commitment - why people say what they do or act the way they do. It may have little to do with what they say. If we can talk about that commitment, we can come to an agreement.

David Belgum
Title: CFO
Company: LeoNovus, Inc.
(CFO, LeoNovus, Inc.) |

Quit taking yourself so seriously and take others and the goals of the organization more seriously. Try to strike a more balanced view of yourself which will help with pouring yourself into others.

Teresa Anyango
Title: Finance Manager
Company: Bandwidth and Cloud Services
(Finance Manager, Bandwidth and Cloud Services) |

Very good strategies from all of you. I have also learnt that you do not know it all. Open up to learn from your team. Some may have very critical knowledge for you to harness for your success. You may have a good system, but you only succeed through the people.

Secondly, integrity is very key. There could be pressure to lure you into malpractice, as a CFO, you are the custodian of the company wealth and should never bow down to pressure that can derail your career.

Richard Rafdahl
Title: President
Company: Cost Reduction Specialists Inc.
(President, Cost Reduction Specialists Inc.) |

Excellent Teresa. Our people are our greatest assets and our responsibility as Senior managers is to help our staff feel valued, demonstrate integrity and achieve success.

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

You can't take the focus away from blocking and tackling. Things are changing at a faster and faster pace but you have to concentrate on the basics. Once those start to slide, it is a slippery slope.

J.G. Collins
Title: Managing Director
Company: The Stuyvesant Square Consultancy
(Managing Director, The Stuyvesant Square Consultancy) |

My firm spent part of 2013 developing a proprietary method of polling (pro/con) among various alternative actions that allow critical stakeholders and those charged with implementing the options to opine on the options with a numeric scale.

It is an invaluable tool to identify additional options, to build consensus, to identify stakeholders who need to be "sold" on the consensus position, and to warn clients off the "consensus" by allowing critical stakeholders to identify the potential shortfalls in the decision.

Once a consensus choice has been implemented, we go back and poll the stakeholders on the results so that the consensus decision can be evaluated by those who made it.

We believe it leads to constant and continual improvement in organizational decision-making. It also allows decisions to be fine-tuned after-the-fact to improve the ultimate outcome.

Richard Rafdahl
Title: President
Company: Cost Reduction Specialists Inc.
(President, Cost Reduction Specialists Inc.) |

Thanks J.G.,

It sounds like an excellent tool for those complex projects that require extensive team involvement, support and buy-in. Gaining support and momentum are often the more difficult aspects of establishing a new project that requires change.

Sanjay Sood
Title: Chief Finance Officer
Company: Ricoh Innovations Private Limited
(Chief Finance Officer, Ricoh Innovations Private Limited) |

First thing in the morning, spend 5-10 minutes informally with your team to discuss anything under the Sun. This exercise creates emotional bank with employees, unknowingly acts as catalyst for team building/ binding which ultimately delivers the desired result…

It works!!

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Relating to what Teresa Anyango said above, I realize I don't know everything, so I have been habitually reading finance and accounting articles on Proformative and other places, reading construction magazines (my industry), as well as asking questions from more experienced professionals.

Byron Kongere
Title: Divisional Finance Manager - Siginon Glo..
Company: Siginon Group
(Divisional Finance Manager - Siginon Global Logistics, Siginon Group) |

Delegate well. Be more of a coach than a manager.

Philip Russell, CPA
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: FCB Homes
LinkedIn Profile
(Chief Financial Officer, FCB Homes) |

Continuous improvement-constantly get better or you will be left behind.

Jaime Campbell
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Chief Financial Officer, Tier One Services, LLC) |

My big leap forward this year was transitioning from entrepreneur to employer, and I'm now managing 4 people. The best advice I got was to invest time in preparing everything for my team in advance so they can step right in and know what to do.


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