After feeling very nervous and unprepared in my role of CFO last week, I had decided to dig around the old mgmt 300 wiki in search journals written by CFO’s from previous semesters. While they weren’t the most helpful in terms of what the role entailed, I found it reassuring that at the beginning of their simulations, they too had felt the way that I was feeling. From there I figured that my next best step would be to analyse the current financial statements and to get a head start on the week’s allocated readings so that I could effectively contribute to my team’s discussions. While I was happy with the many discussions that my team and I had and our final decisions before the first roll-over, I realised that I still have a lot of work to do before ( I believe) I can help my team make the most informed financial decisions.
A concept that I found very interesting in this week’s readings is how we define leadership and fellowship, and why we are so caught up on being a leader rather than a follower. When reading In Praise Of Followers (1988) it seemed to me that the characteristics of being an effective follower ( courageous, honest, credible, dedicated to a cause outside themselves etc) were characteristics that I thought every (good) leader should hold. I then realised that in order to be a leader, one must first be a good follower. When I took this idea and related it back to my team and in particular my CEO I realised that I am very lucky to have a CEO who is both of these things, and then I began to think about the positive effect this had on our team dynamics and the way we communicate with one another. I believe that my team works so well because we all know when to assume the role of a leader, or of a follower and how to do so effectively. Ideas are always discussed with open minds and mutual respect is given to each member and their opinions.
Regardless of whether one is a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’ I think that the concept of “The window and the mirror” that is discussed by Collins (2005) is one that should be practiced by all and is one that I will definitely be applying to my current role as CFO.
Kelley, R. E. (1988). In Praise of Followers. Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142-148.
Collins, J. C. (2005). Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolve. Harvard Business Review, 83(7/8), 136--146