Reinventing teams and their leaders for the future (Part 3): Applying lessons to yourself


CFOs often need to oversee the skilling up of their teams. But junior employees aren't the only staff who need to grow and learn - the demand for development exists all the way to the very top, with leaders needing to embrace learning opportunities as much as anyone else on their teams.

The burden of survival in this cutthroat new age of doing business falls on the shoulders of senior company executives. In a world where everyone thinks they can do your job better than you, these are some parting words of wisdom from CFOs:

Trading Company acting CFO Luyanda Gidini: I live by the by the words of Alvin Toffler: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” He says don’t be afraid of change, because change is not inherently negative. “As accountants, we’ve had to learn, relearn and unlearn more so than any other industry due to technological disruptions, so we can only grow with the changes not fight them.”

AfroCentric Group CFO Hannes Boonzaaier: “I stick to traditional fail safes.”:

  • Cash is king. Stick to conservative cash projections, understand profit and cost and its impact.
  • Don’t bet the whole farm.
  • Grow incrementally
  • Showing maturity in understanding board decision, younger CFOs tend to be impatient.

Lumminos MD and professional coaching consultant and coach Julia Kerr Henkel: Be brave enough to build trust, because trust is the glue of all relationships. And build courage, courage is contagious, people, people, and people. At the heart of it all, it’s about people and conversation. Technology cannot replace people, technology needs people working well together for it to work.”

Pfizer SA CFO Mhanqwa Khumalo: “Use structures in place to speak out. Reporting unethical behaviour ought to be through oversight bodies that cannot reveal your identity, and CFOs must protect the people that display the courage to report illicit activity.

“On a personal level, I have to plan and take action for it to happen. In simplistic terms, I develop myself by reading, listening, observing and acting.”

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