Top insights on trusting your brand, growth and emotional intelligence

A look at must-read opinion pieces of 2021 from CFOs in our community.

It’s been a busy year, so if you missed out on some of your reading, we recommend you catch up with these insightful pieces.

Know your brand
Sharon Naidoo (pictured), CFO of TransUnion Africa, pondered why businesses are so ready to focus on competitive price rather than relying in their own brand. She also recommends what businesses should concentrate on when it comes to their brand.

  1. Define you – A brand is a persona, with values, beliefs, a soul – a brand inspires a feeling and an emotional connection with its consumers.
  2. Believe in your brand – Aggressive discounting does not require a talented sales force. The role of the sales team is to walk the walk and talk the talk of the brand! That is what the consumer wants to invest in, that is what inspires the loyalty of the consumers and most of all, opens the wallet!
  3. Connect with your consumer – This is crucial. Consumers connect with their chosen brands through emotions, feelings and aspirational milestones in their life journeys. If we don’t visualise those dreams, lifestyle, career or aspirations, we are not on their journeys. Out of mind, out of sight, out of the money!
  4. Speed date your go-to-market partners – Herein lies the power and we overlook this so often due to time, detailed analytics, stakeholder engagement, commercial contacting, negotiating and signing! But once done, this drives partnership, inspires loyalty and delivers margin growth, a true win-win relationship.
  5. Eat a balanced diet (segment & target your offering) – This is as simple as not selling everything to everyone in every way, i.e., creating access while not being accessible.
  6. Share of voice, share of shelf, share of wallet and make a noise! – While marketing budgets may be limited and the split and probably a larger portion is dedicated to trade marketing vs brand awareness, which can be accomplished simultaneously.

Read more: Have we become lazy when it comes to investing in our brand?

A David and Goliath story
Tramayne Monaghan of Tencent Africa discussed how Malcom Gladwell's book David and Goliath altered his notions about resilience.

According to Tramayne, the biggest contradiction in life is that struggle produces progress.

“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.” – this quote from a novel by G. Michael Hopf sums up how we can enter good times only through the difficult. It also goes on to show us that the good times weaken us.

This could not be truer, especially given the Covid-19 world we now live in.

Read more: Find growth in the difficulties, says CFO Tramayne Monaghan

Emotional intelligence and effective leadership
JAM CFO Nico Esterhuizen authored a piece in 2020 outlining the four internal life characteristics of personal leadership. These are the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical components of our lives.

Personal leadership is inside-out oriented, which necessitates that each leader develops a rhythm in which each internal life dimension stays active at all times. This year, Nico explained how emotional intelligence may be used for effective professional and personal leadership.

According to research by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), for one to better understand EQ and its importance in terms of leadership, one must first understand the individual components, known as the competencies of EQ.

The ACCA offers a list of five skills as well as detailed definitions of how each competency should ideally appear. The five competences are as follows:

  1. Growth mindset;
  2. Self-knowledge;
  3. Perspective-talking;
  4. Empathy; and
  5. Influence

Read more: The impact of emotional intelligence on effective leadership