The Habits of Highly Successful Finance Executives

04 Mar 2014 12:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Our panelists included (left to right) Jackie Barry Hamilton, CFO, Intronis; Donna LaVoie, President & CEO, LaVoie Group; and Jennifer Gridley, Director, Market Intelligence, athenahealth

For our February program, Boston Women in Finance hosted “The Habits of Highly Successful Finance Executives,“ which explored the characteristics and qualities of high achieving financial executives.

We learned:

On Setting Your Path

While their early paths to a career in finance were sometimes luck and sometimes planning, the panel agreed that ultimately the responsibility for their choices rested on them as individuals. The panel encouraged attendees to take control of the planning process in their careers, and to proactively identify the roles, responsibilities and opportunities they wanted to work toward.

On The Value of Networking

Not enough can be said about the critical importance of networking.  Whether your networking is internal or external, the investment that you make in building productive and positive relationships with other professionals can only help to lay the foundation for a successful career.

The panel encouraged attendees to network deliberately, consciously and often.  For example, one panelist communicates with internal committee heads at least once a quarter, not only to ensure  they are aligned in their efforts on behalf of the company, but also to keep their network energized.  Another  panelist described how she cold calls professionals in her field for best practices and advice in helping to advance her initiatives.

On Saying Yes

“Does being successful always mean saying yes?”  The panelists answered with a judicious “yes.”  

Ultimately, the panel agreed that it’s in your best interest to try to say yes, which means being discerning about the tasks at hand, and prioritizing the work you need to do. The panel also encouraged attendees to say yes to new opportunities that  get you out of your comfort zone and play on your strengths.

Of course, there will be times that you have to say yes when it’s not convenient for you. For example, many of us know that business issues and crises hardly ever occur during the normal workday. Rather, they choose to pop up on weekends away or late at night.

In these cases, it’s best to demonstrate flexibility and reliability by being available, responsive and willing to roll up your sleeves to get the work done.

Parting Advice

When asked if they had any parting advice to share with our attendees, our panelists answered:

  • Be resilient, as everything takes time.
  • Think progress, not perfection, when it comes to your work.
  • Don’t be afraid to hire people smarter than you.

And most importantly for financial executives – your integrity is your calling card, and it will be challenged. Never, ever compromise your integrity, or you will never be able to escape it.

Talk Back

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered by our panelists, or perhaps advice to share on building a healthy career in finance? Share it in the comments today!

Register For Our Next Program!

Join us for our next event on Friday, March 21, 2014, on “Unveiling Analytics: The Mean, The Median and The Motive,” where we’ll learn how to evaluate data with a critical eye.

Registration is open - click here to get started!

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