The Finance Leader Podcast

The Finance Leader Podcast

Leadership development can set you apart from your peers so you can advance your career. This podcast is hosted by Stephen McLain, a U.S. Army-Retired Finance Officer. After retirement, Stephen transitioned to working as a Team Member and Business Consultant in Corporate Finance and Accounting. In the Finance and Accounting professions, we tend to have great technical expertise, but there is a leadership skills gap. This podcast will be dedicated to leadership development for Finance and Accounting professionals, where we will focus on leadership topics such as providing a purpose for our team, building trust, improving communication, and developing our team. Please listen to the trailer so you can check it out. Thank you!

Episodes

September 26, 2022 18 min

If a crisis happened to you today, do you have a support system in place to help you through it? Who would you call? Who would help you? Having a support system in place is critical for surviving and overcoming an emergency. 

Please connect with me:

1. Instagram: stephen.mclain
2. Twitter: smclainiii
3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant
4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiii

Consider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, w...

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Are you facing a challenge? If so, what are you doing to overcome that challenge? Does it require working with someone on a solution, or is it a challenge that you personally have to solve? Is it a mindset issue? Are you having trouble with a goal?

Please connect with me:

1. Instagram: stephen.mclain
2. Twitter: smclainiii
3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant
4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiii

Consider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Comm...

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September 5, 2022 15 min

This week, I am sharing an encore replay from Season 9 - Episode 77: Five Pillars of Career Advancement for Finance and Accounting Professionals

What does it take to advance your career? There are many decisions and pathways you can take. There are lots of choices, but how do you prepare yourself for the best chance of advancing to senior leader roles? In this episode, I will highlight the five pillars of career advancement which ca...

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I wanted to briefly talk about a trending topic that I have been seeing all over Twitter. You probably heard about it: Quiet Quitting. What does that mean? Well, it’s something that has been happening for a very long time, which is doing your job without probably doing any of the extras. Not going above and beyond. Just ensuring you are doing enough to keep your job.

Please connect with me on:

1. Instagram: stephen.mclain
2. Twitter:...

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A successful budget development cycle begins with clearly communicated expectations and coherently executed leadership. You must partner with other leaders to minimize conflict, meet senior leader guidance, and deliver a budget plan that is on target and makes sense. Ensure you apply the strategy to the budget development process to prioritize and maximize the committed resources.

Episode outline:

  • Link the budget requirements to the ...
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    August 14, 2022 14 min

    As leaders in Finance and Accounting, we are asked to analyze problems constantly. Leaders solve the critical problems of the organization. We don’t let issues grow into bigger problems. The most difficult part of problem solving is to identify what the real problem is, followed by performing the analysis to develop viable options, and then deciding the solution which is best for the organization moving forward. It sounds easy, but...

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    August 8, 2022 16 min

    This week it’s all about embracing, adopting and using artificial intelligence in our finance and accounting processes. I expect the early adopters to gain a significant competitive advantage as they shift from waiting on data to guiding a system with real time data that solves problems and affects decisions earlier in the process. Earlier than we ever thought we could. It’s time to commit funds in our budgets for systems, hardware...

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    August 1, 2022 15 min

    We work with data every day in finance and accounting. The data leads us to insights and relevant information. This is why it’s important that our data is clean AND validated. The way to useable information is to ensure we have good data, but do you know what that means, and can you spot bad data when it shows up in your analysis? Know the data you are working with to ensure it leads you to the correct conclusions in your financial...

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    July 25, 2022 17 min

    Financial Planning and Analysis provides one of the most critical and powerful functions in the business. Are you resourcing and employing your FP&A Team properly? You need to be continually planning the team’s functions and capabilities as technology changes and the business grows. The FP&A function cannot remain static. It must be growing and changing as conditions change. Your pathway to understanding the key metrics of ...

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    July 18, 2022 15 min

    How do you want your team to interact with each other? Do you want to be all business all the time, more relaxed, or something else? As the leader, you set the tone for the team’s culture. The team’s culture determines how well everyone respects each other and works together. Don’t overlook the relationship of team culture and its overall performance. 

    Episode outline:

  • What is Team culture?
  • How team culture shapes output and productiv...
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    Financial Analysts help grow the business by digging in to the how and the why to financial transactions to find patterns and insights. These patterns can help find a way to leverage your offers to increase sales. Additionally, costs can be saved by finding efficiencies within the expenses. 

    Episode outline:

  • Figure out the why and how regarding data around financial transactions,
  • Help to validate the strategy through the analysis of k...
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    Leaders must be self-aware of their thoughts, actions, words and behaviors so they are constantly working to build trust and develop their teams. Self-aware leaders know what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate. Emotionally intelligent leaders can read the room properly that leads to a positive outcome.

    Episode outline:
    1) The great leaders are emotionally intelligent,
    2) Think before speaking or taking action, and
    3) Read the r...

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    A habit is a routine behavior that determines our productivity level and our work ethic. Our habits are closely aligned with our mindset and how we approach challenges. Do we embrace wanting to achieve excellence or do you become complacent? Our success is a combination of mindset and habits, plus leadership. I hope that you practice great leadership as the most important habit of all.

    Episode outline:

  • Your habits determine your dai...
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    Please enjoy this encore episode....You have assumed a new role at a new company. What are your first steps? What do you do first so you set yourself up for success? Those first few weeks can determine how well you know your role, and more importantly, who do you need to meet, what systems do you need to learn, and what are the details about the company’s culture. Your first actions in a new role will be critical to your success, s...

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    June 13, 2022 15 min

    If you own a start-up or will be founding one soon, consider adding a finance leader to your team as soon as possible. You will have a teammate who can help you understand cash-flow and profitability from Day 1. They can help you instill financial discipline immediately and provide legitimacy for potential investors. A finance or accounting professional gives your team someone who can provide key advice on tax implications, cash bu...

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    As a leader, you will make many decisions. You will have choices to make. But how do you guard yourself against bias? How do you ensure fairness in opportunity and in how your team is treated? We must be aware of any bias we have both, conscious and subconscious, to ensure all have the opportunity if they do the hard work to improve themselves and to be ready for the next level. Further, we need to check our bias in all problem-sol...

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    Are you on track for a promotion? What does it take to be promoted from individual contributor to manager? You must show potential for greater responsibility. You need a combination of mature soft skills, good character and high emotional intelligence, deliver results every time, and be able to treat people fairly without bias. If you can prioritize your actions correctly, clearly communicate a vision, and follow through with incre...

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    Your long-term success and how you feel about yourself are directly affected by your self-worth and your confidence level.  What you believe in yourself affects your ability to take risk and feel confident about what roles and challenges may be next for you. Your mindset is powerful, and this requires a daily exercise of self-care to strengthen yourself against the adversity you will face and to give you confidence to go after your...

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    As a Finance or Accounting professional have you ever been assigned to a project team or worked on a business case?  Have you provided financial analysis or accounting advice regarding a high visibility project? These are great opportunities to develop and show off your skills. Additionally, you may get visibility with the executive team and other senior leaders. This week, I am encouraging you to seek out high visibility projects ...

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    May 9, 2022 14 min

    Leaders are a primary source of inspiration and motivation for our team members. How we act and speak and make decisions serves to encourage, or even discourage, our team members as they tackle tough assignments and tasks. How we approach the work and adversity does have ripple effects on team productivity and morale. How can we do better, as leaders, to encourage our team members to be inspired, which then can translate into highe...

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