- Today’s finance professionals must be more than bean-counters if they want to become leaders in their field, a recent EY study shows. The DNA of the CFO, a global survey of 769 finance leaders, found that aspiring chief financial officers must have team-building and leadership skills to advance their careers. More than half, 57%, of the respondents said these skill-changes are necessary in a five-year track towards a CFO position.
- The study also found that finance leaders will need what’s called right-brain characteristics, such as innovation, imagination and empathy. These skills will inspire loyalty, say survey results. Also, finance leaders will need social media tools to communicate effectively.
- Most of the survey respondents (66%) envision a more diverse group of financial leaders. More than half the women surveyed (57%) and half the men (49%) don’t think enough women are moving up into leadership ranks.
Finance leaders in the survey identified changes that must occur in their profession. They recognize the importance of soft skills to career advancement, which is eye-opening for a group of professionals who outsiders often perceive as more methodical than creative.
The group’s self-analyses can help HR select the right career development strategies for finance professionals and make sure recruiting and promoting efforts target a more diverse group of talent. Leadership training has garnered new attention as of late, especially since leaders themselves are understanding its use.