A global survey conducted by an international accounting organization revealed that 87 percent of respondents believe their organizations could benefit from mentoring their finance professionals. Included in this group is the most senior financial professional at these companies – from CFOs at larger firms to Controllers or Accounting Managers at smaller companies. If you are a finance professional and find yourself in any of the following situations, the right mentor will boost your performance and enhance your career opportunities.
- New To The Role You’ve just been promoted within your company or you’re stepping up the ladder in a different one. An inexperienced senior financial officer is a prime candidate who would benefit from mentoring. Mentoring can help eliminate your blind spots and allow you to make the tough decisions with confidence.
- New To The Industry You already have experience under your belt as a senior financial officer, but you’ve joined a new industry. A kindred spirit with familiarity in your new environment can dramatically shorten your learning curve and rapidly increase your value to your employer.
- New To A Task As the senior financial officer, you’ve been assigned a key project in a territory you haven’t covered yet. It might be an acquisition, a system implementation or trying to raise capital. Or maybe your company is going public or international. Bringing in a mentor to walk you through the process will facilitate the project and help to ensure its success.
The Mentoring MethodMerriam-Webster defines mentor as “someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.” As the role of the senior financial officer evolves and the dynamic world of business globalizes, the idea and scope of mentoring has broadened. Through its Insight series, the ACCA made the following observations on mentoring in its research paper, The Coaching and Mentoring Revolution – Is It Working?
- Assessment, guidance, advice and possibly instruction are key activities in the mentoring role.
- Mentoring is about enhanced performance and must therefore be planned and monitored and tested for effectiveness.
- Not to be confused with a coach, the mentor takes a more directive approach; where the learner strives to emulate by adopting knowledge, style and behavior.
- The mentor is a key resource for the finance professional who wants to learn from the best.