Finance Leadership Blog

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How you can demonstrate that your valuable before you’re a CFO

finance leadership imposter syndrome relationships Jan 16, 2023

For me, living in the Northern Hemisphere in January = clear out.  Are you the same?!

It’s cold outside. Half of my social circle are doing dry January.  The Christmas / holiday bills are coming in. And this year I have way too much Royal drama to watch….

While clearing out all the stuff I have in my desk, I came across a piece of paper that I wrote down during a coaching session from about a decade ago that I thought is still relevant and interesting and worth sharing…..

Asides from a lot of scribble and highlighter and notes that were relevant to my role back in the day, there is one main message.

That is the Power Matrix.

This coach that I was seeing was helping me get from a Group Financial Controller role to my first Finance Director role. 

One of the issues I was having was demonstrating or rather advertising my value to the wider organisation but also to the existing leadership team.

I was also having trouble “finding my voice” in meetings, which I have written about before here.

Essentially, during my coaching session we reviewed the power matrix and observed where I had the knowledge, skills or resources that could demonstrate authority and value.

If we go through each of the four areas, maybe you could see how much value you have to the business and what you can demonstrate in your next meeting, or even review meeting!

 1. Personal

Personal is all about connections you have with other people and your network. 

In finance, there are parts of the Personal quadrant that you have more likely than not already demonstrated but potentially haven’t yet seen this as “power”. 

That is being helpful to your fellow colleagues and making time for others. 

However, there is more to personal power than just helping and that is developing relationships with other and developing your network.

This is incredibly powerful and a huge part of a leadership role.  So taking the time to develop these relationships is incredibly important.

2. Expert

As a qualified accountant, you are already an expert at certain aspects of the business and you do have a tonne of expertise at your fingertips (CPD with your qualification organisation anyone?)!

So, make sure that you use this expertise and further enhance your expertise.

Continuing self-study and learning is incredibly important.  Use this knowledge and don’t be shy to demonstrate these skills and tell others what you have achieved.

3. Resource

This is one area that Finance can really excel at.

Finance has an extreme amount of resources and information.

The challenge, however is for the rest of the business to understand what finance can do for them with this high level of information and resources.

You may need to list down your resources and let others around the business know what you can do for them so they can see how you and your team can really add value.

4. Position

If you aren’t yet in a FD / CFO role, than your title may not give you that gravitas you may seek. 

However, you do have access to the leadership and the board because of your role.

So, use other’s position of power by asking guidance, information, resources or even for introductions.  If you’re able to demonstrate your abilities and leadership skills and are on the way up to that senior leadership role, then asking for some mentoring time will be agreeable.


I hope that you find that useful.  I must have, as it has been saved for over a decade!

If you need support and mentoring to improve your Finance Leadership skills, here are four ways I can help...

  1. Follow me and let me know what challenges you are having right now.
  2. Register for the mini-course, Upgrade your Management Accounts and get noticed by the business - Click here.
  3. 1. Get your FREE Guide: Stepping into the role of Finance Director or CFO
  4. Work with me in the new / aspiring FD course and includes Q&A sessions where we can discuss all of your questions and how to apply your learnings to your current role. 


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