Four Behaviours That Empower CFOs to Lead with Compassion
What can finance leaders do to promote a healthy psychological and emotional perspective on the current crisis?

While added stress of managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic hit all leaders and functions hard, the hardest hit has been chief financial officers and the departments they are leading through these highly dynamic times. 

With most companies predicting a loss of revenue and profits, finance functions are being asked to pull all the levers they can to minimize the financial damage caused by the crisis. 
I have had the opportunity to speak with several CFOs and have heard their stories of how they are managing the impact of the COVID-19 crisis at their companies. What I have witnessed, quite frankly, has been an incredible display of competence and compassion in the most difficult of environments.

Yet, one challenge that I have seen neglected is managing the stress that this crisis is putting on these finance leaders and their teams.
There is no doubt that the pace at which these leaders are running is impossible to sustain. 
On top of that, many of the strategic CFOs are recommending involve restructuring plans that have real human impact. From a leadership standpoint, the CFO not only has to manage and lead themselves through this crisis, but also their team, and, OUT OF WORK more broadly, their companies. 

What can finance leaders do to cultivate a sustainable environment and promote a healthy psychological and emotional perspective on the current and future crises? By embracing the following four activities.

CFOs can drive positive outcomes in their organizations: 

1. Practice self-awareness
Understand that the crisis is going to have a personal impact on you. Working 16-hour days and making decisions that potentially result in your co-workers losing their jobs is going to take a personal toll. 

2. Be open and curious
Commit yourself to learning and thinking differently about things; do not have the crisis force you to do so. Great organizations will innovate through these times rather than simply work harder. These organizations will then be poised to pivot quickly as things shift in the future. 

3. Actively listen
Especially to your team. Being receptive to their ideas and understanding their challenges creates connection at a time when you need it the most. Standing firm in your own position versus being open to another is counterproductive. Keeping an open mind and encouraging diversity of thought is imperative.

4. Focus on the future
Your organization is going to come out on the other side of this crisis. How depends on the actions you take today, because what you do and say now will be remembered for years to come. Given this far-reaching impact, talent needs should always be part of the decision-making criteria on any restructuring or downsizing event. On the personal side, finance leaders may not feel comfortable demonstrating such vulnerability. But CFOs must be cognizant that their people are looking to them for signals on how to react and respond. If as a leader, you are closed to new ideas, your direct reports will model that same

CFOs’ direct reports can cascade unfavorable, pervasive behaviors ubiquitously into the organization. The aftermath of ineffective leadership at this level can echo and reverberate through every area of the business and have a negative impact on morale. 
On the other hand, leaders who can recognize the emotional aspects of what’s going on inside themselves and others will be better poised to nurture empathy, create calm and balance, and enhance critical connection among team members throughout the organization. As companies face increasingly challenging barriers, an atmosphere such as this promotes constant, transparent communication, which is required to make stalwart, forward thinking decisions. 

Consolidation ofFinancial Statements |Part 5