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The Soft Skills Series: Pt3. Leadership

06/07/15

In the modern competitive business environment simply being an accomplished accountant won’t cut it, with new-age professionals needing to show strong ‘soft’ skills in addition to vocational excellence.

Being an effective leader is crucial for anyone managing colleagues, but an ability to lead others is different from simply being able to manage a workload and delegate. A leader is able to get the best out of the colleagues they manage by listening to their needs, concerns and aspirations. However, they also have an insatiable appetite for continued learning and seek constructive feedback from colleagues to further their own personal and career development.

Outstanding leaders secure their team’s buy-in to their business strategy and goals by communicating the plan effectively and ensuring each team member feels they are an important element of that overall plan. Excellent leaders will allow people to reason their way to a conclusion on individual tasks via their own preferred route while being available to provide sound advice and guidance.

Leadership skills are of course necessary for accountants across the board, but they are particularly key for those looking to progress into positions outside accountancy. A significant proportion of CEOs started their careers as accountants, which goes to show that those who are able to perfect the blend of a comprehensive business understanding with outstanding leadership can reach the very highest echelons of business.

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