There are many qualities that can help an emerging leader to step up into a leadership role. In our latest emerging leader event, we received real-life insights that openness, authenticity and determination can take you a long way.
We had the pleasure of welcoming Anita Hoskins, CFO at Frasers Property Australia, as our guest in our latest Emerging Leader event to talk about ‘The Journey from Manager to Leader’. In this webinar, Anita shared some lessons that she has learnt on her way to becoming a respected leader in finance, from the influences of her youth, through early and mid-career to her position now as a senior finance professional.
For managers looking to progress on the pathway to a leadership role, we have outlined below some of our key event take-outs and practical advice that you can start to apply today.
Reflecting on her childhood, Anita spoke to a number of things she can connect to her professional choices later in life:
- Understand what drives you: Her upbringing shaped her hard-working spirit and sparked her desire to see the world. Understanding where you come from and what you value can help you clarify what success looks like for you.
- Failures are okay: Getting up after falling comes naturally as a child, but is something we need to be more accepting of as adults.
- Be determined: Determination played a big role in her childhood activities and is a quality she continues to lean into in her professional career.
Early career learnings
Anita went on to discuss some practical ways emerging leaders can set themselves up for future success, no matter what stage they are at in their careers.
- Be a ‘yes’ wo/man: Be open and say yes to opportunities that arise, unless you have a good reason to say no. When you are seen as open to opportunities they tend to multiply organically.
- Find learnings in everything: When faced with a challenge or a task you may not naturally gravitate to, instead of avoiding it, ask yourself what unexpected learnings you can take from the task.
- Ask questions: When starting a new role or industry, you have a fantastic opportunity to ask questions. Anita has had success with initiating weekly meetings with her managers where time was allocated simply to talk about the industry and any questions she had, even topics she overheard in the office. She got answers to her questions, showed a desire to understand the business more broadly and deepened her relationship with her managers.
Further on, in her mid-career, Anita worked in different industries where she learnt invaluable lessons that helped her in her path to becoming a leader.
- Impact over task: Instead of focusing solely on the tasks and the input/output of your current deliverables, challenge yourself to focus on the impact you are having on your team, your colleagues and your company.
- Expect the unexpected: Learn to be comfortable in being unprepared. You can’t prepare for every situation, so focus instead on developing the foundational skills and tools that will help you be successful in the unexpected situations that inevitably arise.
- Know what’s important to you: This applies to both your personal and professional life and Anita advises that identifying these priorities will help you make the right choices. This can be especially important after a big professional or life change, such as returning from maternity leave or accepting a new role.
Finally, as a CFO, Anita is now faced with interesting and wider-reaching challenges such as women’s representation in the workplace and sustainable financing. She keeps learning and asking questions every day, and encourages anyone, no matter what their career stage, to do the same.
Moir Group runs many events across the year for early and mid-career professionals. Sign up for our upcoming events here.
Are you looking to move into your next finance role? Contact our team today.