According to the late management guru, Peter Drucker, successful leaders:

  • Choose to do only the things they do well, while ensuring that others do the rest;
  • Effectively communicate their priorities;
  • Know what it takes to achieve their mission;
  • Acknowledge and make use of the strengths of others;
  • Know how to delegate well;
  • Are skilled at identifying the important things rather than focusing on accomplishing the trivial;
  • Understand the importance of using technology to connect diverse locals without expensive travel; and
  • Know how to say “No,” when to say “Enough!” and when to abandon an initiative or strategy that’s not working.

In the following pages, we will examine approaches to leadership that are being employed by controllers in today’s marketplace. The topics that we will explore are included in the table below:

Chapter 21. Financial Leadership
Elevating the Controller Position
Gaining Visibility
Embracing Shifting Roles and Expectations
Adapting to a Changing Landscape
Meeting Expectations By Demonstrating Leadership
Becoming a Strategic Partner
Developing Innovation-Driving Skills
Interacting With Other Business Areas
Business Partnership Matrix and Areas of Influence
The Leadership Role of the Controller in Smaller Companies
Leadership Case Studies
Acknowledgments and Resources


Research by IMA has documented the ongoing transformation of controllers into strategic business ...

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