#036: Lead More Authentically in Finance and Accounting

with Talita Ferreira

Talita Ferreira is the founder and CEO of Authentic Change Solutions which is a Management Consultancy centred on a philosophy of Authenticity and Authentic Change.

Previously Talita began her career at KPMG in South Africa where she qualified as a charted accountant and then moved into Commerce & Industry at Investec before going onto various finance roles at BMW in Germany and then C-suite roles leading Finance and HR teams at BMW in the UK in both Automotive and Financial Services divisions. An international speaker and author (book in resources section) Talita still mentors CFOs and other leaders. She was also previously a finalist  for the South African Chamber of Commerce Business Leader of the Year 2016.

Key Quotes From the Episode:

 “Did I really work for more than 10 years to be in this; I mean what is so inspirational in this group and that was the moment then, that I knew this wasn’t really my purpose.” [05:56]

“And it’s really that people dimension on the other side where  you know you are also collectively responsible  as a board director for the people dimensions, the culture, the leadership, I would say I was never really a great CFO until I learnt that part.” [07:43]

“and the other thing is the leadership dimension and that’s really migrating from that very analytical person with these analytical skills to more seeing people as humans somehow.” [08:21]

“Technical ability is great but it doesn’t help define you in an organisation.” [08:12]

 “[response to confrontation] I think it really starts with ourselves [knowing our values & limiting beliefs] because we can’t control other people, so it has to start with ourselves.” [12:28]

 “Yes of course we have to treat people the same at a base level, but people are different and they all have different needs and different desires which means that everyone can’t be led in the same way if we want to inspire everyone and I’d get very unhappy with my HR team if they said this is the rule book and this is how we need to follow it with everyone.” [13:09]

 “We have to engage with people with where they’re at …. otherwise we’ll never connect with that person properly.” [13:37]

 “Organisations are about two things, the strategy & purpose and the people.” [16:39]

 “The greatest gift I believe you can give yourself is really to understand yourself better and when you understand yourself better and you become your own biggest supporter then other people become your biggest supporter and I think it starts with this awareness piece.” [20:26]

 “Just set your own vision of where you want to go and then take the steps to get there, put your head down and do the work.” [26:42]

 “Take bold and imperfect steps every day to get it [your audacious goal].” [28:00]

 (Other resources and how to connect with Talita below).

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Key Points From the Episode:

  • The two main challenges for the CFOs she mentors.
  • Top tip on how to deal with Fear and Vulnerability in Finance.
  • Why the route to HR is important to Finance (either partnering or leading).
  • Deconstructs her POWER model to become more Authentic Leaders

Time Stamped Show Notes:

[02:40] –Talita’s shares her first career disappointment.

[03:14] – How she overcame a glass-celling on her career.

[05:53] – How and When Talita uncovered her purpose to leave the big corporate environment.

[07:16] – The two main challenges for the CFOs she mentors.

[08:37] – Shares an example of a CFO giving appraisal feedback on a different radio channel than their direct report.

[11:23] – An approach on how to deal with confrontations and what drives your response.

[12:48] – Why knowing your own core values is so important.

[15:29] – Why the route to HR is important to Finance (either partnering or leading).

[16:39] – The two things organisations are about.

[18:04] – What’s really exciting her about her work at the moment.

[19:00] – Shares six areas around which to diagnose an organisation’s ability to survive the digital economy we are in now.

[20:26] – Deconstructs her POWER model to become more Authentic Leaders

[24:30] – Top tip on how to deal with Fear and Vulnerability in Finance.

[26:25] – Best bit of advice Talita received

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Authenticity Dilemma Resolved: Unleashing your passion and purpose to live more authentically (2016), by Talita Ferreira
  • The Management Shift: How to Harness the Power of People and Transform Your Organization For Sustainable Success (2014), by Vlatka Hlupic
  • The Expansion Game: A powerful method to transform your fear into brilliance (2017), by Gosia Gorna

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