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#136: How Taking On Curveballs Can Help Your Finance Career with Simon Kelly – Strength In The Numbers

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#136: How Taking On Curveballs Can Help Your Finance Career with Simon Kelly

with Simon Kelly

Our Guest Mentors:

Simon Kelly is a pragmatic delivery focused and “hands on” leader with an emphasis on relationship management across all levels. As a leading finance interim Simon has delivered process optimization, restructuring and transformation projects, enhancing the analytics and provided thought leadership to deliver winning solutions. He has a track record of delivering around People, Process and Technology perspective with a focus on improved efficiency and cost outcomes.  

Simon holds an ACMA CGMA designation and lives with his family in Reading, England. 

Key Quotes From the Episode: 

“[On the benefits of international experience] It teaches you a lot about yourself, about what you could do and couldn’t do, it gives you an immense amount of confidence.” [04:22] 

“[On the biggest learning from international experience] I learned I probably could do a lot more than I thought I could.” [07:06] 

 “[On where interim outcomes are different to BAU] Going in where, here’s a bundle of mess, here’s where we want to get to, we don’t know how to get there can you help us.” [08:59]  

“[On the benefits of working with Sales] In Finance when we talk about accuracy we talk about 100% right, in sales accuracy is about being 20% right the rest they can fix.” [17:15]  

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

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Key Points From the Episode: 

  • 2 steps on how to approach taking on an international assignment and useful questions to answer as well as a surprising truth about a career progression benefit of doing so. 
  • The key qualities to be successful at interim roles  
  • How to summon up the courage to build a single source of truth. 
  • The benefits of embracing failure, the importance of supporting managers and benefits of working with sales people and the mindset of options. 

Time Stamped Show Notes 

[02:25] – Simon shares his career journey from commercial financetelcosspending a year in Saudi Arabia, and then switching to the world of interim. 

[05:14] – 2 steps on how to approach taking on an international assignment and useful questions to answer as well as a surprising truth about a career progression benefit of doing so. 

[07:03] – The biggest thing he learned about himself on his international move, and in Saudi how he learned to better influence princes. 

[08:57] – What Simon loves about his interim work and he also distinguishes it for us from a BAU contractor role. 

[09:45] – The key qualities to be successful at interim roles, and the importance of energy management. 

[12:16] – The importance of getting mentors for your chosen career path. 

[13:34] – Simon shared a funny story about an important lesson from his first interim role. The ability of interims to stand alone. 

[16:25] – The benefits of embracing failure, the importance of supporting managers and benefits of working with sales people and the mindset of options. 

[18:24] – What’s exciting Simon most about his current work, the rate of change and getting to having all the data in a single source of truth to providing insight that drives business value. 

[22:56] – How to summon up the courage to build a single source of truth. 

[25:16] – The importance of a data governance competency. 

[27:20] – The best bit of advice Simon has ever received and why it’s important to trust yourself. 

[29:35] – The resources Simon recommends finance professionals check out. 

[34:22] – How best to connect with Simon. 

[34:50] – Simon’s parting thoughts and why it’s okay to be a little alarmed and the best asset you can invest in. 

[Drawing]Resources Mentioned: 

  • Superfast: Lead at speedby Sophie Devonshire, 
  • Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinkingby Daniel C. Dennett, 

Connect with today’s guest: 

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