#242: Finding Comfort in the Uncomfortable with Gaileon Thompson

with Gaileon Thompson

Our Guest Mentor:

Gaileon Thompson is a finance executive with extensive experience in partnering with business, finance, operations and technology teams to meet and exceed organizational goals. Gaileon is a Finance VP Finance at Conifer Health Solutions having been a Finance SVP at Citi and Group Finance VP at SunTrust BankGaileon is currently serving on Board of Directors for the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), as well as Dallas City Club President for the Rollins College MBA Alumni Association. 

Gaileon is a magna cum laude graduate of Rollin College, Orlando Florida. She is a Certified Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Professional (FP&A) with Certified Treasury Professional and is based out of Dallas Forth Worth, USA. 

Key Quotes From the Episode: 

It’s ok to be uncomfortable, it’s ok not to be perfect. It’s a good way to grow professionally.”[06:36] 

 [Our roles in finance] look at the chessboard, always think strategically.”[24:58] 

Be comfortable by being uncomfortable.”[22:41] 

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

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Key Points From the Episode: 

– How to respond to failure; 

  • giving your best effort to avoid making mistakes 
  • learn from it by having humility  
  • make it as an asset and opportunity to grow 
  • be resilient  

How to be successful and prepare for roles outside of finance 

Walking in the trenches with business partners, how to build skillaround; 

  • focusing on the soft skills on how you interact with people 
  • building personal connection 
  • being comfortable working in the gray 

Leveraging the wider Finance community as a safe space to ask questions to learn and grow 

Time Stamped Show Notes 

[03:37 Gaileon shares her career journey having 17 years in the profession she has always been a finance person at heart and always stepping outside of the finance role to do vendor or product management. By having a diversity of experience and thoughts needed in the FP&A service. 

[05:19] – Doing role outside of finance or focus on financial career as Gaileon’s advice to young professionals. 

[07:59] – How to respond to failure; 

–  giving your best effort to avoid making mistakes 

–  learn from it by having humility  

–  make it as an asset and opportunity to grow 

–  be resilient  

[09:59]  Gaileon’s memorable experience handling product management that made an impact on the business by always thinking strategically.  

[13:07] – Foresight vs Insight and the ever-evolving role of finance.  

[18:04 Moving beyond FP&A to business planning and analysis. 

[19:52] – Walking in the trenches with business partners, how to build the skill; 

–  focus on the soft skills on how you interact with people 

–  build a personal connection 

–  be comfortable working in the grey 

[22:37] – Finding comfort in uncomfortable environment as our young professional embracing uncertainties at work. 

[25:00] – Best bit of advice Gaileon has ever received 

[27:10] – The privilege of having good mentors that empower employees to be strategic in their decision and seek the community your profession belongs in your own community or online. 

[30:07] – Access to community as a safe space to ask questions to learn and grow.  

[31:20] – Sources of connection in the profession; 

–  Linkedin  

–  Local professional associations 

–  Be involve and attend to conference or convention 

[33:39] – Do something to build your network, if you are not comfortable just embrace it.  

[35:23] – Gaileon shares he go to recommended resource. 

[36:33] – Best way to connect to Gaileon.  

[37:07] – Gaileon parting thoughts to the audience to take challenging opportunities for professional growth. 

Resources Mentioned: 


The Association for Financial Professional   


Connect with today’s guest: 

LinkedIn Profile: ﷟HYPERLINK “https://www.linkedin.com/in/karlhkern/” https://www.linkedin.com/in/gaileonthompson/ 


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