Stop talking about driving performance.
It may sound good, but it’s killing your influence.
And here’s how.
Finance don’t drive performance.
Sales, marketing, and operations do that.
If you want to drive it, go and work in one of those.
Finance’s role is to help sales, marketing and operations people to drive performance.
And it’s a vital role.
Not to be under-estimated one bit.
Get it right and you’ll be incredibly influential, and have a massive impact on your company’s performance.
But when you try and take the wheel yourself, you just p*ss sales, marketing, and operations off – and they resist you.
And that limits your ability to influence.
So what’s the role of finance?
Instead of trying to drive, be the best co-pilot you can be.
But remember you’re the co pilot.
I know this because when I was a FBP I tried to drive performance.
And after 6 months of frustration on both sides, the marketing director said to me:
Stop telling us what you think we should do, relax, and help us run the business together
Ironically as soon as I stopped trying to drive, resistance disappeared and my influence soared.
Two years later I was FD.
But I don’t want to co-pilot – I want to drive!
Well, I know how you feel.
So did I.
That’s why I left finance and became a sales director.
So when you’re ready to take the wheel, do it by actually working in sales marketing or operations.
Your finance skills translate really well into them.
But not if your mindset is to drive performance.
Because even in sales I couldn’t actually drive performance.
Not for long anyway.
But I could help my customers drive theirs over the long term.
And that’s how to influence, whether you work in finance, HR, sales, marketing or operations.
Even in sales you can’t actually drive performance, not in the way you think anyway.