Unlocking the Power of Relationships in Finance for Professional Growth


In the fast-paced world of finance, the ability to adapt and evolve is crucial for staying relevant. One often overlooked aspect is the way finance professionals receive and respond to feedback, especially when it comes from non-finance individuals or teams. In this article, we will explore the common responses within the finance sector and discuss the key to unlocking personal power for career advancement: building strong relationships.

Listening to Feedback

When faced with feedback from non-finance entities, many finance professionals exhibit one of three responses:

  • Inaction (Do Nothing): Approximately 10% choose to ignore feedback, potentially missing valuable insights.
  • Blaming the Business: Another 10% tend to shift blame to the business, attributing any shortcomings to external factors rather than reflecting on internal practices.
  • Self-Reflection and Accountability: Less than 10% engage in self-reflection, acknowledging the possibility of shortcomings within the finance function and taking responsibility for change.

Blaming the Business

The predominant response, observed in over 80% of cases, involves attempting to take control and placing blame on the business for not understanding or engaging effectively with the finance team. This approach, however, often hinders the development of collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships.

The Relevance Challenge in 2023

With the majority of finance functions and professionals adopting a blame-centric approach, many are finding themselves struggling for relevance in 2023. To overcome this challenge, it is essential to shift the focus from blame to personal empowerment.

Unlocking Personal Power through Relationships

The key to personal empowerment in finance lies in the cultivation of strong relationships. Think of it as the most powerful, potent plug-in for Excel, surpassing even the capabilities of tools like Power-BI.

Finance professionals are here to serve, and through service, they lead. To develop personal power, consider the following steps:

  • Get to Know People: Take the time to understand the individuals and teams you work with. Build rapport and foster a sense of camaraderie.
  • Identify Wants and Needs: Actively seek to discover the desires and requirements of those around you. This understanding is crucial for tailoring financial strategies that align with broader organisational goals.
  • Help Others Achieve Their Goals: The true measure of leadership in finance is the ability to facilitate the success of others. By actively contributing to the achievement of collective goals, you position yourself as a valuable and indispensable member of the team.


In the ever-changing landscape of finance, personal empowerment is the key to overcoming challenges and driving professional growth. By embracing a conservative tone of self-reflection, acknowledging the need for change, and prioritising relationship-building, finance professionals can elevate their functions and careers to new heights. In the journey toward relevance and success in 2023 and beyond, remember: when we serve, we lead.

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