How to Train Managers to be Leaders

The stereotype of Accountants sitting at their desks, crunching numbers on a calculator, and filling out spreadsheets all day is a thing of the past. Now, accountants play crucial roles as Business Leaders.

As Board Directors, Accountants represent the interests of business owners, with responsibilities ranging from governing organisations to determining management's compensation. As Chief Financial Officers, they oversee all matters concerning the company's financial health: from strategising to analysing financial information.

Effective leadership and management skills are essential for Accounting Managers tasked with these responsibilities. Organisations should train their Accountants to become competent, proactive, and confident leaders. This article will explain how.

Recognise the Signs of Poor Leadership

Bad leadership significantly affects employee morale, increases employee turnover rate, and demotivates the remaining staff, causing them to be less productive.

By recognising the primary signs of poor leadership, you can combat them early and prevent the business from suffering.

Here are a few poor leadership traits to look out for:

  1. Indecisiveness: Avoids issues and is unable to move forward with decisions
  2. Stubbornness: Insists on an idea or plan even when they know they're wrong; has a "my way or the highway" mindset
  3. Blames Others: Claims credit for success but shifts the blame on others in times of failure
  4. Reactive: Doesn't plan to mitigate risks and takes action only when issues arise
  5. Won't Delegate: Refuses help and doesn't trust other employees' skills and capabilities
  6. Bias or Favouritism: Completely ignores the contributions of certain team members in favour of others
  7. Vague or Empty Promises: Fails to deliver promises, for example, relaying false promises of promotion or an increase in pay
  8. Incompetence: Lacks vision and a well-defined plan to achieve goals; does not deliver quality results


Teach Leaders These Vital Management Skills

Anyone can be called a leader, but only a handful are truly effective leaders. Great leadership starts by developing the core skills needed to motivate, inspire, and lead teams successfully.

Here are some key skills to highlight when training your managers to become highly effective leaders:

Great Communication Skills

Good communications enable managers to empower employees, cultivate trust, align efforts to pursue goals and inspire positive change. They are more than just information exchange, the skill involves active listening, great writing communications, body language and emotional intelligence.

Fosters Teamwork and Collaboration

A group of individuals working together as a unit can accomplish more than a single person. Collaboration creates higher quality outcomes that are quicker, more efficient, thoughtful, and effective.

Good managers can lay the foundation of a cohesive work environment by clearly communicating roles and responsibilities, setting team goals, addressing conflicts, leveraging team members' strengths, and providing channels for communication.

Ability to Teach and Mentor

Coaching and mentoring encourage continuous learning and offer great ways to cultivate high-potential employees on the team. Moreover, they impart a growth and development mindset that helps team members stay competitive and adapt to workplace challenges.

Craft a Well-Rounded Leadership Development Program

Developing and mastering critical leadership skills take time. Don't overwhelm your staff by teaching them every ability in the book in one session. Identify specific skills that are most relevant to their role and build those up.

You can incorporate these methods when training your managers:

Provide Mentoring/Coaching Opportunities

Provide your managers with a strong coach who can give them feedback and help them identify how best to fill gaps in their performance.

Schedule On-on-One Feedback Sessions

Set aside time for one-on-one conversations between upper management and your team managers at least every one or two weeks. Use this time to discuss their concerns, align on organisational changes and provide additional feedback.

Conduct Performance Reviews

Done quarterly or annually, reviews are an opportunity for you to identify your managers' strengths and weaknesses. You can then set action plans to maintain good performance and address challenges.

Reach Out to JMF Associates

Whether you're looking for management or finance accountants, either permanent or interim, you can rely on us to match the right people to the right roles in your organisation. Our candidates have been vetted by accounting and finance experts, so you can trust that they'll do an excellent job.

Call JMF Associates today at +44 (0)20 8663 6699 or email to gain access to a large pool of top talent.


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Jennings Morton Friel Associates Ltd
Duncan House, Burnhill Road
Beckenham, Kent BR3 3LA
+44 (0)20 8663 6699

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