How do I gain strategic and financial skills?

There are many strategies that you can adopt for success.  One area that female leaders ask me about frequently when I am running women’s leadership development programmes is about whether they should acquire more strategic and financial skills – and how they might go about doing that.  Here I share with you a case study about one of my clients and how she chose to gain these career critical skills.

How Tina gained a fast-track by developing her strategic and financial skills

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Do you feel that what’s missing in your skill set is to have a better understanding of the strategic and financial aspects at work?

How Tina did it:

In this blog,  I share with you a story about my client Tina and how she developed strategic and financial skills.

Tina approached me about two years ago when she was in a middle management position and wanted to be successful.   Her story is covered in my up-coming book ‘Authentic You.’

It is important to think big – and have balance

At our first meeting, Tina informed me that she wants to be CEO of the company she worked for within the next five years.  I smiled to myself, because at the time she worked in a large multinational – and to go from middle management to CEO in five years was very ambitious and what I might sometimes call a pipe dream.

We had a conversation about her life in general – her broader life.  She’d at that point decided that she wasn’t going to have children because if she did, she would want to give equal time to them and to work — if she had children she would want to be a perfect mum and perfect colleague.  As this did not seem practical,  she’d given up on relationships – having already had one or two bad experiences.

You might think ‘what has this got to do with executive coaching – and gaining strategic and financial skills?’

I firmly believe that we are a whole person and who we are at work is influenced by who we are at home so hence the conversation.

Tina and I looked in detail at her career so far and what she wanted to achieve going forward. She was working in the legal department and had a very technical legal background with functional expertise.   During the first year of working together she created a plan for her future – we looked at what her values were, her passions and her proposition to the organisation.   Tina  identified that her international skills and her legal skills would be brilliant for any high tech company but that she lacked some commercial skills.   She had never worked in a commercial environment so she sought and took on a secondment with a commercial unit of the organisation – a product development marketing unit.  This was in addition to her day job, but Tina knew that the investment now would be invaluable in her future.

A creative approach to progression

She did a brilliant job there.  In fact she did such a good job  that they wanted her to leave her legal job and move into the commercial unit.  Tina made the move and achieved a promotion in the process.  In this new unit,  she developed some in-demand commercial skills.  As a result, she is now sought after by many hi-tech companies because  she combines commercial, technical, legal and international skills.   During this time, she has also honed her ability to bring people from around the world together to look at what’s going to make a product very successful on a global scale.

Side note: as well as getting promoted, Tina also managed to give up her concerns about relationships, found herself a boyfriend and got married!   That’s Tina and it’s a joy to work with her.

Why do I share that story with you?

Tina gives us an example of a woman who sponsored herself to become successful. Sometimes we need to invest in ourselves and have the courage to take that leap.


Contact Ishreen on:
Telephone: 020 3362 2940
e-mail: ishreen@ishreenbradley.com

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