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A fresh look at your bean counters

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Given the economic crisis, do a quick audit of the financial people working for you to see who are best equipped to operate in a pressure-cooker.

Consider their disposition toward others and their ability to lead, not just their proficiency with spreadsheets. They will need to work shoulder to shoulder with colleagues.

Along with you, they need to think differently about budgets, executive compensation, the physical plant, transportation, vendors and customers. Everything is in flux and everything should be on the table.

Promote bright and aggressive talent from the lower rungs, especially if they have bold ideas about how to slash costs or seize opportunities. You might even train them for your job if you’re considering moving up, out or retiring. Training in the hot seat will give them the confidence to innovate, making them even more valuable when the economy stabilizes.

—Adapted from Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty, Ram Charan, McGraw-Hill. 

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