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Executive Management and Leadership

Managing a diverse, global team is unavoidable for executives in finance working for a large global investment bank. Teams responsible for implementing the finance function are generally led by a Managing or Executive Director, a Vice President, and two Associates and/or two Analysts, with the junior resources split between New York and Asia. In the middle, back and CFO offices at nearly every investment bank, this has been the trend and is here to stay. Managing successful teams poses distinct challenges to any executive in this situation, so here are five best practices to get the most out of a global team.
 

Germany’s win of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil wasn’t an accident. Joachim Löw, Germany’s football team manager, explained that the team applied a strategic development and implementation plan during the last 10 years to win the World Cup. In business terms, they applied long-termism for growth, profitability, transient competitive advantage and highest customer value. Germany’s football team created organizational alignment. In other words, they created operational excellence and organizational agility through working with truly effective leadership and strong skilled people.

 

You have been fortunate enough to make it through the process of an executive search, and now your mindset shifts from that of candidate to employee. All of the expectations you set during the recruiting process now become top of mind, as you anticipate how you are going to deliver against them.  As an experienced executive, you also realize that you are going to experience your hiring company anew, as you are now about to start your new position as a working executive, vs. that of being a candidate. Fear of the unknown is often normal as you anticipate your first days and how you are going to establish your relevance in the new corporate culture you are about to be immersed in.

A friend recommended this article to me recently that talked about how office workers in China are literally working themselves to death. Working on Wall Street can certainly feel that way in many ways (the highest highs come with the lowest lows), and with the news that a 21-year old intern working for Bank of America (BofA) collapsed and died last year after he worked until 6 am for three straight days (he also suffered from epilepsy, according the CNBC article), banks put forth explicit guidelines limiting the number of hours interns, and now first-year investment banking analysts, can work.
 

I joined J.P. Morgan directly out of Columbia Business School into a leadership program designed to train the future leaders and functional heads within the firm’s finance, strategy, and planning function. The rotational component of the program offered its members a unique opportunity to obtain both a 35,000-foot and ground-level perspective into how complex investment banking, asset management, and internal treasury businesses are run, planned for, and organized for long-term success. After graduating from the program and accepting a full-time role, the last of which was to serve as the Global Financial Controller of the J.P.

It can be lonely at the top. Embodying what it means to truly be a leader – to have the energy to drive strategy, inspire colleagues and provide them with security and affirmation about the direction of the business – can be exhausting. Just last year Joseph Kennedy, CEO of Pandora, resigned from the position “to get to a recharging station”, and in 2011 the Lloyds Banking Group CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio took a period of leave due to exhaustion.

BlueSteps recently hosted the #ExecCareer Chat: Executive Leadership Development, featuring Carolyn Duckworth, from BluEra Executive Search.
 
Some of the questions asked included:

The AESC’s BlueSteps career survey of 160 Chief Executive Officers worldwide finds most CEOs focused on continued career growth through career transition.

Earlier this week, the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) hosted the annual Global Executive Search Conference in New York City. The Conference provided two days of interactive sessions and presentations to over 200 retained executive search consultants and influential talent management leaders from across the world. During the conference, valuable advice was given in the areas of leadership, talent management and executive search.

Keep an eye out for more photos and videos from the AESC Conference - coming soon!

Has anyone ever told you that you are a natural-born leader? Don’t worry if no one has—most people have to learn the skills needed to be an effective leader. As you know, learning leadership skills can propel you farther in your career, whether it is through internal promotions, increased salary or more opportunities for higher level positions when conducting a new executive job search.
 
Some say you have to start with a generous dose of self-confidence and charisma to be a leader. Whether you agree with that or not, one thing is true; leadership is a skill and can be developed if you don’t already possess those innate qualities.