Entrepreneurs & Emotional Barriers to Success

Overcoming barriersBusiness owners and managers do not always have access to all of the support that they need and are not always clear on what they do need.

This piece of action research, an experiment as a precursor to expanded research, investigated the barriers to success for entrepreneurs and the overcoming enablers, being those factors which help entrepreneurs succeed, are described here as Barriers & Enablers.

The main Barriers themes (which will be explored further) are; lack of resources, lack of (perceived) competences and healthy emotional management (fears and frustrations), all of which need to be addressed to enable the effective entrepreneur to achieve efficiently.

The economic ways in which the entrepreneur can obtain that clarity is through the main enabler themes of; (Expert) Support Networks, Peer Mentoring and Emotional Management. Its the latter one which your Financial Director Coach notes as the most often overlooked (Finance has such a macho image, does it not?)

Which leads to the sales pitch; both Managing Directors and Finance Directors will benefit from putting just enough expert support for all three enablers in place.  That implies the right level of strategic, management and operational skills, aligned with technical competence and business psychology expertise.

The full research experiment can be accessed here:

Entrepreneurs & Emotional Barriers to Success


Getting things done better (than AI)

The FD of the future will need to know how to get things done, efficiently, but most importantly, effectively. This is because artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually provide some of the brain power that we accountants have traditionally provided. AI will be faster and more connected, in essence more efficient. We FD’s must be more effective.

In a brief workshop on Wednesday, on behalf of Nat West, we addressed the importance  of incorporating four key interpersonal and very human aspects that AI must match us on; Authority; Power; Responsibility; and Accountability into your business planning (and into your pitch for new business).

It is surprising how often the four words or aspects mentioned above are used in everyday language without their meaning being sufficiently understood. This can result in a lack clarity flowing through from your thoughts and intentions, and into your personal effective action; it is an even bigger gap if you fail to communicate to your team. Don’t let AI beat you.

We discussed how whilst each of the four need to be in alignment, they are often in conflict or there are barriers that need to be breached. If not, you and your team may fail.

However, this team got into groups, mixed themselves up and collaborated to support each other successfully and quickly shape their new approach. These are the skills we FD’s will need in the future.

By the way we defined:

  1. Authority as the right to take action
  2. Power as the ability to take action
  3. Responsibility as the obligation to take action
  4. Accountability as the undertaking to explain the effects of the action


Effective Portfolio Finance Directors

The portfolio finance director (PFD) needs to make a pragmatic difference quickly and demonstrate it. They need to be fluent and eloquent in a manner that builds confidence.

The starting point of any engagement is to build client and client stakeholder rapport, gathering the information necessary to focus on the goals for the finance function (and of course the portfolio FD) and the business, and of course the assignment. This will form part of the client service level agreement (SLA).

The PFD’s engagement continues; they must be simultaneously assessing, auditing even, the resources of the client’s organisation. This is much more than the traditional auditing us grown up accountants were taught early in our careers. Instead, we should invoke critical, but often overlooked models we were taught in business strategy – for example, the Three ‘E’s, 9 M’s or the Seven ‘S’s.

That needs to be done because the PFD must quickly engage those resources behind the goals in ways that traditional FD’s are not ordinarily developed to achieve. This includes coaching and motivating client staff behind the plan which needs to be implemented. The PFD needs to be a project manager too.

This means the PFD needs superior interpersonal skills that are empathic with but have high expectations on their client’s staff.

Finally, the PDF needs to have the courage to step back, survey their impact and report the ROI of their efforts to the client CEO.

Effective PDF’s are highly evolved individuals and developed professionals with a structured approach to client management. I term my process RIGAARIS.