“New pencil case” for financial leaders

As the school bell went for the start of the academic year, memories of new pencil cases and their colourful content might have come back to you. It is certainly one of my abiding memories, along with oversized school uniform intended to last years! I’ve pinched the “pencil case” expression from my friend and fellow course director, Maggie Smith, who used it last week at our Inspiring Financial Leaders Alumni event. More of pencils later.

Sense making

Last week’s theme was one of reflection and sense making of past months. With the ending of the school holidays, it felt like a good time for reflection on our own leadership. Here is a set of self-coaching questions put together by Maggie to assist with that:

  • What have you learnt about yourself so far this year?
  • What have you learnt about yourself as a leader in that time?
  • Thinking about your organisation or team, what has made you most proud over the last six months?
  • What contribution did you make towards that?
  • Which of the responses above is new and something that you’d like to maintain and build on? How will you do that?
  • What’s required of you as a leader now?
  • What sort of leadership do you think you need to demonstrate for the rest of this year?
  • What (and who) is going to help you do that?
  • How will you take care of your wellbeing and resilience now and onwards?

As ever, the more specific you can be as you reflect on your responses to these questions, the better. Hope these are helpful for you.


This is firmly with us as a sector as a headline hashtag. It is equally applicable to the those of working in finance teams. Given the challenging times we are now living through, finance professionals are needed to help make sense of where we are, where we are going and what choices we have.

The Inspiring Financial Leadership (IFL) course is here to help. The programme aims to support you to lead FROM the financial function. It’s about equipping you to make that broader contribution to the performance of your organisation, so well beyond the traditional “bean counting”.

New pencils

The monthly programme will give you fresh pencils and help you sharpen those you may already have. Let’s be clear, it is not a technical finance course, so your school bag calculator is not needed! It’s about sharpening those soft skills – coaching and influencing tips to leading change, motivating self and others to your impact on organisational culture – so you may need a big case!

We’ve gone digital

We kick off again in October for the 9th run of 8 modular sessions running through to May 2021. Previously we were always face to face, but to ensure we can continue, we have a new online format. The sessions are designed to give you time to reflect, test out and embed all the tools and ideas we share. At every session we have an external speaker providing their perspective and feedback on their journey. As well as their input plus Maggie and me, you’ll also be working alongside a group of peers who will give you incredible support on the journey.

I’m excited again to be working with Maggie Smith, consultant with the Centre for Charity Effectiveness, and to be involved in this great collaboration between Charity Finance Group, Centre for Charity Effectiveness and Sayer Vincent.

We look forward to seeing you online – pencils at the ready – in October.

For the most up-to-date information on Inspiring Financial Leadership courses including upcoming dates & how to book- please visit our friends Charity Finance Group online.