The Finance Leader Podcast

Stephen McLain

Leadership development can set you apart from your peers so you can advance your career. This podcast is hosted by Stephen McLain, a U.S. Army-Retired Finance Officer. After retirement, Stephen transitioned to working as a Team Member and Business Consultant in Corporate Finance and Accounting. In the Finance and Accounting professions, we tend to have great technical expertise, but there is a leadership skills gap. This podcast will be dedicated to leadership development for Finance and Accounting professionals, where we will focus on leadership topics such as providing a purpose for our team, building trust, improving communication, and developing our team. Please listen to the trailer so you can check it out. Thank you!

Bonus Episode 44: Career Advancement
Sep 6 2022
Bonus Episode 44: Career Advancement
This week, I am sharing an encore replay from Season 9 - Episode 77: Five Pillars of Career Advancement for Finance and Accounting ProfessionalsWhat does it take to advance your career? There are many decisions and pathways you can take. There are lots of choices, but how do you prepare yourself for the best chance of advancing to senior leader roles? In this episode, I will highlight the five pillars of career advancement which can help you move in the right direction, so you have the best chance for achieving your dream role. And what do you when you approach an obstacle in your career advancement? Do you accept it or do you keep going? Episode outline:Build your professional foundation,Ensure you have a growth mindset,Develop your leadership skills,Take risk, andAlways advocate for yourself.Please connect with me:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
095: Leading the Annual Budget Development Process
Aug 23 2022
095: Leading the Annual Budget Development Process
A successful budget development cycle begins with clearly communicated expectations and coherently executed leadership. You must partner with other leaders to minimize conflict, meet senior leader guidance, and deliver a budget plan that is on target and makes sense. Ensure you apply the strategy to the budget development process to prioritize and maximize the committed resources.Episode outline:Link the budget requirements to the strategy,Communicate expectations early, clearly, and often,Ensure your budgeting tools meet your needs,Have a conflict resolution process in place, andDevelop an effective partnership across the company.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
094: Problem Solving
Aug 15 2022
094: Problem Solving
As leaders in Finance and Accounting, we are asked to analyze problems constantly. Leaders solve the critical problems of the organization. We don’t let issues grow into bigger problems. The most difficult part of problem solving is to identify what the real problem is, followed by performing the analysis to develop viable options, and then deciding the solution which is best for the organization moving forward. It sounds easy, but it takes leadership to accept that a problem exists and to be able to commit resources to analyze it and correct it. Episode outline:Developing a problem-solving skill set,Problem solving is a process,Sound problem solving leads to better decision making, andBe a leader in all problem solving and decision making. Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
093: Adopting Artificial Intelligence
Aug 9 2022
093: Adopting Artificial Intelligence
This week it’s all about embracing, adopting and using artificial intelligence in our finance and accounting processes. I expect the early adopters to gain a significant competitive advantage as they shift from waiting on data to guiding a system with real time data that solves problems and affects decisions earlier in the process. Earlier than we ever thought we could. It’s time to commit funds in our budgets for systems, hardware, training and even the right people on our teams as we transition to the future. Episode outline:Become open-minded so you learn how AI will help,AI can create a competitive advantage,Will lead to improved and more real-time processes, andCommit funds to future technology and training.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
092: Using Validated Data
Aug 2 2022
092: Using Validated Data
We work with data every day in finance and accounting. The data leads us to insights and relevant information. This is why it’s important that our data is clean AND validated. The way to useable information is to ensure we have good data, but do you know what that means, and can you spot bad data when it shows up in your analysis? Know the data you are working with to ensure it leads you to the correct conclusions in your financial analysis or accounting work. Also, if possible, always try to tell a story with the data. Episode outline:Ensure you have validated data,Data leads to analysis which leads to useable insights,Use leadership with your data analysis to make a difference, andUse data to tell a story.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
091: Financial Planning and Analysis
Jul 26 2022
091: Financial Planning and Analysis
Financial Planning and Analysis provides one of the most critical and powerful functions in the business. Are you resourcing and employing your FP&A Team properly? You need to be continually planning the team’s functions and capabilities as technology changes and the business grows. The FP&A function cannot remain static. It must be growing and changing as conditions change. Your pathway to understanding the key metrics of the business AND if you are achieving your strategy, lies in the commitment to investing in your Financial Planning and Analysis team. Episode outline:Is the business achieving the strategy,How FP&A can add huge value,Do they have the right tools,Invest in your FP&A team, andWhere is FP&A going in the future?Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Bonus Episode 39: Our Habits Contribute to Our Success
Jun 28 2022
Bonus Episode 39: Our Habits Contribute to Our Success
A habit is a routine behavior that determines our productivity level and our work ethic. Our habits are closely aligned with our mindset and how we approach challenges. Do we embrace wanting to achieve excellence or do you become complacent? Our success is a combination of mindset and habits, plus leadership. I hope that you practice great leadership as the most important habit of all. Episode outline:Your habits determine your daily success,What successful people do to build and reinforce good habits, and The most important habit is practicing great leadership.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Bonus Episode 38: What To Do First in a New Work Role
Jun 21 2022
Bonus Episode 38: What To Do First in a New Work Role
Please enjoy this encore episode....You have assumed a new role at a new company. What are your first steps? What do you do first so you set yourself up for success? Those first few weeks can determine how well you know your role, and more importantly, who do you need to meet, what systems do you need to learn, and what are the details about the company’s culture. Your first actions in a new role will be critical to your success, so plan carefully and embrace learning and meeting new people. Episode outline:Embrace onboarding and ask questions,Learn the culture and live it,Know your manager’s priorities and their manager’s priorities,Build your internal network, and Build credibility immediately and add value.==>> Link to Preview Course:  Click here Or go to Finance Leader Academy, click Shop to find the course. Thank you!Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
090: Become a Startup Company CFO
Jun 14 2022
090: Become a Startup Company CFO
If you own a start-up or will be founding one soon, consider adding a finance leader to your team as soon as possible. You will have a teammate who can help you understand cash-flow and profitability from Day 1. They can help you instill financial discipline immediately and provide legitimacy for potential investors. A finance or accounting professional gives your team someone who can provide key advice on tax implications, cash burn rates, corporate structure, and adding value as you navigate a challenging marketplace and economy. Episode outline:Provide important finance leadership from Day 1,Develop finance information systems that make sense,Understand cash flow, measuring profitability, and publishing financial statements, andEstablishes more legitimacy for key stakeholders. Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
089: Become a Better Leader by Checking Your Bias
Jun 7 2022
089: Become a Better Leader by Checking Your Bias
As a leader, you will make many decisions. You will have choices to make. But how do you guard yourself against bias? How do you ensure fairness in opportunity and in how your team is treated? We must be aware of any bias we have both, conscious and subconscious, to ensure all have the opportunity if they do the hard work to improve themselves and to be ready for the next level. Further, we need to check our bias in all problem-solving activities and projects.Episode outline:Building trust is the cornerstone of leadership,Root causes of our bias,Confirmation bias reinforces our own position, andHow do we overcome bias? Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
088: Earning a Promotion to Manager
May 31 2022
088: Earning a Promotion to Manager
Are you on track for a promotion? What does it take to be promoted from individual contributor to manager? You must show potential for greater responsibility. You need a combination of mature soft skills, good character and high emotional intelligence, deliver results every time, and be able to treat people fairly without bias. If you can prioritize your actions correctly, clearly communicate a vision, and follow through with incredible results, you will be in line for promotion to manager in no time. Episode outline:Be of good character, strong ethics, and have a never-quit attitude,Over deliver on results,Develop the key soft skills,Know how to prioritize, andShow potential for greater responsibility.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
087: Let's Talk About Your Self-Worth
May 24 2022
087: Let's Talk About Your Self-Worth
Your long-term success and how you feel about yourself are directly affected by your self-worth and your confidence level.  What you believe in yourself affects your ability to take risk and feel confident about what roles and challenges may be next for you. Your mindset is powerful, and this requires a daily exercise of self-care to strengthen yourself against the adversity you will face and to give you confidence to go after your long-term goal. Episode outline:1) Build a healthy approach in how we see ourselves,2) Know your self-worth,3) Practice great self-care, and4) Taking risk is key to growth and opportunity. Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
086: Project Teams Provide Opportunities to Grow Your Skills and Enhance Your Career
May 17 2022
086: Project Teams Provide Opportunities to Grow Your Skills and Enhance Your Career
As a Finance or Accounting professional have you ever been assigned to a project team or worked on a business case?  Have you provided financial analysis or accounting advice regarding a high visibility project? These are great opportunities to develop and show off your skills. Additionally, you may get visibility with the executive team and other senior leaders. This week, I am encouraging you to seek out high visibility projects to showcase your skills and abilities, which will also help you grow your professional portfolio. Episode outline:1) Project teams are great opportunities,2) What skills you need to bring,3) Grow your network, and4) Strengthen your professional foundation.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
085: Inspire Your Team to Win
May 10 2022
085: Inspire Your Team to Win
Leaders are a primary source of inspiration and motivation for our team members. How we act and speak and make decisions serves to encourage, or even discourage, our team members as they tackle tough assignments and tasks. How we approach the work and adversity does have ripple effects on team productivity and morale. How can we do better, as leaders, to encourage our team members to be inspired, which then can translate into higher productivity, without being abusive? Episode outline:Great leaders bring out the best in their team,Let’s set a great example,Set a realistic vision, and Help others achieve their purpose and goals.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiConsider joining The Finance Leader Podcast Community Facebook Group, where we can talk leadership and the other topics I present here on the podcast.   This is a good time to jump in and start sharing ideas and thoughts about leadership so we can help each other.For more resources, please visit stephenmclain.com. On the website, you can download the Leadership Growth Blueprint for Finance and Accounting Managers. You can use this guide to develop your leadership by focusing on communication, and growing and empowering your team.You can now purchase a course to help you advance your career from financeleaderacademy.com. It's called Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.