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! read less
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Episodes

Bonus Episode 79 - Transform Your Success in 2024: Mastering SMART Goals with a Growth Mindset
Jun 25 2024
Bonus Episode 79 - Transform Your Success in 2024: Mastering SMART Goals with a Growth Mindset
Send us a Text Message.Are you following our Mid-Year Goal Review Challenge: financeleaderacademy.com/Goalchallenge ? Ready to transform your goal-setting game and make 2024 your most successful year yet? Join us in this special bonus episode of the Finance Leader Podcast, as we reveal how setting SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based—can truly set you apart. We'll revisit the key insights from Episode 115 and challenge you with a Mid-Year Goal review. Learn why SMART goals outperform New Year's resolutions and how adopting a growth mindset can elevate your career and personal life. We'll also share strategies for staying focused, planning long-term, and getting back on track when necessary.Discover the power of writing down your big goals and breaking them into manageable steps while ensuring they align with your career and family aspirations. We'll highlight the importance of continuous updates and accountability to maintain momentum. This episode isn't just about setting goals—it's about building a strong professional foundation, enhancing leadership skills, and fostering executive presence. Let's embark on this journey together and turn your 2024 aspirations into reality!Episode outline:Why we set goals and not new years’ resolutions,Our mindset is our greatest asset,What is your big goal for 2024?Use the SMART method for goal planning.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com.
Customer Traffic Considerations During Competitor Disruptions
Jun 18 2024
Customer Traffic Considerations During Competitor Disruptions
Send us a Text Message.Episode 123:  Could a major competitor's sudden closure transform your business landscape? Find out how unexpected changes in your competitive space can significantly impact your customer traffic and revenue. This episode takes you through a fascinating local case where a major retailer shut its doors—not due to poor performance, but rather a landlord's decision. We dissect the ripple effects on surrounding businesses in a bustling shopping center, providing you with essential metrics to gauge how such changes affect your operations.Equip yourself with actionable strategies to adapt and thrive amidst market shifts. We'll explore year-over-year sales changes, variations in product types, and time-of-day traffic adjustments. Learn how to identify and fill market gaps left by a complementary business's closure. Stay ahead in your financial planning by optimizing your resources and preparing contingencies for unexpected disruptions. Join us as we offer invaluable insights to ensure your business remains resilient and responsive to changes in your competitive landscape.Episode outline:What happens when a business change occurs to a competitor,What metrics and planning considerations should you analyze, and We must be continually strategic in our analysis.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com.
Bonus Episode 77: Building a High-Performance Finance Team: A Strategy for Effective Recruitment and Talent Development
Apr 23 2024
Bonus Episode 77: Building a High-Performance Finance Team: A Strategy for Effective Recruitment and Talent Development
Send us a Text Message.As the NFL Draft ignites conversations about talent acquisition, we turn the spotlight on the universal principles of selecting and nurturing the right people for your finance squad. In this bonus episode, I explore the critical importance of soft skills, such as emotional intelligence and communication, and their role in creating a harmonious and effective team environment. I'll share why these innate qualities often outweigh technical prowess, and how you can foster a culture that values growth, coachability, and adding value at every turn.Prepare to challenge your perceptions of team development and leadership as we discuss the nuanced art of recruitment. I emphasize that being a finance leader means also being a mentor, willing to invest in your team's continuous improvement. Reflecting on Mark Cuban's wisdom, I argue that there are no shortcuts to excellence, but rather a committed journey of cultivating talent. By the end of our conversation, you'll be equipped with actionable insights to help you seek out and develop individuals who don't just fill a role but elevate your entire organization. Join us for a compelling narrative that will transform how you think about and approach hiring within your finance team.==>> Episode 45: Recruiting and Hiring Team MembersEpisode outline:Commit to focusing on soft skills,Are they coachable,Will they add value to your team,Finance leaders must be teachers, andGrowth and development are keys to individual and team success. Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. On the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Bonus Episode 76: SMART Goal Planning for Finance Leaders
Apr 16 2024
Bonus Episode 76: SMART Goal Planning for Finance Leaders
Send us a Text Message.Please download the Goal Setting Workbook that follows this episode: hereImagine seizing opportunities as they arise, armed with a growth mindset that turns challenges into stepping stones for success. That's what we're unpacking today—how to nurture the mindset and habits that will steer us toward our most ambitious goals for the year. We'll revisit the SMART method, aligning our career and personal aspirations, even as life’s curveballs come our way. By maintaining focus and staying accountable, we're setting the stage for a year of unparalleled achievements. So, subscribe, share, and join our brigade of excellence; together, we're not just planning goals—we're setting the foundations for a legacy of leadership in finance.Episode outline:Why we set goals and not new years’ resolutions,Our mindset is our greatest asset,What is your big goal for 2024?Use the SMART method for goal planning.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. On the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Bonus Episode 75: Leading with Accountability: A Call to Action for Finance Professionals
Apr 10 2024
Bonus Episode 75: Leading with Accountability: A Call to Action for Finance Professionals
Send us a Text Message.In this episode, we're examining the transformative power of intense accountability in the realm of finance and accounting careers. We'll delve into how owning your mindset, setting clear goals, and establishing a chain of accountability can catapult you out of your comfort zone and propel you towards success.We'll explore the fine line between making excuses and owning up to failures, and how the right mindset can encourage us to take more risks, essential for a thriving career. We'll also touch upon the concept of professional conduct and the role of accountability within our professional fields. Whether you are starting out or are a seasoned professional, this episode is brimming with unique insights and fresh perspectives designed to empower you to take charge of your career and your life. Step into the realm of intense accountability and let it shape your journey to success.Episode outline:What is intense accountability,Own your mindset, goal setting, achievements, AND failures,Accountability gets us out of our comfort zone, so we take risk,Our professional conduct requires accountability too, andBecome a more sought-after finance leader.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. On the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Lessons in Strategic Communication for Finance Professionals
Mar 14 2024
Lessons in Strategic Communication for Finance Professionals
Send us a Text Message.Embark on a journey through the treacherous terrain of strategic messaging as we dissect the recent communication blunders of Kellogg's and Wendy's. It's a perilous world out there for finance and accounting leaders tasked with navigating their company's external narratives – one wrong word could spell disaster for your brand's reputation. In this episode, we delve into why empathy and understanding the economic pulse of your audience is not just important, but critical for those speaking on behalf of their company. Discover key concepts and actionable guidance to bulletproof your public communication strategies, ensuring your messaging hits the mark every time.Join me as we explore the nuances of crafting messages that resonate with consumers and safeguard your personal and corporate brand integrity. We'll unravel the dire consequences of disconnect and arrogance in communications, providing lessons that finance leaders can't afford to ignore. Learn how to wield the power of consistency, align company values with consumer needs, and genuinely connect with your audience—all while avoiding the snares of misplaced humor or off-the-cuff remarks. Tune in to fortify your leadership toolkit and ensure that when you speak, your audience doesn't just listen—they trust and believe in what you have to say.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. On the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Uniting Individuals with Leadership: A Discussion on Improving Team Performance
Feb 27 2024
Uniting Individuals with Leadership: A Discussion on Improving Team Performance
Send us a Text Message.Ready to transform a group of individuals into a powerhouse team? Joins us as we share invaluable strategies that will elevate your team's performance to unprecedented heights. By harnessing the synergy of trust, communication, and fair play, we illustrate how leaders can foster an environment ripe for growth, innovation, and collective achievement.This episode is a treasure trove of actionable advice, revealing the secrets to creating a cohesive and dynamic team. We bridge the gap between individual potential and collaborative success with Stephen's guidance, leaving behind the perils of micromanagement and favoritism. Your journey to leadership excellence begins here, and the path is illuminated with the wisdom of a true connoisseur of team-building. Tune in to experience a masterclass in cultivating a work culture where everyone thrives and the sum truly is greater than its parts.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. Please download the Goal Setting Workbook that follows Episode 115: hereOn the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Inspiring Greatness: Transformative Leadership Principles
Feb 13 2024
Inspiring Greatness: Transformative Leadership Principles
Send us a Text Message.Ever wondered how leadership transcends mere management to truly inspire greatness? Join me as I reveal the transformative principles that can elevate not just your team's performance, but your very approach to leadership. Drawing from my own experiences in the Army, this episode promises to arm you with a mindset that not only lights a fire in others but also sparks the development of future leaders within your team.Last week, we gleaned incredible wisdom from Wassia Kaman, and now we're harnessing that momentum to challenge the status quo. Discover the strategies that combat complacency, underscore the importance of active listening, and emphasize clear communication. Together, we will navigate the essentials of creating a culture that champions growth, collaboration, and a strategic response to challenges. Be prepared to leave this session with the ability to inspire a legacy of leadership that echoes through the echelons of your organization.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. Please download the Goal Setting Workbook that follows Episode 115: hereOn the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Mastering Strategic Decision-Making: Aligning Business Strategy with Finance and Accounting Systems
Jan 30 2024
Mastering Strategic Decision-Making: Aligning Business Strategy with Finance and Accounting Systems
Send us a Text Message.Please download the free business strategy guide here. Unlock the secrets to savvy strategic decision-making as we navigate the complex relationship between business strategy and the accounting and finance systems that support it. Perfect for small business owners looking to tighten their operations, this episode promises a deep understanding of how to leverage monthly financial statements and daily financial insights. We unravel the subtleties of resource allocation and explore the creation of meaningful KPIs that resonate with your unique business goals.Episode outline:What is business strategy,Accounting and finance system considerations to support your strategy,Develop the right key performance indicators, and Use leadership and knowledge to solve business problems. Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. Please download the Goal Setting Workbook that follows Episode 115: hereOn the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Interview with Mark McMillion -  A Discussion on Growing Our Leadership and Mastering Conflict Management
Jan 23 2024
Interview with Mark McMillion - A Discussion on Growing Our Leadership and Mastering Conflict Management
Send us a Text Message.Discover the leadership secrets that can transform your team from functioning to phenomenal as I'm joined by retired Lieutenant Colonel Mark McMillian. With a storied 22-year military career and a passion for coaching as the founder of McMillion Leadership Associates, Mark offers a wealth of knowledge on the importance of clear communication and defined expectations.  Our conversation is a treasure trove for anyone looking to inspire and guide teams to greatness, especially in high-pressure environments.Navigating the rough seas of conflict with emotional intelligence—this is what separates good leaders from great ones. We unravel the complexities of managing stress and interpersonal dynamics in today's high-stress climate. Drawing from personal experiences, including stories from frontline employees like Mark's daughter during the pandemic, we spotlight the need for self-awareness and understanding of others' emotions. Whether you're leading a public-facing team or an internal corporate group, the insights shared here will equip you with the skills to create a more harmonious and effective work environment. Join us as we explore the power of emotional intelligence in leadership, an essential tool for anyone striving to excel in their role and foster a thriving team culture.To connect with Mark McMillion, please visit McMillion Leadership Associates: mcmillionleadership.comPlease connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. To learn more about the Conflict Management and Emotional Intelligence training, you can find it here. On the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.
Setting SMART Goals for 2024
Jan 9 2024
Setting SMART Goals for 2024
Send us a Text Message.Please download the Goal Setting Workbook that follows this episode: hereEpisode #115: Imagine seizing opportunities as they arise, armed with a growth mindset that turns challenges into stepping stones for success. That's what we're unpacking today—how to nurture the mindset and habits that will steer us toward our most ambitious goals for the year. We'll revisit the SMART method, aligning our career and personal aspirations, even as life’s curveballs come our way. By maintaining focus and staying accountable, we're setting the stage for a year of unparalleled achievements. So, subscribe, share, and join our brigade of excellence; together, we're not just planning goals—we're setting the foundations for a legacy of leadership in finance.Episode outline:Why we set goals and not new years’ resolutions,Our mindset is our greatest asset,What is your big goal for 2024?Use the SMART method for goal planning.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. On the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.
Bonus Ep 71 - Finance Team Success: A Journey of Leadership and Engagement
Dec 12 2023
Bonus Ep 71 - Finance Team Success: A Journey of Leadership and Engagement
Send us a Text Message.Imagine unlocking the full potential of your finance team with the right leadership and engagement tools.  We kick things off by venturing into the realm of leadership, exploring its intricate responsibilities, and stressing the significance of setting the vision, maintaining high standards, and becoming a role model for your team.As we move forward, we dive deeper into the nuances of team engagement, demonstrating how your actions can mold your team's success trajectory. We'll replay episode 107, offering handy team member engagement tools that you can readily apply within your team. The goal is to create an environment where team members are positively engaged, productive, efficient, and motivated, leading to high-quality output. Don’t forget to check out the Finance Leader Academy for free additional resources.Episode outline:Why team engagement is important,Team engagement tools you can easily use, andHow to go to the next level.Please connect with me on:1. Instagram: stephen.mclain2. Twitter: smclainiii3. Facebook: stephenmclainconsultant4. LinkedIn: stephenjmclainiiiFor more resources, please visit Finance Leader Academy:  financeleaderacademy.com. On the website, you can download the Become a Finance Leader Guide. You can use this guide to build your Finance Leadership skills so you can help senior leaders develop and execute the strategy.I also offer a course, Advance Your Finance and Accounting Career: Developing a Promotion Strategy that Sets You Apart.