Many finance leaders picked their chosen professional because accounting represented a straightforward way to apply their strong quantitative skills. There were certainly other career paths to consider for those with strong math skills. Yet, other professions could appear to push qualitatively-blessed professionals to think ‘outside the box.’ While not an absolute rule, there are a good many accountants who could be described as go-along-to-get-along folks.
For accountants, who picked their profession based on their non-confrontational nature, voicing a contrary position can seem threatening. That said, for those accountants that ascend to the C-suite, the ability to speak up and stand your ground.
A few guidelines to consider when sharing a contrary position:
- Bring your voice into the room. When you are silent, everyone loses.
- Be factual. Wherever possible, support your position with facts rather than opinions.
- Remain unattached to the outcome. Sure, go ahead an state your position, be ready to defend it. Though, in the end, be content that the ultimate decision of senior leadership may point in another direction.