Victor’s 10 Reflections on Leadership - 7. Celebrate the Victories

Steve Rosvold 00:05

Welcome to CFO talk. I’m your host, Steve Rosvold, Chief Learning Officer at CFO.University. Joining us from Wichita, Kansas today is Victor Ojeleye.

In your seventh observation about leadership you highlight celebrating victories. You note celebrating is important even when things still need to be fixed. I’d like to explore that twist some. Normally we celebrate when we cross the finish line. What does celebrating before the finish line look like?

Victor Ojeleye 00:25

One example for me is, you know, in finance we’ve got an ERP system for reporting. That’s a big part of our toolkit. We’ve got to have great reporting, our financials in order to then do your forecasting. So, if you’re working on things that are very complex, whether it’s in the data space, or in the analytic space, there’s times when the mountain looks very, very significant. It’s easy to get into the mode of making excuses. We don’t have the reporting that we need, we’re trying to crack this particular riddle as far as the data and the inputs that we need. But there’s different small steps you need to take in order to get there. I think it’s easy for teams to want to throw in the towel, say this is too complex or the deployment teams is working too hard.

One of the things I’ve realized is sometimes you have a win with talent, sometimes you have a win with particular report or requirements, sometimes your win is just a small thing from the standpoint of a of a teammate, getting something solved or learning something. So those things can’t be overlooked. You have to use those to build morale, show that you’re making progress on the actual scorecard, but also to keep yourself motivated holistically in these really tough challenges.

Again, I’ll borrow from the Kansas Leadership Center, where they talk about really complex problems versus really simple problems. Simple problems can be done on a certain timeline, you know, they’re very straightforward, but complex problems, it’s about progress. And so, you know, one of the things that I’ve taken from this is that celebrating those small wins at the end of your week, 100 things to do, just make sure you’re making progress. That’s really the essence of this - celebrating your small wins. Hey, I was able to get my coffee, get my workday started on a good foot. And, you know, that made my day go that much better. We often overlook these small victories, because as a fixer, or someone who’s really aspirational to get many things done, we have to take a step back and see some of the small things too. So that’s just a reminder on many fronts to celebrate that set of small wins and hopefully in the end, those small wins build up to be that end goal or, or something like it.

Steve Rosvold 03:32

That’s a great way to put it, because no great triumph just happened. It happened because of all the little things before that. There was a training for the pro cycling team, Ineos. They team did very well in the Grand Tours. The trainer was given a lot of the credit. He said all we’re trying to do is improve 1% every day. Many small victories lead to big wins. H focused on incremental improvements to many different aspects of cycling. His philosophy was a lot like what you just shared.

That wraps up this video short taken from our longer interview with Victor, Reflections on Leadership. CFO.University is a community of member scholars, companies and trusted advisors committed to the professional development of chief financial officers. Learn more about us at CFO.University.

Until next time, Enjoy. Learn. Engage

Find Victor’s other Reflections on Leadership HERE


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