If you want to separate the “A” players from the “B” players in leadership, ask them about money. You may hear many nice comments about collaboration and shared leadership from several leaders in various industries. Then comes the budget process.   

The growth minded leader views money as an opportunity to invite team members and stakeholders to shape financial decisions. These leaders are highly aware of financial resources and priorities and could easily decide and announce the plan.  

Instead, this person lays the data on the table and asks questions to ensure financial decisions support their core mission and strategic direction.  This approach increases ownership in the process and grows responsible habits in the team. When then next financial issue comes, the team will be prepared to roll with it much better than passengers along for the ride. 

Several years ago, after the 2008 financial crisis, one of my clients was facing an end to the Federal stimulus money. Instead of panicking or just announcing the plan of a few, the school district formed a “Cliff Committee.” True, they had no way to avoid falling off a financial cliff. AND they realized they could decide how they would fall, and land – together.   

By inviting key stakeholders in the process, they reduced the impact of the landing. Years later, several district leaders told me the entire school community came out stronger as a result.  

Can YOU say that about a financial crisis you’ve been through? 

Life is a team sport.  Teach your team get a better return on everyone’s investment.