PC4 This code refers to content for Level 4 Leader (C Suite CEO/CFO) in professional & commercial skills ? Professional & commercial skills

What do they look like?

Your skills now empower others and you keep teams on track to meet the needs of the organisation so that it keeps going in the right direction. You are the key driver and keep all stakeholders engaged to ensure success.

Professional skills include commercial awareness, self-management, and a recognition of the culture of the organisation and broader business, economic and political contexts.

Influencing - What are the landmarks?

  • You are skilled at stating an opinion with confidence and impact: you present complex concepts strongly, persuasively and convincingly
  • Deal with difficult on-the-spot questions from internal and external stakeholders
  • Anticipate and build on other's reactions to keep momentum and support for an approach
  • Explore creative solutions with others to overcome challenges
  • Accomplished at managing conflict; the ability to identify key issues, find creative and mutually acceptable solutions, and reduce the emotions that prevent a resolution

Agile thinking - What are the landmarks?

  • You can think creatively in response to challenges from internal and external environments and stakeholders. You can devise and adjust strategy in response to change and challenges

Resource management - What are the landmarks?

  • Ensure resources are in place to enable line management to achieve strategic objectives

Resilience/endurance - What are the landmarks?

  • You show resolve and commitment to your decisions and continue with your chosen path even in the face of opposition or resistance
  • Endurance and hard-working
  • You are loyal, dedicated and tenacious
  • Remain calm, composed and maintain concentration and focus in a crisis thereby setting an example to and reassuring others
  • Put things in perspective and don't react emotionally to or take criticism personally

Professional values - What are the landmarks?

  • Have strong professional values including integrity, impartiality, intellectual honesty, objectivity, respect and confidentiality and encourage these values in others and within the profession
  • Demonstrate a commitment to quality, continuous improvement and accountability for decisions and actions
  • Display a commitment to the public interest and acting for the public good
  • Exercise professional scepticism and judgement

Developing talent - What are the landmarks?

  • Delegate authority and responsibility with the capacity to do a task in your own way. Empower and encourage others to take the lead and learn new skills
  • Promote the sharing of expertise and support learning opportunities across the organisation
  • You are transparent about staff's potential to take over new responsibilities and ensure that an effective succession plan is in place for talent.

Stress management - What are the landmarks?

  • Can recognise the triggers and impacts of stress. You have ways to positively manage the stress levels associated with your role and level
  • You recognise the symptoms of stress in others and encourage and support them to take the appropriate actions.
  • Maintain a consistently high standard of work when working under exceptional and sustained demands and pressure

Stakeholder engagement - What are the landmarks?

  • Meet stakeholders needs and ensure their objectives are met. Adjust strategic direction to achieve this where necessary
  • Build high level relationships and partnerships with internal and external stakeholders. Leverage these to the maximum benefit of the organisation

Performance improvement - What are the landmarks?

  • Translate organisation strategy into concrete actions that improve organisation performance
  • Work closely with line management to ensure that they are motivated and they have the resources to improve organisation performance

Self-mastery/emotional intelligence - What are the landmarks?

  • As a leader who drives change, you can see, understand, control and evaluate your own emotions and those of others. This enables you to influence, motivate and inspire those around you. You have the ability to reflect on your own strengths and development needs and have the discipline, focus and will to use these for the benefit of others.

Performance management - What are the landmarks?

  • Devise and define the objectives and goals for the organisation. Work with line management to monitor, review and interpret performance
  • Translate business opportunities into concrete measures that benefit the organisation

Negotiating skills - What are the landmarks?

  • Encourage the use of and demonstrate competence in more than one style of negotiation and adapt your approach depending on the counterpart and context

Career management - What are the landmarks?

  • Invest time in planning and preparing for the next stage of your career. Seek and use professional support with the development of a career plan

Organisational alignment - What are the landmarks?

  • Ensure your management team aligns people, processes and structures with the needs of the strategic direction of the organisation

Organisational knowledge - What are the landmarks?

  • Use your indepth knowledge of corporate politics to handle complex situations effectively with tact and discretion

Development activities

How can you get there?

Here are our suggestions for boosting your skills in the three main areas at this stage of your career.
Don't forget, many of these are FREE!

  • Continue to refer to and use this Career Pathway template to set goals, improve performance and identify gaps
  • Continue to work with you Chartered Accountants Ireland career coach or mentor
  • Enhance your professional brand and profile
  • Consider media training
  • Mentor junior staff members
  • Develop a career or personal development plan
  • Keep a reflective learning journal
  • Review performance appraisal feedback and act on it
  • Keep up with your CPD training needs
  • Join a board
  • Read Chartered Accountants Ireland publications and Accountancy Ireland
  • Read "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"
  • Refer to Harvard Business Review and Forbes articles
  • Volunteer for cross-functional projects
  • Volunteer for social committees and events
  • Get involved with sports teams
  • Watch TedTalks
  • Develop your LinkedIn Profile
  • Join industry or professional groups
  • Speak or present at events
  • Exercise, yoga, mindfulness
  • Develop your emotional intelligence

Career development support

As a member at any stage in your career from newly qualified to post-retirement, our career service is here to support you. In full confidence, we'll coach you, help with your CV, give interview preparation tips, set up mentoring, help you find a role, or to find the best staff. Call us anytime you need us on +353 1 637 7331 or email us at careers@charteredaccountants.ie. We want to hear from you.

Courses & publication

Recommended specialist qualifications

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Future of the profession


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A Vision for the CFO & Finance Function See PDF
Evaluating the Finance Function See PDF


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What’s next for the profession? Foresight initiative makes urgent case for change See page


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Leadership in a time of crisis series: Fact-based view of why the world is getting better

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Professional & commercial news