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Although women have made a foray into large companies, proportionately few have taken on the role of CFO. What drives the ones who have made it to success?

Although there is no single strategy, it may be attributed to a judicious blend of strong skills, healthy business relationships and 3 essential traits: intrepidity, inquisitiveness and integrity. Some women may be born with these while others may have to cultivate them over time.

 1. Intrepidity
Be willing to embrace discomfort stemming from uncertain situations. Open your mind to the benefits and opportunities that lie just beyond. Stepping out of your comfort zone and venturing into unfamiliar territory can help you gain invaluable experiences and acquire new skills. It can also give your self-confidence a tremendous boost.
Reaching beyond the capacity you have limited upon yourself requires bravery and self-belief. Such self-belief may be nurtured through experience and practice. Learn from past mistakes and prepare to face the future. This way, even when you venture into the unknown, you may be well equipped to make decisions with far-reaching implications with confidence.

 2. Inquisitiveness
Women are infamous for being snoopy. Use this cliche to your advantage! Activate your inquisitiveness and channel it into an intense desire to learn. Participate regularly in training programs and webinars to hone your existing skills. Also, keep your mind open to receiving new knowledge, from wherever it may come. Remain curious about skills that are seemingly unrelated to your own line of work, too. You never know when these come in handy to tackle unforeseen challenges. Inquisitiveness is a crucial propeller of growth and achievement in your role.

 5. Integrity
Don’t forget for a moment your role as a teller of truth. You have been entrusted with the job of laying down the bare facts, however unpleasant, to the CEO, the Board of Directors and stakeholders.
To maintain integrity in the organization, you need to maintain it in your personal life first. The organization’s powers-that-be, employees and investors should know you as the one who will say what you mean without a hidden agenda; and act according to it. If you are not respected for telling the truth, maybe you are working for the wrong business.

 Dot these 3 “I”s – perfect these essential traits – to accomplish both professional and personal goals. All the best!

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