Most Finance employees work hard and want to help their company grow. However, finance is often viewed as the support function that tactically helps the strategic business leadership make informed decisions that reduce financial and compliance risks. Becoming a Trusted Advisor equal to other peers at the CEO table or even the most trusted advisor is often a major challenge to earning a full seat at the Strategic Leadership Table.

In my opinion, the opportunity for Finance to earn a full seat at the table not only exists but represents the biggest opportunity in business today, particularly if HR reports to them. So, where is the challenge? This course will outline four major areas that are understood by many CEOs but may be major paradigm shifts for CFOs. These paradigm shifts may be enlightening to them and represent a major opportunity for the CFO to add significant value to the company.

This course begins with understanding who actually sits at the top of the strategic leadership table and what their primary focus is for the entire company. We will discuss how the CEO typically makes major company changes and then compare their approach to a typical Finance approach. This discussion will explain how the CEO defines strategic versus what most Finance leaders consider strategic. The focus then shifts to how Finance can become more strategic as defined by the CEO and Board. Included will be metrics that show how significant the opportunity is for most companies.

Then we share an example for how strategic thinking requires paradigm shift thinking to support the changing business environment that CEOs face everyday. The next focus shifts from strategic thinking to leadership and explains how leadership is critical to implement strategic paradigms. The discussion includes describing the difference between managing versus leading. Then we will summarize how Finance can Earn a Full Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table and be an integral part of the executive leadership team.

Course Series

This course is included in the following series:

2 CoursesThe Strategic Leadership Table

  1. How Can Finance Earn a Full Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table?
  2. How Can HR Earn a Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table?
Learning Objectives
  • Identify what is the primary focus of CEOs and Board members that you must focus on to be included at the table.
  • Explore how CEOs and Board members select and implement initiatives to support the business.
  • Explore how CEOs define strategic versus what Finance typically defines as strategic.
  • Explore how executive leadership is different from managing.
  • Identify why executive leadership is critical to implement the changes necessary to contribute at the Strategic Leadership Table.
Last updated/reviewed: August 22, 2023
6 Reviews (24 ratings)


Anonymous Author
This is a helpful course for someone who is new to finance leadership role, who has not previously been exposed to cross-functional engagement or project, or who has not previously working with C-suite level executives.

Member's Profile
A lot of time was spent on defining traditional finance which anyone at a controller/CFO level should already know. Otherwise concepts and examples were good.

Anonymous Author
Interesting insights on the difference between traditional tactical focus of finance versus potential strategic focus.

Anonymous Author
easy to follow and change the mindset of how to better putting the strategic thinking as the core value of the team

Member's Profile
Good refresher on what other people focus on outside of finance and support functions.

Member's Profile
Does a good job of separating tactics from strategy.

Course Complexity: Intermediate

No Advanced Preparation or Prerequisites are needed for this course. 

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  A Recipe for Success8:42
  Is Traditional Finance Strategic?13:48
  Challenges to Traditional Finance 6:47
  Examples 12:46
  If Traditional Thinking Is Not Working, Is There a Better Way?5:07
  Who Sits at The Biggest Leadership Table?10:34
Continuous Play
  How Can Finance Earn A Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table 59:13
  Slides: How Can Finance Earn a Full Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table?PDF
  How Can Finance Earn a Full Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table? Glossary/IndexPDF