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An interview with a Financial Talent Executive Network (F-TEN®) participant and sponsor

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Published: 23 Dec 2020

F-TEN® is highly valuable for both participant and their business. Read Richard McCord’s, Head of Finance at Centrica Energy Renewables account on why he enrolled on F-TEN® and why Tim Hinton, Finance Director at Centrica Power Generation, sponsored Richard to go on the programme.

Richard McCord

Head of Finance
Centrica Energy Renewables
F-TEN® participant

What did you expect from the programme? 

I am in a phase of my career where I’m transitioning from manager to leader. I wanted the F-TENcourse to help me do this, and it is certainly living up to expectations.

What do you consider to be the most valuable part of the programme?

Firstly, the mentoring sessions. My mentor is a former FTSE 100 CFO, and I can talk to him confidentially about issues I am grappling with in the office. He has been there and done it himself, so he really understands where I’m coming from, and he can talk to me about how he dealt with similar challenges in his own career. I’m also enjoying sharing experiences with my peers. It is comforting to know that while we all work in different organisations, and have different roles, the core challenges we face are remarkably similar. In my peer learning group, we’ve been sparking ideas off each other which has been useful.

How is the programme developing you as a leader?

Fundamentally, it is making me lift my head up from the day-to-day rigours of my job, to step back and think more about leadership and building a high performing team. With a busy role, it is all too easy to neglect this, but in fact this is the area I am now focusing on most.

How does it differ from other leadership/training programmes you have attended?

The different modules are all geared towards a common goal: becoming a better finance leader. Being finance oriented is a big bonus, as it focuses the leadership challenge in the sphere that I have chosen as a career.

Tom Hinton

Finance Director 
Power Generation, Centrica 
F-TEN® sponsor

Why do you think the programme is important for finance professionals?

It gives finance professionals an opportunity to build an excellent support network, allowing them to share the issues they face on a daily basis with like-minded individuals and gain independent advice and support. The independent challenge that you receive on the programme constantly forces you to rebalance your thinking and approach problems from a new, fresh perspective.

Why did you sponsor Richard to go on the programme?

I felt that Richard could really benefit from another voice in his ear that wasn’t his manager; ideally someone who Richard would respect, listen to and act upon. I also thought that Richard could do with a) sharing and solving his problems and b) learning how to coach others on their daily issues; these are experiences and skills that you hone very openly on the F-TEN programme.

What difference has the programme made to the business?

Richard has clearly become quite a different finance leader. He has really focused on building a high- performance team around him and taking a more ‘rounded’ approach to leadership: his personal values are beginning to show in the office and I can feel the team around him flourishing on being able to deliver and meet his exceptionally high expectations. This has enabled Richard’s finance team to provide outstanding finance support to the business. I think that without F-TEN Richard’s leadership would not have changed as dramatically and subsequently the financial leadership that his team provides to a large, growing business would not be as pronounced.

Article first published September 2012.