Proving Your Value to Management

Proving Your Value to Management
September 1, 1999, By Jerry Kaplan

Why do I feel that proving your value to management is one of the most important topics for credit people to study today?
In the more than 40 years that I have been involved in the commercial credit/collection profession, I have met thousands of people involved in credit, finance, management, banking, and about every other type of business.

I have observed many people who strive to be credit professionals-who have obtained the education, skills, experience, and credentials that should earn them management recognition. They have worked long and hard hours, have moved, have traveled, and have made many sacrifices to do an outstanding job for their company.

They are always on the lookout for saving their company money. They are dedicated, honest, loyal. They have developed the discipline and skills that should take them to higher levels in the business world. But they have not found the real key to unlocking the respect, management team involvement, and financial rewards they deserve.

Commercial credit is my industry, my business life, and the foundation for many old and new friendships. When I see how many large and small companies are missing the boat by not making their credit manager part of their management team and not directly involving them in making future plans for the company, I get angry and frustrated, not only for my friends, but for the business in which they are involved.

Those businesses are missing a great deal and as a result are not putting in the attention necessary for the credit professional to grow. I have decided that the best contribution I can now make to our profession is to try to pass on the things I have seen and experienced that have developed into the credit positions you deserve.

Besides my day to day involvement in the business and watching, listening to, and asking questions of the thousands of credit managers I mentioned, I have recently interviewed about two dozen credit managers who have found the path to higher company respect, involvement, financial reward, and personal happiness from their profession.

After hours of discussion, I believe it all boils down to one word – communication.

Jerry Kaplan is a Partner in Kaplan Group, 805-541-2639