Bud Kulesza To Challenge MLSs As CoMFE Kicks Off CMLS2017
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Bud Kulesza, CMA, CFM, is no stranger to the professional stereotypes that revolve around finance and the dangers of believing them. He began an accounting career with Johnson & Johnson before joining ITT five years later. It was there he rose to hold many senior financial positions within various companies in different industries — food processing, telecommunications, electronic components, and automotive parts.
It was also at ITT where he began to see that successful executives in all industries share some common attributes, regardless of their professional background. As team members of an organization, they recognize that success goes beyond tactical or technical expertise and requires a much more robust business acumen.
“Leaders are often technically competent, but organizational knowledge and people skills often differentiate them within an organization,” says Kulesza. “My presentation challenges attendees in a fun way to consider the ‘many hats’ they wear as they perform their jobs and the importance of being versatile in their interaction with other team members. By changing their perspective, many will have new insight into how to approach their jobs and become more engaged within their business.”
His presentation, Finance: A Profession Of Many Hats, is one of five special sessions to be held during the Conference of MLS Financial Executives (CoMFE) on Wednesday, Sept. 13 before CMLS2017. The presentation is especially fitting in that the leadership role that finance plays within an organization is sometimes overlooked.
“Most of my efforts include working with senior management to build decision making competency into their organizations by showing them how to use the power of financial information to make better business decisions and become more competitive,” said Kulesza. “You have to demystify accounting and financial management to do it.”
By focusing on leadership skills, while still benefiting from technical knowledge, finance departments can play a greater and more value added role within the organization. Kulesza says professionals who recognize their ‘many hats’ — seemingly unrelated knowledge, skills and abilities — can advance their careers and their organizations.
“A comic strip character called Pogo once said: We have met the enemy and he is us!” said Kulesza. “It’s true. We often hold ourselves back from success by defining too narrowly the roles that we assume. We place boundaries where no boundaries are needed. We shun roles that seem out of our scope or fail to embrace the concept of wearing many hats.”
Personal growth, he says, comes through taking on greater challenges. It is something he has done throughout his career, including the establishment of the IMA Leadership Academy that provides continuing education to more than 90,000 members worldwide. He has also had an impact on the formal education of accounting professionals as a respected leader and former chair of the Institute of Management Accountants, and mentored hundreds of talented finance and accounting professionals around the world.
He is looking forward to meeting CMLS members in Austin, which is also his home and residence of 20 years. He loves its inclusiveness, varied venues, and abundance of things that are interesting and different.
“Some of my favorite places are the Bob Bullock Museum and Capitol building,” he said. “But you are sure to find something interesting and different in a city with a ‘Keep Austin Weird’ motto!”
Individual registration for a full day of CoMFE sessions with breakfast and lunch is $299. Other session topics include economic updates, investments, analytics, and round table discussions related to the state of the MLS industry. Register today and make CoMFE part of the 60th annual conference experience.
This article is special edition feature from CoMFE, hosted by the CMLS Finance Section Council.