Developing New Leaders
By: Zeenath Khan, eBay FLDP Lead
eBay’s Finance Leadership Development Program highlights a unique employee experience.
At eBay we believe that successful leaders are able to execute with excellence, engage and energize, and bring our culture and brand to life. We also recognize the importance of leaders being able to foster a coaching culture for our employees.
Our Global Finance team demonstrates the importance of this in a number of ways, including the sponsorship of a Finance Leadership Development Program (FLDP) that sees talented employees rotate through different roles within Finance.
This competitive program gives participants the opportunity to build their leadership and technical skills, while increasing their business acumen. The FLDP offers technical training through four six-month rotation assignments across different Finance groups and geographies. Each FLDP cohort receives extensive leadership development, coaching, and senior executive mentoring, while working on challenging assignments. Upon successful completion of the program, participants are placed in key roles that further prepare them for future Finance leadership responsibilities.
"Great companies are able to grow and develop, and attract and retain top finance talent. This program is designed to do exactly that," said Brian Doerger, VP, CAO, and FLDP Sponsor.
Rather than tell you what about the program is doing for our employees, we thought it would be better to hear directly from some of our current participants.
When I joined the program I moved to Switzerland, where I spent 6 months working in the Financial Planning and Analysis team. Working on a seven person team hailing from six different countries, I was reminded of how diverse eBay is.
“It is this type of culture and atmosphere which I think helps eBay truly stand apart.”
My experience so far has been shaped by the time finance leaders have spent with me, allowing me to share my opinions and get insight into how they think and make decisions. In addition to the opportunity to work with finance leaders in each rotation, the program also provides each of us with an advisor who is a senior leader in finance.
I joined the FLDP because I wanted to learn more about finance functions, as well as the eBay business, and develop my leadership skills in order to effect change around me. As I reflect back on my 2 year experience, it has not only been about developing my finance skills, expanding my network and developing my technical skills, it has been about developing my own authentic leadership style and not trying to fit into any kind of mold.
“It has been about developing my own authentic leadership style and not trying to fit into any kind of mold”
The program focuses heavily on identifying and then developing our own unique strengths. By focusing on my strength of connecting people, I changed how I approached my third rotation in Turkey in our GittiGidiyor business. I worked hard on helping the GittiGidiyor team connect more deeply with the eBay team and vice-a-versa. The end result was a lot more knowledge sharing in both directions and I felt proud about the impact I had.
Overall the program has not just taught and improved my leadership skills, but has given me the toolset to continue my career journey.
Sai Harish Chava
I joined the program from eBay in India. Over the course of the last two years, I have had the opportunity to work in San Jose, and eBay Classifieds in Amsterdam.
“Now I know what works for me”
Prior to the beginning of every rotation, the program participants meet in San Jose for a week where we focus on learning more about leadership. I have been working on developing my emotional intelligence. Using the tools I learnt during these weeks I am more aware of the dynamics of different groups and teams now than I was before. This awareness helps me to contribute to meetings in a more impactful way. This is very important to me as I am in a new role every six months, with a new business unit and possibly in a new country. I have practiced different communication styles and now I know what works for me – and of course, I am always learning more!
I joined the FLDP in 2014 and within nine weeks I moved with my family from Berlin to San Jose. This was a great opportunity, not just for me but for all four of us. We hugely enjoyed California, and it was a very intense time for us as a family, sometimes also very challenging.
“It made all of us stronger and brought us closer together”
But it made all of us stronger and brought us closer together. Having my family with me on this career adventure, meant that I was able to give it my all. I have had the opportunity to work with various finance and technology teams across the globe. It has given me a very different perspective on our business, and how our leaders operate across the organization. Being part of the FLDP has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, allowing me to grow both personally and professionally.