New on the job

Tania M. Clarke, who was made CFO of Montreal-based Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc. in January, talks about the importance of a bold management style and how she defines leadership.

Q. What are the challenges you face in the restaurant and retail business?

The first challenge is to execute our strategic plan — we have to manage growth and review our management processes in order to revamp manual processes through technology. My second challenge is to earn the trust of our 234 franchisees. Lastly, I want to relocate the finance team from Moncton, NB, to Montreal, for which we will hire new staff.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership encompasses my philosophy of life, my personality, respect for others and my integrity. It’s also important for me to share my knowledge with colleagues, which comes naturally to me because my career development is just as valuable as theirs. A strong leader communicates well and has excellent listening skills.

What are the most important values a leader should embody?

Besides integrity and respect for others, I would say self-confidence, transparency, curiosity and a bold management style — that’s a key one. It’s about taking action to improve or resolve difficult situations. There are ways to settle interpersonal issues. You have to treat others as you would like to be treated.

You’ve worked in various fields throughout your career. What did these jobs teach you about leadership?

The basics of leadership are the same, no matter where you work. There are always learning opportunities. Since taking on this role eight months ago, I’ve become more accustomed to the corporate culture to better interact with my colleagues.

Tania M. Clarke, CPA, CA, CPA (USA), is chief financial officer of Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc., which operates restaurants under the Pizza Delight, Trattoria di Mikes, Scores and Baton Rouge brands and sells food products under the Commensal brand. She began her career at KPMG in 1990 and has held positions at Grand Toys International Ltd., Vision 2000 Travel Group Inc., Keurig Canada and the NFPO Games for Hope Foundation.