Note: This question was asked in the CFO Lounge. If you would like to know more about the CFO Lounge, I recommend that you read The Lonely CFO.
I have read your blogs about coaching for CFOs, and agree that many of my fellow CFOs could benefit from getting guidance on how to be a better CFO.
One thing I have noticed, and you have not mentioned, is that some CFOs are not coachable – they just can’t change who they are.
What do you think about this Samuel?
Philosopher in Philadelphia
You bring up an interesting point – not all CFOs are coachable. They are like Freudian lightbulbs – they have to ‘want to change’.
A Number of CFOs are happy with how they are doing things, and don’t see the need to improve. They believe that what has got them to where they are will continue to help them to grow in their career.
You cannot believe the number of CFOs I speak with that find themselves in a job search that were totally blindsided by their need to find a new CFO role.
And a good number these CFOs will admit that they did not read the writing on the wall – that they did not see that ‘how it was always done’ wasn’t good enough.
My coaching program for CFOs – The Strong CFO Program (which you can read about here) works to coach CFOs, starting with their Strengths. On this blog page you can find a copy of my personal Strengthsfinder report, which is an example of the report used in my coaching program.
Funnily enough, most of the CFOs that I coach that come find me to help them grow have “Learner” as a strength. Learner is defined as…
“People strong in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.”
That is not to say that CFOs that are not strong in “Learner” cannot benefit from coaching – it is just that they don’t go out of their way to continuously improve.
david k waltz says
There needs to be a capacity for introspection that underlies a willingness to explore issues with the hope of improving things.
Under the “all things roll downhill” theory, I am curious whether you see that the CFO’s organizations are also uncoachable if the CFO is.
Samuel Dergel says
Thanks for your input.
Actually, it starts with the CEO. [Hint: Read tomorrow’s blog]
In essence, most of the CFOs that have coaches are in companies where the CEO has a coach as well.