I have been following your advice saying that CFOs should build their relationships with the other executives in the company.
The problem is that I find myself in more meetings now than ever, and this is taking up so much of my time that I can’t get the work done that I am supposed to.
Do you have any advice on how to manage this better?
Flummoxed in Florida
I’m glad that you have taken my advice about building your CFO Relationships. This certainly will help further develop your CFO value.
“Too many meetings” can be difficult to deal with. However, it is important to realize a couple of things as you build yourself into a Great CFO.
Meeting control. Part of your relationship building with other executives requires an honest discussion with them about the value they need from you to achieve their goals, as well as how you can help. Just attending meetings is not the answer. You need to be attending the right meetings, not all meetings. You need to guide the other executive to provide you with an agenda prior to the meeting, so you don’t have to be at the table for discussions that are not relevant.
Delegate. You brought up that you are too busy and cannot get your work done. Have you actually looked at the work you do to see if you cannot delegate some (or most) of this work? You need to assess how much of your work needs to be analytical and technical, how much of your effort needs to be ensuring that the work actually gets done, and how much of your time should be spent helping people in your organization make the best business decisions possible. What you shouldn’t be doing should be done by people on your team.
The CFOs that I coach come to me to help figure out these multi-layered challenges. I do realize that these two tidbits of advice are general in nature, and may not be able to completely solve your challenges.
Carry on asking yourself the right questions. Continuous self-improvement is the hallmark of a Great CFO. Never be satisfied. You can always do better.