There are many accountants and few CFOs. The accounting track is a popular starting point for many of today’s CFOs, but accounting is certainly not the only track to the Chief Financial Officer role.
Butterflies have an easy transformation from caterpillar. CFOs, those that make it to the role and those that are successful in the long term, have a much harder time. In fact, they do not have one transformational moment in a cocoon, but a series of ongoing transformations they must seek and overcome to continue to be successful and on top of their game.
I was fortunate to present in Vancouver last week at the CMA Leadership conference. It was a great opportunity to connect with those who believe that the CFO chair is in their future, as well as those that have achieved this status yet are continually looking to improve and grow.
My premise about CFO success is simple. Simple to say at least, but very hard to accomplish continually. Too many CFOs get comfortable with their employment and their status. Yet I still speak with too many CFOs on a weekly basis that are caught in CFO limbo precisely because they get too comfortable with their status as a butterfly.
CFO success requires planning: for their current role and employer, as well as for their career. While success for accountants may be about what they know, CFO Success comes from relationships. Who they know is much more important. What Chief Financial Officers do with their relationships and how they develop ‘like’ and ‘trust’, allows them to accomplish their employment AND career objectives. Becoming a better CFO benefits their employer AND their career.
Successful CFOs are not butterflies. They are so much more dynamic and long lasting. It takes hard work and planning.
What’s your CFO Success Plan?
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Jeff Kane says
Your comments hit home today. I am in my 6th week in a new role and your comments reminded me to keep evolving. Old habits are creeping in and I need to remember to stay above the fray. The point on who you know is important as the company relies on you to bring in the appropriate services to the company.
Samuel Dergel says
Congrats on your new role. New is always exciting. Being conscious of the opportunity for a new way of doing things always helps.
Thank you for your validation on the points being made in this blog. I’m glad I made a difference to you today. Thanks for letting me know that I did.
Wishing you continued success,
PS: You may find value to this blog as well: http://blog.dergelcfo.com/2011/10/19/the-first-90-days-of-a-new-cfo/