Last week’s blog, CFOs are not Born. They need to Continually Transform, CFOs were compared to butterflies, in that they need to not only transform like butterflies do, but to continually do so.
One of my conversations following this posting led to identifying Muhammed Ali’s famous saying “Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a Bee.”
I see where CFOs need to “Float like a Butterfly”. Not only do Chief Financial Officers need to be appreciated for their ability to (continually) transform, Successful CFOs are appreciated for their grace and form as they accomplish amazing tasks with what looks like relative ease.
Do CFOs need to “Sting like a Bee”? Do they need to inflict pain to accomplish corporate objectives?
Some may say that CFOs need to be a little rough to get things done. My experience in conversations with hundreds of CFOs over my career leads me to believe otherwise.
As an example, I had a conversation recently with a CFO who is in process of leading the integration of an acquisition of their company by a competitor. While his job is sunsetting, he was really proud of the fact that most of the operating employees of the company were able to keep their job.
I personally believe that most CFOs are more Butterfly than Bee. Successful CFOs know that they may have to sting from time to time, but if and when they take difficult decisions that could hurt others, they are not only aware of it, but try to minimize the impact as much as possible.
Do you think CFOs need to “Sting like a Bee”?
Related Post: The Jedi CFO
david k waltz says
Some of this relates to management style, where things vary across a wide spectrum, from absolute dictator to laissez faire. However, I think the largest factor is confidence. Stinging like a bee provides immediate validation that the CFO is intervening, interacting, and making an impact, whereas the signs for the butterfly approach are more subtle, and sometimes cannot be directly tied back to their actions. The confident ones don’t mind this, but those racked by uncertainty do.
Samuel Dergel says
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences on the topic!