CFO Buzz is a news feature capturing top stories affecting CFOs. This feature is published Fridays so that CFOs can gain perspective over the weekend, allowing them to challenge themselves and think about how to improve their lives, careers and companies.
1) CFO as Chief Everything Officer?
The business press has been talking for a long while about how the CFO is becoming more responsible for areas way beyond traditional finance. I continue to see this, but only in cases where the CFO is the trusted right hand to the CEO. So, if you’re a CFO and want to be indispensable to your CEO, focus on continuing to build that trust and the rest will follow. (It is certainly one thing that I work on with the CFOs that I coach).
2) Developing your Leaders
Many CFOs that I speak with are very interested in developing their key people further, and would love to have someone that they have developed eventually take over their role. This HBR article discusses how it is not enough to train them for skills and abilities – you need to give them real experiments and challenges too.
3) The Paranoid CFO?
Kelly Kramer, Cisco’s CFO believes that being a bit paranoid can be healthy. While I question whether CFOs need to advertise that they are paranoid, her focus on investing in innovation, making strategic acquisitions and fighting for digital talent are good areas for CFOs to think about being better at.
4) The path to CFO is filled with political intrigue
Politics is not just for presidential candidates. Politics is a key differentiator between smart people that stay managers and smart people that become business leaders. I continue to see too many finance professionals focus on increasing their technical ability and competency, but avoiding managing relationships. Office politics does not need to be mean, nasty or vile. It does need to be thought through and planned, building alliances, business friendships and most importantly, trust. This article is a worthy reminder.
5) Hiring Right
As CFO, you can only be as good as your finance team allows you to be. The ability to hire right is very important for CFOs, yet, this is a continued challenge that they face. While I am pleased to help CFOs hire their lieutenants, I can’t help every CFO. Here are some tips to keep in mind that will help you hire right.
Some of Samuel’s other CFO stuff this week
CFO Moves – Moves across the USA – week ending April 8, 2016