All over the world companies and corporations employ Chief Financial Officers (CFO). Although recently you may have heard that the role of the CFO has evolved. The basic responsibilities are still important. Overseeing the company’s finances, investing, creating reports, and analysing financial data all play an important part in success.
You can count on a good CFO to handle all of the above every day. Also, they often participate on an executive level in creating the strategy and managing operations. Yes, good CFOs work a busy schedule and have many important duties, but what about great CFOs?
Do they approach their jobs the same way? How can you tell the difference between good and great? Completely defining the gap would take an entire book; however, you can identify certain key indicators that seem common among the great CFOs.
5 Common indicators of Greatness
- Earning a seat at the executive table
- Thoroughly Understanding their Business
- Great communicators
- Having the confidence to follow their vision
- Wanting to create value is part of their nature
Large organisations are not run by a single leader, but rather by a team of leaders working together. The first thing great CFOs have in common; you will find them at the big table. These men and women add value as one of the groups of top executives who discuss and decide on the issues that steer the ship.
The second common indicator you will recognize is a comprehensive understanding of how an organisation functions. A great CFO is a master at analytics. You can ask any question about any level of the business and receive a well thought out response that proves to you this CFO is the real deal.
For example, all United States presidents have understood the power of communication, but few have earned the title of a great communicator. If CFO is a position you hope for you must learn to listen and talk to people on their terms. You need the ability to mold any message so that it fits the audience. Your goal is to persuade and get people to understand your vision of where the company should go.
All Great CFOs have the confidence to create a strategic vision, persuade others to follow that vision, and lead the charge. Their confidence comes from expert analytical skills. They know what they’re subject. These folks have the best education and trust what they know.
This trait is similar to a writer that must write. It is part of who you are as a person. As a great CFO, you simply have to get out and talk to people. You must find out about their needs. Understanding customer’s needs is how you create value. You as an executive leader must invest the time with customers.
So there you have it. A few characteristics that all great CFOs have in common. You could study CFOs for a lifetime constantly uncovering new information that indicates why some are good, and some are great. Many people wonder if great CFOs are born or made. The evidence so far points to the ability to make good ones, but as it goes with leaders, in general, the great ones are born.
Written by Paul Podbury @ Locomote