4 Tips on How to Stand Out as a CFO
Four interim executive tips on how to distinguish yourself from an average CFO as a great CFO.
1. Acquire Wholesome Business Knowledge
Knowing basic accounting and finance principles, such as making income statements is great for getting basic financial jobs at companies. If you want to get a higher position job such as a CFO, professionals in interim executive state that you can’t just be a numbers person.
Instead, you need to go beyond the numbers and understand the full economics of your organization. You need to be able to make business strategies that can guide your whole company, for instance creating a plan that helps cut costs.
2. Public Speaking
We’re not talking about the type of public speaking you do in GE college classes. There are instances where you will speak to a large audience which means you need to be adept in communicating with a multitude of people, such as the board of directors or subordinates.
The main thing you should focus on is how you can simplify complicated financial numbers into simple terms, so people in marketing or human resources can understand. If you can successfully analyze these numbers and then explain it to non-financial people, that separates a CFO from your standard financial analyst.
3. Creating Relationships
A key to being a leader is to have friendly relationships with your peers and people below you. Being able to have a productive conversation with people throughout the organization can help create a team identity. Basically, you try to make friends with people around you in a professional way. This can help to motivate them when you assign projects and tasks. You should also be able to have a healthy relationship with your seniors, such as the CEO or the board to develop trust.
CFO’s are typically the first person on a company who identify and address problems that may occur during a companies life. Since you’re an executive in a company, you may feel like the best thing to do is to tell your subordinates to deal with the issue, but in fact, that is the wrong thing to do.
To show you are a competent leader, you should be the one taking charge in creating ideas on how to solve the issues. Not only does this show to the CEO and board that you are taking responsibility for the problems, but it shows that you are actively trying to deal with it rather than passing it along for someone else to do.
These 4 tips will help to improve your personal brand, which is extremely important when you are in a top position including that of a CFO. This doesn’t mean showing off your financial skills. but rather it means to demonstrate good leadership qualities such as public speaking and strategic planning.