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Guide to CFO Success: Leadership Strategies for Corporate Financial Professionals by Samuel Dergel

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CHAPTER TWO

Planning for Career Success

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER CAREER success requires planning. CFOs will agree that for a business to be successful, it needs a well-thought-out and vetted business plan. However, when planning their own business (otherwise known as their career), my experience has shown that few CFOs have a formal business plan of their own.

To gain an understanding of whether CFOs have personal career plans, I asked my CFO advisors whether they had a career plan, and if they did, whether it was formal or informal (see Figure 2.1). While 74 percent of my CFOs said they had a career plan, only 8 percent of them had a formal plan while over 25 percent had no career plan at all.

There are many individual CFOs who are very successful yet have never had a career plan, formal or informal. Why should a current or future CFO develop one?

Many CFOs have been successful not only because they are talented but because they were in the right place at the right time in their careers. This provided them with opportunity and choice, which they were able to make the best of.

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FIGURE 2.1 Career Plan

Perhaps that's called luck. When things go well, people feel that they are in control and can make a difference. When things are not going so well, people may not feel as in control. Do CFOs feel in control of their careers?

More than three-quarters of my CFO respondents felt that ...

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