AS WE BEGIN TO discuss strategies for success as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the best place to start is at the beginning.
Being CFO is the business that you run, not the business you work for. True, you are a critical component of the business you work for, but you are your own business. Your customer is the business you work for; you are compensated by the business you work for and have to deliver value for the business you work for. This requires a plan just as much as the organization that you work for. If you do not have a personal plan, you are planning to fail.
All CFOs will agree with this statement: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Yet, how many senior finance executives have a real plan for success? To answer this question, I asked my CFO advisors whether they had a plan for success at their employer (see Figure 7.1).
I am pleased that almost three-quarters of my respondents had a plan for employment success. What concerns me is that only 23 percent of my CFO advisors had a formal plan.
Why should a CFO have a formal plan as opposed to an informal plan?
From my experience, Great CFOs create a written and formal plan ...