Relationships with Fellow Executives

IN THIS CHAPTER, WE continue the discussion about Chief Financial Officer (CFO) relationships by focusing on the people whom you work with, your fellow executives.

Unlike the relationships you have with the people you work for, the people you work with are your peers. In many companies, executives who report to the CEO have the same level of responsibility—they run one department or group of the company and they report to the CEO on their area of accountability. Some companies may have different levels of executives reporting to executives who report to the CFO. No matter how your company has structured the executive reporting diagram, the functions of a company can be divided into two areas: operating and support.

Operating functions can be understood as areas of the business that deal directly with the corporate objectives. These groups vary based on what the company does, but can include areas such as Sales, Production, Design, and Customer Service. Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, and Information Technology (IT) are examples of functions in a business that are necessary to support business operations. This division of functions between operating and support is a construct of my imagination. I have broken this down for the purposes of simplicity and discussion. In your business, Marketing and Sales might be one function. Is this an operating function or a support function? It doesn't really matter. What matters to the company ...

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