What are Top CFO Leadership Qualities & Skills?
Aside from the technical finance acumen a
In dealing with a CEO or senior operating person the ability to recognize the difference between unbridled, unfounded optimism and passion. The wisdom to know that sometimes the 'numbers' don't tell the full story. The courage to stand up to these same people when it is necessary.
Two things: 1) Knowing what is really important to add value to the business and 2) surrounding him/herself with the right team. The
In addition to what's been mentioned, integrity should be high on the list of qualities. The CFO's actions are closely watched both as role model and partner. A lapse in integrity can undo a lot of good work.
Here is a lesson I'm
Proformative Resource: This is a summary of my discussions with different CEOs on what they look for when hiring a CFO.
Ultimately, the requirements of the CFO is driven by the needs of the company, view of CEO/Board as to Finance's role, and existing finance team.
My personal view is that CFOs should be able to keep up with a CEO on understanding the business model, why clients buy, growth strategies, etc.
I think this level of understanding facilitates success. The more you understand the business, the better you can provide relevant financial counsel, organize the team, build processes that work within the business, identify the raw accounting data needed to build business insight and foresee where the business model or practices may run afar from accounting/controls standards.
I reemphasize the view of the CEO. Her/His viewpoint will really drive the role - their willingness to share decision making, level of comfort with finance, appreciation of CFO role, etc. - all influence the scope of the role.
Hope this helps,
"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."
– Dwight Eisenhower
A sense of humor.
In addition to Dana & Cindy's excellent points on soft skills, I prefer leadership by example where ever possible, along with the ability to laugh at the small stuff... not take things too seriously that don't really deserve it.
The ability to "Bridge" relationships to help people and executives actually accomplish their goals. Eliminating Silos is critical.
I just blogged about this and included a link to CT Partners newsletter on CFO Trends.