Personal growth for CFOs

By in Opinion

The role of the CFO is ever changing. A holistic outlook is needed by CFOs to provide a more relevant service to their company stakeholders. Personal growth within the business environment is necessary, and in a world of significant change, growth is dealing with that change.

CFO skills, in addition to technical, are becoming more interpersonal. It is increasing important to have an absolute belief in the purpose of your role and be able to passionately express it by the way you behave. Personal growth is about dealing with highly pressured and demanding deadlines which leave little time for creativity, and where a bigger difference may be made to the organisation.

CFOs need to set their mind to be proactive, and not just have a “to do list”. It is about building an attitude to making a positive difference to every stakeholder and the way they present their service as a real contribution.

The CFO of the future will become even more important than in the past and will depend on them taking a no limits approach to new things, this means not being restricted by their comfort zones but actively making an effort to move from them.

Businesses have a risk profile and the decision by top management determines how to deal with them. The CFO needs to be involved in the process and not simply on a conservative basis but with a preparedness to look at it from an entrepreneurial point of view and by working with other key senior decision makers to make a conscious commitment to achieve the goals of the organisation and proactively mitigate risks.

Aside from the day to day dealing with business issues, a future CFO will also need to equal balance with the commitment to growing personally. They need to think about partnering their IQ (business intelligence) with their EQ (emotional intelligence) to leverage this through their key relationships and engagement by dealing with people in the right way.

Areas for CFOs to consider for improving personal growth may include:

  • Delivering bad news
  • Dealing with a difficult person
  • Confronting a difficult situation
  • Dealing with pressure
  • Responding with the right choice of words / actions
  • Treat every activity as the most important thing to do

Personal growth is about discovering strengths and applying them with a positive mindset. Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn from the outcomes. Personal growth should form a regular component of your every day.


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