Tag Archives | coaching

Invest in Leadership Development

When you invest in leadership development, you are making an investment. It’s something that you pay good money for and expect a return on your investment. But what many leaders don’t realize is that leadership development should be strategic. We once had a coaching participant (CFO) who worked in a family company. Once the CEO retires, the CFO is set to become the CEO. Instead of going into the job blind or get coaching at the wrong time, this individual sought out coaching before he was set to take over the company. So, why invest in leadership development in the first place?

Invest in Leadership Development

Why Invest in Leadership Development

People will always be a good investment. Why? Because without people, you will not be able to accomplish all  of your goals for your company. There’s a phrase… The tone starts at the top or the fish rots from the head down. Whichever phrase you prefer, it hints at the same thing. Success (or failure) is a result of the leadership of a company. If you want a future for your company, then you need to focus on your leadership and management. You can accomplish this in 2 ways – 1) hire good leaders and 2) invest in leadership development for existing company leaders.

A legal entity should stand on its own no matter what changes are made at the top. There should always be a succession plan whereby management should be able to step up to executive roles. Without investing in your team, this will not happen.

The second option rides on the fact that you have already invested in a current employees with their compensation, benefits, etc. Now, it’s time to get them the coaching they need to further increase their value to your company.

 To learn more financial leadership skills, download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs.

Reasons to Invest in Leadership Development

There are several reasons to invest in leadership development including improving profitability, retaining talent, and improving return on investment. Harvard’s research report on The State of Leadership Development discusses how leadership development addresses the “demands for change to address threats from global competition and technology-driven upstarts; the need to engage a multigenerational workforce with a range of work styles; and the imperative to cultivate a new generation of leaders who can meet these needs and thrive.” Simply put, companies need to address competition, culture, work styles, and generational differences to compete on a global scale.

Improve Profitability

If your leaders know how to improve profitability with the tools, resources, and second-hand experience from a leadership development program, then they will become evermore valuable to your firm. Leadership development will coach them how to make strategic decisions, how to lead effectively, and how to find opportunities. All of those benefits have the opportunity to improve profitability.

Day 2 of the Financial Leadership Workshop is all about improve profitability and cash flow. Click here to learn more, then contact us to register for the next series.

Retain Talent

In addition, companies cannot motivate all people by money. In fact, financial gain isn’t the only thing many employees negotiate. The next “gain” many negotiate for is mentorship, training, coaching, and further leadership development. That should tell you something. We all know the cost of turnover is high and can potentially make a dent in profitability. Your company’s goal should be to retain talent for as long as possible.

Improve Return on Investment

Many leadership development programs do not effectively communicate how they are going to improve return on investment. A good CFO or financial leader should be able to increase value 1-2% of sales in profits. For example, if a company has $1mm in sales, then a CFO should be able to increase profitability at least $10-20,000. And it goes up from there! If the investment is greater than 1-2% of sales, then I would advise you to find a different program. How much return can you expect from investing in your leaders? Financial leaders should always be looking at ways of adding value.

Financial Leadership Development

More specifically, your financial leadership needs to be further developed in their leadership skills. In our Financial Leadership Workshop, I enable my students to go beyond the role of CFO/CEO to become the central financial leader in the company. Furthermore, our curriculum empowers you to become both an influence and decision maker in your company.

Any financial leadership development program worth investing in should accomplish a couple things. It should make the shift from numbers cruncher to financial leader. It should also cover how technology changes the role. Obviously, it should address profits and cash flow. There are many other topics that I could list here, but you can read more about what you should be prepared to walk away from a coaching workshop here.

Finding the Right Financial Leadership Development Program

It all starts with who is coaching the program. For example, if a 26-year old with no financial executive experience began coaching financial leadership, then there would be no credibility or experience behind that program. In comparison, if the course is coached by a 28-year financial executive who is seasoned and experienced either in a niche market or a variety of markets, then the only thing you need to look for is the fit. Finding the right financial leadership development program begins with the curriculum. Does it coach on the topics you need to coached up on? If so, then you need to also evaluate the following:

  • Logistics (time, location, schedule, etc.)
  • Cost
  • Benefits
  • The Coach

Right now, registration is open for our Financial Leadership Workshop Gamma Series starting this October. Click here to learn more about our program and contact us to see if it’s the right fit for you.

In the meantime, I also wanted to gift you our 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs. This whitepaper is by far our most popular whitepaper and is just a snippet of what to expect in our Financial Leadership Workshop.

Invest in Leadership Development

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Flash Report Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to manage your company before you prepare your financial statements.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Invest in Leadership Development

1

Business Accelerator

See also:
Dilemma of Financing a Start Up Company
Why do most startups fail?
Financing a Startup

Business Accelerator Definition

The business accelerator definition is a program that includes mentorship, education, and typically a “demo day” where companies are able to pitch their business to the business community. This business community is typically comprised of potential vendors, investors, partners, and customers.

Start ups, early stage companies, or subsidiaries of existing companies participate in business accelerators to accelerate their sales, operations, and financials.

Business accelerators are either publicly or privately funded. Publicly funded accelerators are funded by the government. They typically do not take any equity. But they generally focus on a specific industry – including biotech, fin tech, med tech, and clean tech. Whereas privately funded accelerators are funded by private entities. Because there is a higher risk for the investors, they typically take some equity or provide capital as debt.

Regardless of the type of business accelerator, it’s important to note that they are highly competitive. Application processes are usually extensive as each accelerator needs to protect their reputation – the companies they “pump” out.

As an introvert, business accelerators can seem daunting, but it is great networking place! Click here to download our Networking for Introverts Guide.

Purpose of a Business Accelerator

The purpose of a business accelerator or accelerator programs is to grow young companies by nourishing them with the support, connections, and knowledge they need to be successful. Many times universities will have an accelerator program to monetize the intellectual property created. Likewise, governments will host these programs to fill a gap in their initiatives.

Should You be a Part of a Business Accelerator?

Now that you know what an accelerator can do for you, should you be a part of an accelerator? It all depends on the size of your company, whether you need further mentorship and coaching, and if you are preparing for a round of financing.

Need to Mentorship & Coaching

Many of our clients don’t realize how valuable mentorship and coaching until they become coaching participants in our Financial Leadership Workshop. Mentorship and coaching can help further your network, your product, your process, and your brand. They provide a non-filtered, un-biased support that, while may sometimes be harsh, will help further your company.

Preparation for Financing

If you are preparing for your Series A, seed capital, venture capital, or angel investment, it’s important that you see all your options. As more companies are starting up, you will see the investor pool growing. Just because you know only one Angel investor now does not mean that is your only option. Accelerators help connect the right investor for your company to you.

Business Accelerator vs. Business Incubator

One question we get often is, “what’s the difference between a business accelerator and a business incubator?” A business accelerator can often last anywhere from a couple weeks up to a year. Whereas a business incubator holds companies from a year up to several years. An incubator’s goal is to develop a successful company, so until they are ready to fly, they continue to incubate them.

Need guidance in networking and taking advantage of your business accelerator experience? Download your free Networking for Introverts guide and start building your network today.

Business Accelerator

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Projections Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to get ahead of your cash flow.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Business Accelerator

0

Demand for Talented People: Addressing Employee Turnover

Working with clients over the years, it seems as though we’ve seen every employment trend come then go. Then they come back around again.  When the economy is bad, talented employees will stay in a less-than-desirable situation. Conversely, companies begin to tighten their belts and reduce headcount.  When the economy improves, these folks start looking for greener pastures and the demand for talented people increases. Especially as unemployment levels fall and economic forecasts become more optimistic, many of our clients are finding themselves in this situation.

The Demand for Talented People

A recent Robert Half & Associates report, The Demand for Skilled Talent, discusses what’s driving this demand for talented people.  Following are some of the contributing factors highlighted in the report…

Shortage of Candidates

An 18% increase in job openings from April 2013 to April 2014 has given talented people more opportunities to find the right fit.  Even better news for college-educated employees, job growth for degreed positions is projected to be significantly better than for non-degreed positions.  With the growth in positions requiring a college degree, it’s likely to become even more difficult for companies to fill highly-skilled positions.

Employee Confidence is Building

Voluntary separations are on the rise, up 19% over the last two years. This underscores the fact that employees are more willing to make a move.  With the increase in the demand for college-educated employees also comes higher salaries.  Average starting salaries for professionals are projected to rise 3.7% in 2014.  The promise of a bigger paycheck is motivating many talented professionals to explore their options.

Workers Are More Willing to Quit Their Jobs

As economic conditions improve, employees are more willing to take a risk on new opportunities.  The following chart from the report illustrates the growing number of workers who willingly left their jobs over the past two years.

 

Demand for talented people

 

Retaining Talent

Studies show that it can cost anywhere from 1-5 times the departing worker’s salary to find, hire and train their replacement.  This isn’t even considering the stress on an organization caused by the departure of key employees and the search for and assimilation of their successor. Given the current employment environment and the high cost and stress of replacing departed workers, it’s more important than ever to retain talented employees.

The Right Fit

One way to hang on to key people is to make sure they are the right fit when they are hired.  Too often, companies fill a position out of haste and fail to consider what the right person really looks like.  Click here for an article about hiring a star-quality team.

Temporary Employees

A trend that is becoming more prevalent in today’s companies is the use of temporary and contract labor.  This option is attractive to both employees and employers because both parties get an opportunity to “try before they buy”.  The risk of an employee being out of work when a contract ends is being mitigated. This reason for this is because of increased opportunities for contract assignments available to skilled individuals.

Offer Training or Coaching

Another approach to employee retention is to offer training and coaching for existing employees to help close the skill gap.  Today’s organizations are running leaner than in the past. So opportunities for mentorship within the company are often hard to come by.  Many employees possess the raw talent to be great team members. But they simply lack experience or soft skills that can get them to that next level.

Click here for the full text of the Robert Half & Associates report.

Download our free 5 Guiding Principles For Recruiting a Star-Quality Team to acquire the top talent.

Demand for talented people

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Recruiting Manual Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan recruit the best talent as well as avoid hiring duds.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Demand for talented people

See also:

Is Employee Turnover a Problem
Employee Turnover

0

July 2014 Coaching Workshop

July 2014 Coaching WorkshopThis July 2014 Coaching Workshop marks another round of Strategic CFO Coaching Workshops. 

July 2014 Coaching Workshop

While three days of our four-day July workshop are dedicated to existing students, we are excited to be offering openings for a new class! The new students will participate in this July 2014 Coaching Workshop as their first day in the four-day coaching series, and complete their CFO coaching over the course of a year, one class per quarter.

In this first class, new students will learn tools to improve cash flow and profitability. This enables students to immediately reap the benefits of the coaching as they take these skills back to their organizations.

New students also gain the network of their fellow classmates. This becomes a beneficial resource as a coaching student’s career advances.

Read more about the coaching class here.

July 2014 Coaching Workshop

0

Houston Business Journal CFO of the Year Awards

The Houston Business Journal just announced the finalists for its CFO of the Year award for 2013. The award recognizes the area’s “fearless financial strategists who provide guidance and sound advice to CEOs and directors.”

CFO of the Year Nominations

The HBJ received more than 60 nominations for the prestigious CFO of the Year award. The judges, all experts in the industry, narrowed down the field to 29 finalists in the following categories:

– Small private company (< $75 million)
– Medium private company ($76-$499 million)
– Large private company ($500 million +)
– Small public company (market cap < $2 billion)
– Medium public company (market cap $2.1-$6 billion)
– Large public company (market cap $6.1 billion +)
– Non-profit
– Growth Manager
– Turnaround Specialist
– Community Impact

Coaching Program Alumni Finalist

Among the four finalists in the small private company category are two alumni of our Coaching Program; Leonard Schluns, CFO of Steel Supply LP, and Geri Pacheco, CFO of ArchCon Corporation. Needless to say, we are extremely proud of these guys and hope to see one of them win the HBJ CFO of the Year award for small private companies. Also nominated in the medium private company and growth manager categories is our friend Marilynne Franks, CFO of Blinds.com.

HBJ will announce the winners of each category at the CFO of the Year Awards luncheon at the Hilton Post Oak on Aug. 16.   Click here for the announcement article and a slideshow of the finalists.

To learn more financial leadership skills, download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs.

CFO of the Year

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Flash Report Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to manage your company before your financial statements are prepared.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

CFO of the Year

0

Every Leader Needs a Coach

Every leader needs a coach. This person is someone who has helped you develop your individual skills, knowledge, and ability to better perform your job or given task. But no matter the profession, be it billionaire business owners, world famous athletes to the little league sports player, they are able to pinpoint a particular person who helped and advised them along their journey.

Every Leader Needs a Coach

Check out the following list of great leaders and their Coaches –

1. BILL GATES ( MICROSOFT)

COACH: ED ROBERTS (PC INVENTOR)

 

2. STEVEN JOBS (APPLE, INC)

COACH: ROBERT FRIEDLAND (IVANHOE ENERGY INC. FOUNDER)

 

3. WARREN BUFFET (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY, CEO)

COACH: BEN GRAHAM (FORMER OWNER OF GEICO INSURANCE)

 

4. KEVIN SYSTORM (INSTAGRAM)

COACH: ADAM D’ANGELO (QUORA)

 

5. TIM TEBOW (FAMOUS QUARTERBACK)

COACH: BILL BELICHICK (NEW ENGLAND PATRIOT’S COACH)

 

6. TOM BRADY ( QUARTERBACK NE PATRIOTS)

COACH: GREG HARDEN (ASSOCIATE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR –UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN)

 

7. OPRAH WINFREY

COACH: MAYA ANGELOU

 

8. JAY STEINFIELD (BLINDS.COM CEO, AND STAR OF LAST WEEK’S BLOG ENTRY)

COACH: THE VISTAGE GROUP

 

9. MICHAEL JORDAN

COACH: PHIL JACKSON (FORMER BASKETBALL COACH)

 

10. BARBARA CORCORAN( REAL ESTATE MOGUL)

COACH: DARREN HARDY (SUCCESS MAGAZINE PUBLISHER)

What do CFOs do?

So what’s a CFO to do?  Many of us don’t have the resources to hire a personal coach, so do we have to forego the benefits of having a trusted advisor to guide us?

One solution is to find a coaching program that brings together several like-minded individuals under the guidance of one professional coach.  This approach allows individuals to not only reap the benefits of coaching at a lower cost than one-on-one coaching, but allows for the sharing of ideas among the participants as well.  In a sense, the participants become coaches for each other.

Do you have a personal coach?  If so, is it a one-on-one situation or a group setting?  What benefits have you seen from coaching? If you have been benefitted from coaching, then please leave your comments below.

Furthermore, if you want more information about our Coaching Program, then click here.

If you want to learn more financial leadership skills, then download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs.

every leader needs a coach

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Flash Report Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to manage your company before your financial statements are prepared.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

every leader needs a coach

0

My First Day At Strategic Coach

The Strategic Coach is a program developed by an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a new student this year. We meet once a quarter in Chicago with 30 other entrepreneurs and learn how to spend our time better and create our companies to be all they can be, while finding a balance between personal and work life. I met so many wonderful people and am happy we will spend the next year together growing our businesses.

My First Day At Strategic Coach

I have pages of take-aways from my first class, but a few that I found important to share.

– It is important to get away and unplug to renew your mind, so you can really focus on your business.
– The importance of writing down your dreams and planning each day of your life. What I mean by that is nothing is too big and can not be accomplished without the proper plans. Until an idea comes out of your head and you write it down, it cannot be accomplished.
– Entrepreneurs are truly a different breed. Entrepreneurs are individuals who organize and operate a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so because they believe in their own capabilities.
– Life is so much bigger than work, with proper planning free days will come more often. Yes people… there is such a thing as a free day.
– Surround yourself with different people. A team made up of “Me’s” would spin its wheels.

I am looking forward to going back next quarter and seeing how what I have learned has grown our business, the future ideas that will come of it, and how it will help enrich my personal life. It will be exciting to see all the progress everyone else has made as well.

Take-Away

One of the take-away questions by Dan Sullivan who started the Program was “What is the single focus and activity that will keep you absolutely fascinated and motivated for the rest of your life?

I invite you readers to ask yourself that question, it may change where you focus your time. I know it’s a tough one, I am still pondering it….

One thing I know is that I am happy The Strategic CFO gets to work with Entrepreneurs everyday, it is far different than corporate America.

Thanks for following our blog!!

To learn more financial leadership skills, download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs.

strategic coach

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Flash Report Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to manage your company before your financial statements are prepared.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

strategic coach

1