Tag Archives | financial leadership

Are You Wearing Too Many Hats?

Do you sometimes feel that the value you bring to your company is worth more than your salary?  In the business world, often expectations exceed compensation, especially with financial leaders. What does the role of a CFO actually look like?

Before we dive deeper, it’s important to ask some questions:

Are you the person that your CEO contacts to “fix the problem”?

Have you been told to figure it out even if you don’t know how to fix it?

Are you responsible for learning the skills to fix that problem?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you may be someone who is “wearing too many hats.”

Wearing Too Many Hats

Often, CFOs will find themselves wearing too many hats due to problems within the company.  The CEO’s solution is usually to generate more volume, but resources don’t generally increase proportionately.  Most of the time, this means that the CFO takes on more responsibilities in response.

This isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes the company depends so heavily on the CFO, that the CFO feels unappreciated or that he/she deserves more money or esteem.

This past Friday, I moderated a panel of 3 financial leaders in various industries to discuss the issue of wearing too many hats. I’ve put together a summary of what issues were raised among our panelists as well as the Houston CPA Society’s Conference attendants.  The discussion was so interesting and enlightening, we’re dedicating the next few blog posts to the highlights of what the panelists shared.

Life Cycle of a CFO

At the heart of this juggling routine is what we call “the life cycle of a CFO“.

too many hats

The notion that CFOs had a “life cycle” came to me through observation over 25+ years of consulting with entrepreneurs and their companies. This cycle is comprised of 4 stages: a problem arises, cleanup occurs, new duties are assigned, and the CFO burns out or looks for greener pastures.

Problem

The life cycle of a CFO begins with a problem within a company. The company has grown beyond the capabilities and skills of the current employees. To solve these problems, the company hires a CFO on the team (either temporarily or permanently).

Clean Up

From there, the CFO cleans up the company’s financial processes and gets the systems up to speed. The problem is fixed – so now what?

Often, the CFO finds himself/herself filling time and justifying their existence once a problem is resolved.

New Job Duties

The CFO will pick up new job duties, help out other departments, etc. It’s only a matter of time until the CFO realizes that his or value is worth more. The real question becomes how to add value as a CFO.

At this point, the CFO is wearing the janitor hat, the insurance agent hat, the HR hat, the banker hat and the CFO hat (and possibly others depending upon how good/willing they are).

You can probably guess what happens next.

Say Bye-Bye!

So the CFO leaves, either for a more challenging position or, if they’re too stressed out with multiple duties, settle for something less. Most companies won’t rush in to fill the void left in their wake, and so the cycle begins anew…

What Hats Do You Wear?

As I mentioned, I recently moderated a panel discussion at the Houston CPA Society’s CFO/Controller Conference. During this session, I asked the panel many questions including what hats they wore within their companies, and how that posed challenges in their work experience.

Determining your Role

One panelist, Derek, mentioned that he had to balance both operational and financial roles in his company. They hired Derek to handle both of these roles. This illustrates how the role of a CFO has evolved over the past 25 years. As the role of a CFO changes, the relationship between the CEO and CFO changes.


Learn more about how to guide your CEO as a trusted advisor by downloading your free guide on How to be a Wingman.


Derek mentioned that the job was particularly difficult because he had no definitive role or expectations. He found it challenging that he didn’t know how the typical day is, what reports were required, or where to find the information to solve these issues.

Determining his daily role within the company become a task in itself. Especially as he stepped into higher levels of financial leadership, there were more moving parts that hadn’t been defined.

Finally, he concluded that delegation was the hardest because he was bogged down in cleanup.  He felt like a janitor; going behind people and literally cleaning up their messes. Delegation is extremely important as a financial leader.  In Derek’s words, “Delegation was important to me to further my role in the company, and to take on multiple other jobs.”

“The Job Man”

The next panelist, John, had a different situation than Derek. John is the CFO of an engineering firm. Rather than working an operational job, John calls himself “The Job Man.” He receives all the jobs that nobody else wants.

John looked at this from a positive standpoint. In order to continue working as a valued asset to the company, you must learn not to say no. In this ideology, there is nothing in your realm that you cannot do. This stance is interesting; not everyone is usually as optimistic.

If there is a problem left unaddressed, it will grow into something uncontrollable. John commented that he prefers that the issue is resolved so he can go on with his business. Take action; address it; knock it out.  John’s thoughts, “I’m the one that gets all the jobs that nobody else wants.  You’ve got to learn not to say no.”

How high can you stack the hats?

Paul, the third panelist, mentioned a great point: in any small to medium sized company, you’re always going to stack hats. The questions is, how high can you stack them before they fall (or your neck snaps under their weight)? 

Upon hiring a CFO, a company interviews to see what you can bring to the table (i.e. the right amount of relationships with banks, the IT skills required to be a financial leader in the company, knowledge of your financials).  You’re sharing everything in your bag of tricks not realizing that they are listening most attentively.  How can you be surprised when they take you up on your special skills?

Despite your amazing skill set, you can’t do it all.  So to keep the hats from crashing down, which hat would you give up?

The Most Important Hat

No matter what hats you wear in your company, the most important hat is wingman to your CEO.  Business owners care more about the value you help them bring to their company and your financial leadership than they do compliance and caution.

To extend the life of a CFO, it crucial for the CEO and CFO to partner together.  As a CFO, you are in the unique position to understand all that is necessary to keep moving the company forward.

Conclusion of Part I

Our panelists highlighted the importance of determining your role, taking action to learn new skills, and focusing your skills within the company.  While you may sometimes feel like you’ll topple over under the weight of all the hats you wear, remember to focus on what’s really important – having your CEO’s back.

Next week, get the panelists take on what millennials bring to the table!

If you’re interested in becoming the trusted advisor your CEO needs, download your free How to be a Wingman guide here.

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Are you a Luddite?

Now that the furor over Brexit has simmered down and some of the excitement has worn off, it’s interesting to note the chatter about the root cause of the decision.  One of the theories put forward most loudly is that those in favor of leaving the EU were heavily represented by workers in the industrial regions of Great Britain and those who voted to stay were mostly comprised of workers in the financial centers of London.  The “stay” faction thrives on access to free trade and globalization while the “leave” group feels they have been harmed due to globalization.

All the uproar of Brexit puts me in mind of another struggle over a very similar issue in Great Britain that occurred over two hundred years ago (albeit with a very different outcome).  The parallels are quite interesting…

financial ludditeThe Luddites

Back in early 19th century, a “battle” broke out between textile workers and the proponents of technology that essentially eliminated these workers’ profession. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, these laborers didn’t have any more work.

The Industrial Revolution’s push to implement new technologies that would lead to the obsolescence of these manual jobs created a region-wide rebellion. Northwestern England faced military force from the rest of England who agreed with industrialization.

This rebellion of the working class laborers gained a folk hero in the form of Ned Ludd.  Ludd allegedly destroyed 2 stocking frames in a fit of rage in the late 1700s, and was nicknamed “the machine destroyer.”

What is a Luddite?

A Luddite, in short, is someone who denies the emergence of technology and refuses to adapt. The term Luddite fell into use in the 1800s as part of the rising tide of discontent among the English working class.  Initially, this term referred to individuals who, like Ned Ludd, were known to smash machines in an attempt to forestall the advance of technology.  Eventually, all who opposed the Industrial Revolution were called Luddites.

This description (Luddite) shares two sides: those who reject technology and those who adapt and utilize technology to their advantage.  Since the early 1800s, many have not used this term widely until the 20th century. The modern Luddite is more likely to be called a “technophobe.”

Luddite to Neo-Luddism

Neo-Luddism is a relatively recent philosophy that opposes many different forms of technology.  You can see elements of Neo-Luddism today in movements such as Brexit.

The EU referendum had two parties: Brexit (Anti-EU labor parties) and Pro-EU Labor parties.  Those for Brexit were generally located in the same northwestern region where the term Luddite was born. Globalization has hurt that region. The advancement of technology is seen as something bad, whereas London (a financial hub) optimizes technology to their benefit.

Neo-Luddism isn’t only a British phenomenon.  Ever heard of the Rust Belt?  It’s the region between New York and the Midwest where steel manufacturing and other forms of manufacturing were once the dominant industry. Because of the decline in industrial demand, the once lively industrial hub is now rusted.  Many of the companies in that area failed to combat off-shoring or outsourcing. They did they because they neglected to adapt to better technologies.

The philosophy of Neo-Luddism can have major financial implications. Regions that were once thriving are now hubs for decay and crime. These formerly great cities struggle to break free of this “Financial Luddism” and reinvent themselves.

Are you a financial luddite?

What is a financial Luddite?  If you’ve read any of our posts, you’ve heard us say (sometimes shout) that the role of a Controller or accountant is becoming automated.  These roles must adapt to new technologies or they will soon go the way of the weaver in the Industrial Revolution.

How often are you implementing new softwares, programs, or technologies that can automate some of your role, while allowing you to focus on more value-added tasks?

In a study published by Accenture in 2014, they found that 43% of C-suite executives believed their sales team adopted new or better technologies. Only 20% of the same group believed that their financial teams were doing the same.

Why is it that?  Over the past 25 years consulting with CFOs, I’ve noticed that financial people tend to be late adopters. They are the people that are now just getting a smart phone. Whereas salesmen got their iPhone 1 early 2007 when it was first launched. While a regular flip phone fulfills its role as a mobile device, the industry now demands that you have a fully functioning computer that can fit in the palm of your hand.

Dr. Christian Campagna, managing director of Accenture Strategy, said that “there is also an emerging role for the CFO in driving and assessing digital technology investments.”  Technology and all things digital have become the backbone upon which we operate. For example, look back 10-20 years. The Internet was not particularly prevalent. Now, if you don’t have your smart device to Google a question, you feel lost in the wilderness. Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic.  You get the gist.  Technology is an asset that should not only embraced, but optimized.

Luddite to Wingman

Technology is not stealing jobs. Rather technology is creating new roles. The advancement of technology still requires people. We haven’t quite reached the iRobot stage where artificial intelligence takes over our role completely…

Begin to transform your thought process from:

“Technology is the worst and is useless

to

“Technology is my best friend and is able to help me perform my job better.”

This transition from thinking like a Luddite to a wingman is imperative to achieve success. CEOs have clearly stated that they want their CFOs or financial leaders to be a wingman. Typically, a CEO has a sales background and are more of the early-adopter personality. A wingman needs to emerge from the Luddite age and turn into someone who adopts new technology.  Learn from the Luddites – you can’t fight the march of progress so, lead, follow, or get out of the way.

How to be a Wingman

Dr. Campagna put it best,

“The finance function has played a vital role in helping companies to overcome the challenges of the past few years, and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is now the Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) go-to partner for driving operational transformation and strategic execution. CFOs have helped companies to impose the discipline over costs, cash and capital that has been necessary for survival, and advised business leaders on how to allocate scarce resources against a highly challenging backdrop. Such influence is even clearer among high-performance businesses. Thus the CFO can be the architect of business value, providing the means, the tools and the acumen to design for and deliver valuable business outcomes.”

Your CEO need a trusted advisor. Download our free guide to start developing your financial leadership skills and become the wingman your CEO wants.

HOW TO BE A WINGMAN

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CFO: Income Producer vs. Overhead

It’s often said, “you don’t need a title to be a leader.” But regardless of titles, it’s important to take note of the difference in roles.

income producerOne of the many negative effects of the recent economic downturn is that we’ve seen many companies fire their CFOs because they view them as overhead. These companies often assign their Controller to the CFO position believing that there is little difference between the roles. Not good for the CFO who has to find a job in a tough economy, but what about the Controller who is about to face a baptism by fire?

Recently, I talked to someone who was promoted to CFO without the experience, tools, and knowledge to succeed in that role. He was frustrated, overwhelmed, and felt like he was failing in the position.

Making the jump from Controller to CFO isn’t and shouldn’t be an overnight process.  Given the predisposition by business owners to view the financial function as a money drain, the CFO’s toughest job is finding ways to add value.  Coming from a compliance-oriented role, the Controller needs time and experience to master this skill.

Income Producer vs. Overhead

What is overhead?

Overhead expenses are general business expenses that facilitate operations of the company, but cannot be directly allocated to the production of the company’s products or the delivery of the company’s services. These overhead expenses do not directly produce net income or improve cash flow.  Your challenge as a financial leader is to find a way to produce profits and improve cash flow so you won’t get lumped into this category.

What is an income producer?

An income producer is an individual who has the ability to drive net income and increase cash flow for a company. Sales revenue and net income are related, but do not mean the same thing.  An income producer can generate net income by producing high sales revenue, lowering overhead expenses, or gaining operational efficiency.  A high net income is achieved not only through sales but also by controlling costs, increasing cash flow and improving the efficiency of assets.

The way a CFO adds value to a company is by being an income producer.

So how do you become an income producer?

As the person in charge of overhead costs, it’s tempting to think that the only impact you can have on profitability is to cut overhead.  Unfortunately, a business requires a certain amount of overhead to maintain profitable growth so you’re limited in how much you can cut.  Once costs are in line, shift your focus to helping the folks in operations and sales get the information they need to make informed decisions in their areas.  You may not be able to do their jobs, but you can give them the tools they need to do their jobs better.

The New Financial Leader

Throughout my early career, I saw myself as someone who helped develop CFOs.  With the technological advances of the past few years, particularly in the financial realm, I’ve come to the realization that there are more and more financial leaders within entrepreneurial companies that don’t have the title “CFO“.  Ernest & Young conducted a survey and found that two-thirds of respondents believed that the title “CFO” was a misrepresentation of that role.  Today’s financial leader might be someone from accounting, operations, or even company management.

The Role of the Financial Leader

The role of the financial leader today is comprised of 4 functions: strategist, general, coach, and diplomat. These functions are characteristics of financial leaders who are income producers.

income producerStrategist

Just like a CEO leads the company, the CFO must act as a wingman and influence the direction the company is heading. It’s not only important, but vital to align the business and the financial strategy to result in profitable growth.

The strategist is the thinker. They define success as improving cash flow and profitability. They measure their success by tracking improvements to EBITDA.

We’ve compiled a free list of 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow that you can download here. Take these improvement strategies into account and choose those that align with your CEO’s goals.

A critical step to improve profitability is to analyze the “3Ps of profitability”:

  1. Procurement – are your costs in line with revenues
  2. Pricing – are you pricing for profit
  3. Productivity – are you getting the most out of your resources

When analyzing your EBITDA, ask the following questions.

  • What does it really represent?
  • Why is it important?
  • Who uses it?

General

When the CFO is wearing the hat of the General, they are likely to have to make some tough calls. The company relies on the General to provide leadership and direction. In particular, the CEO looks to the General to determine the best way to implement the plans to improve profitability and cash flow developed by the CFO in the Strategist role.

Take action on the improvement strategies.

Who relies on the general for leadership? Provide leadership to the CEO and management team and board.

As the financial leader, it’s your duty to make the tough calls. Dan Sullivan, founder of The Strategic Coach, once said, “all progress begins with telling the truth.” Be honest with yourself and others about where you are and where you can realistically go in improving profits and cash flow.

game planCoach

The CFO must also be a Coach. The Coach provides leadership to all stakeholders and puts into play the plans developed by the Strategist that the General feels will be the most likely to lead to success.

All coaches need a playbook. The strategist characteristic of a financial leader develops the plan, the general gets the CEO on board with the plan and the Coach implements the plan with the team. The Coach’s playbook contains many tools to implement these plans such as the flash report, daily cash report, flux analysis, and projections.

Diplomat

Diplomacy is key to financial leadership. Many CFOs don’t realize how many people outside of the company look to them for leadership.

Who relies on your leadership?

The company’s banker relies on the CFO to ensure that the company is in compliance with debt covenants. In addition, the company communicates plans to get back in compliance should problems arise.

Investors rely on the CFO to provide accurate and timely financial information and apprise them of progress towards business goals. Other external stakeholders, including CPA firms, insurance agents, regulatory agencies, etc., also rely on the CFO for leadership.

Oftentimes, the company’s chief investors are your vendors. Vendors look to the CFO to ensure that the company pays its invoices in a timely fashion. This safeguards their source of repayment (assets) should problems arise.

Conclusion

Financial leadership is changing. CFOs of the past relied upon hoards of accountants holed up in a room processing invoices in batches, printing reports on green bar paper and footing the reports with ten-key adding machines. Today’s companies show the “silos” of finance, sales, and operations giving way to an integrated organization. They now have far fewer accountants where transactions are captured live and stored in the cloud.

So how does today’s financial leader cope with these changes? By being a Strategist, a General, a Coach and a Diplomat. Functioning within each of these roles enables the CFO to improve the company’s profitability and cash flow. The CFO also provides leadership to all members of the organization: superiors, subordinates, peers, and external stakeholders. Transform the way you lead your company by becoming an income producer.

Interested in learning a few simple ways you can start improving cash flow today? Click here to download our 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow to start making a big impact with a simple checklist.

income producer

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See Also:

5 Ways a CFO Adds Value

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The Hooter Meter: Main Street’s Economic Indicator

On Thursday, natural gas prices hit a 17-year low. Ouch…

We often talk about how to manage your company and the best way to judge what the economy is doing. One of the simplest (and most often overlooked) things to do is to look beyond what’s right in front of you to the hints the economy has left behind.

Main Street’s Economic Indicator

Confession Time…Hooters_logo_1983-2013.svg

About once a month, I go to Hooters because I genuinely enjoy their wings. I love Hooters! (but don’t tell my wife)

The last time I went, I noticed that the Hooters girls were out in the parking lot with hula hoops rather than inside the restaurant serving.  Were things so bad that they had to pay employees to hula hoop in the parking lot as a marketing plea for people to come and eat at Hooters?

“How’s business?”

As an entrepreneur, I’m always curious about how other people view the economy.  My favorite question to ask people is, “How’s business?”  When I put this question to my waitress, she told me how sales had slumped and the restaurant’s business was slow, hence the hula-hooping waitresses.  Not surprising given the number of layoffs in the energy sector over the past 18 months.

What I learned through observation (strictly in the name of economic research, of course) and talking to the people on the ground was that the economic crisis had made its way into other industries.  Something I had expected, but my new economic indicator, the “Hooter Meter”, confirmed it.

Halliburton just announced 5,000 more layoffs this past week. Many other oil & gas companies are struggling to maintain their economic status in the industry. If I had just chosen to eat my wings and watch the game, then I would have had little indication that restaurants are now struggling.

In management 101, we learned to walk around and talk to employees before making big decisions. You can apply the same technique to the economy.  When visiting clients, I always ask my standard question: “How’s business?” Often, a client will start talking about how the economy is making business rough and how they are beginning to struggle… or I get a shrug and “it’s good” to avoid further discussion.

(Have you read our recent blog post: Mistakes in Troubled Times? Click here to read more about how you might avoid making mistakes within your company.)

Economic Indicator: Monitoring the Economymonitoring the economy

Although economic indicators are important tools that can and should be used, the extent of their effectiveness is limited. As the financial leader of your company, you must be able to walk around outside your business to observe your external environment. How is the economy affecting your community? Your suppliers (upstream and downstream)? Your customers?

(You can see all of the economic indicators provided by the US Census Bureau here.)

The Strategic CFO often coaches and consults with oil & gas companies. Many of Hooters’ customers work in the oil & gas industry.  By observing the affect of the economy on Hooters, I’m better able to prepare my company to be adapting to the changing economy.

Be an Effective Wingman

A CEO needs a financial wingman who can observe the economy and how it affects the company. The goal of this is to be able to react and prepare the company for anything. One of the ways you can achieve this is by doing what entrepreneurs do: keep your eyes and ears open for non-traditional economic indicators.

(NOTE: Want more tips on how you can be a trusted advisor? Check out our whitepaper How to be a Wingman!)

Wikipedia says this:

The wingman’s role is to add an element of mutual support to aerial combat. The presence of a wingman makes the flight both offensively and defensively more capable by increasing firepower and situational awareness, permitting the attack of enemies, and increasing the ability to employ more dynamic tactics.

With fewer professional jobs being available due to the recession, it’s important to provide the best advice to your CEO to prove your value. Financial people are often seen as overhead, but if they are able to provide insight (even if it’s found over Hooters hot wings),  they will be better able to create value.

monitoring the economy

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3

Fail to Succeed

Life is full of moments, with many of those moments being failures. But each failure is an opportunity to learn from those mistakes, leading to success. It seems as we progress further into a technologically-focused society, society expects us not to fail. After all, failure means the lost of money. And nobody can afford that… But the tables have turned, and now you have to fail to succeed.

Being at the front of the flagship, pioneering the company, is a position where one is bound to experience failure. Famous-People-Who-Failed-3

Ken Jones, the director of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston, continually tells his students to fail early and fail often. This is the primary lesson that any entrepreneur or business person should learn and accept.  Success derives from those failures.

more failures = more opportunities to learn = more likely to succeed and succeed well

Think about a foundation of a home.  Early structural engineers likely experienced plenty of failures. A strong foundation is needed to support an entire home, but if it weren’t for extensive testing to discover the perfect “formula” for building a strong foundation, then the home would be set on an unstable and potentially dangerous foundation. Failure is vital to success.

Embrace Failure

thomas edison quoteBy empowering employees through failure, the entire company has the opportunity to see positive growth. To embrace is to accept and support something (failure) willingly and enthusiastically. Each employee in an organization should fully embrace that failure leads to success. Create an atmosphere where it is okay to fail. Give your organization the freedom to fail.

Encourage Failure

Define the ability to encourage failure as the ability to stimulate development. If an organization sees failure as a development process, the training to a) recover after a mistake and b) learn from a mistake will be substantially better than if an organization neglects to see failure as a good thing.wright brothers

In their quest to build the world’s first successful airplane, Orville and Wilbur Wright experienced many “failures”.  The brothers viewed each crashed plane, broken bone, and failed test flight as simply another opportunity to figure out the right combination of variables to get their craft to sustain flight.  In fact, their data collection and analysis (i.e. “failures”) is what set them apart from others in the race to flight and, ultimately, led to their success.  Had they decided to throw in the towel because of their repeated setbacks, the world would have likely had to wait quite a bit longer for the first successful airplane.

Accept Failure

To accept failure is to fully believe that success is a by-product of failure. Mistakes happen.  How you view and recover from mistakes is the key.  If you look at each mistake as a chance to learn something new, then success will follow.

For example, say you didn’t anticipate that the economic slump would last this long.  Profits are down and cash is tight.  You made a mistake in judgment, and now you have to decide the best course to correct and learn from the mistake.  Rather than beating yourself up for not seeing the trouble coming, develop a plan to address the problem.  Find ways you can improve cash flow and act on them now.  Make a plan for how you’re going to survive until things turn around as well as a plan to keep you on track once you’re out of the woods.

Need some ideas on how to improve your cash flow?  Download our free tip sheet 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow.

Fail to Succeed

Malcolm Gladwell explains failure simply:

Human beings sometimes falter under pressure. Pilots crash and divers drown. Under the glare of competition, basketball players cannot find the basket and golfers cannot find the pin. When that happens, we say variously that people have “panicked” or, to use the sports colloquialism, “choked.” But what do those words mean? Both are pejoratives. To choke or panic is considered to be as bad as to quit. But are all forms of failure equal? And what do the forms in which we fail say about who we are and how we think? We live in an age obsessed with success, with documenting the myriad ways by which talented people overcome challenges and obstacles. There is as much to be learned, though, from documenting the myriad ways in which talented people sometimes fail.

fail to succeed

For more about Malcolm Gladwell’s article on “The Art of Failure,” click here.

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Advisory Boards: Just Another Form of Tough Love

bank meeting 123rf 9821832_sI had a call yesterday from a client who was getting ready for his second advisory board meeting.  He wanted to talk to me because he know I had been on several clients’ advisory boards in the past and had even had one for my own company for several years.

His concern was that his last board meeting didn’t go very well.  He laid out his dreams and ambitions to the board and they shot him down.  He wanted to know how he could better prepare for the next meeting.  It reminded me of a similar meeting I had with my board that didn’t go as I planned either.  I had my own dreams and ambitions and my board didn’t like them either.

Why Form An Advisory Board

So why do it?  Why put your hopes and dreams out there only to get beat up, criticized and questioned?

You don’t do it for love.  If you want to be loved, buy a dog.  Don’t form an advisory board.

Advisory Boards: Just Another Form of Tough Love

Most entrepreneurs are surrounded by friends and staff and people that don’t have all the facts but are encouraging nonetheless.  You surround yourself with people that give you positive reinforcement.  Your employees are always agreeable (they have a vested interest, after all).

But what you really need to succeed is some honest criticism.  It’s not your successes that kill you, but your mistakes.

The purpose of advisory boards is to give you that honest feedback.  They should question your actions and help you make better decisions.  Their role is to be skeptical of what you present to them.  You want them to find the flaws in your logic.  No one else will do it.

Working with an advisory board can be a very humbling experience.  You basically show them everything – your financials, your dreams and your shortcomings.  If you want to make it a sales job then don’t do it.

The reason to form and advisory board s to be able to lay it all out there, make yourself vulnerable and to open yourself up to criticism before you take action.  Consequently, the actions you take will be more successful.

Don’t have an advisory board yet but interested in setting one up?  Check out our article Form an Advisory Board for details including a video on how to go about it.

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

Advisory Boards

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Quiz: Are You CFO Material?

Are you CFO material?

Are you CFO material? A CFO requires certain skills, traits, and talents. Take the following quiz to find out if you are CFO material:

If you find out you are CFO material, then consider developing your financial leadership skills and adding tools to your “toolbox”. To learn more financial leadership skills, download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs.

are you cfo material

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?

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are you cfo material

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