The Passionate CFO

You are forgiven if you thought this blog was about Valentines Day. And no, Valentines Day is not this week, so you can breathe a little easier.

So what am I talking about?

My friend, Cindy Kraft, wrote a blog yesterday about Lessons in Branding from Tim Tebow. Her points are very valid. There is certainly a lot for a CFO to learn from branding from Tebow.

She did get me thinking though. From my perspective, the one thing that differentiates Tebow from other players is Passion.

I speak with a lot of Chief Financial Officers. When I tell people that I speak to CFOs for a living, I often get an eyeroll, a sigh, and a look on their face that says “Oh, that must be boring”.

While some CFOs are bland, the majority of them are not. In many cases, knowing how to speak to them and get them interested and excited, I am able to get them to break through their shell and be themselves for me.

The CFOs that stand out are the ones that love what they do, love the company they work for, love the people they work with and couldn’t think of any other job they could have in the world that could be better then what they are doing right now.

When the passion is gone from their employment, they look for (and find) another one.

These CFOs love their children, their spouse, and their job.

And it shows.

Comments

  1. says

    Sam,

    Interesting, I just did a Treasury Cafe post based on some innovation research by Booz and McKinsey, passion is one of the elements that sets up new and creative thinking! CFO’s can innovate too!

  2. says

    Thanks for the mention, Samuel.

    As we discussed on my blog post … I believe one’s passion naturally flows from being authentically branded. When you are doing what you love, love what you’re doing, in a place that is a great fit for you … you’ve most likely found your ideal brand fit.

  3. Derick Sibley says

    A true passion for ones job, or anything else in our lives is what keeps people going. When we have a passion for our jobs we will not only work hard at our jobs, but also look for ways to make our jobs and company better. Very good comparison between football and the business world.

  4. says

    Most European Union working people these days are full of gloom; the financial crisis has taken its toll and the fear of job losses is widely evident. It is also a fact that you simply do not see CFOs smiling any more. As further and further cost cutting exercises are not proving to save enough losses, we (CFOs) are trapped in a lose-lose scenario where the more you cut costs, the more you find yourself (the company) in the red….
    It is high time we focused on increasing margins, and at last put a smile on people’s faces :)
    CFOs need to differentiate themselves from the pessimistic views of their surroundings by putting in more energy and focus, positive thinking, actions and suggestions that should help increase morale. Yes, we should be more passionate about making the extra mile, about change management, about getting rid of ways and methods that do not bring the desired results any more. We should refocus; re-establish communication lines to awaken sales and operational managers, but especially the CEOs who have been at extreme unease due to reduced profitabilities and increased losses.
    We should do what we do best, get back into that WIN-WIN scenario, and ensure our companies get rid of the defensive mood and re-enter the offensive mood, because the best proven way to defend is to regain offence!

    • says

      Stavros

      Thank you for the long and thoughtful comment.

      From the sounds of it, it looks like you know exactly what to do to make your company (and your career) succeed in what looks like gloomy times ahead in Europe.

      Let me know if you need some smiles from this side of the Atlantic,

      Samuel

      • says

        Well, a very valid question. My guess would be that increase in self-awareness can be very helpful here.

        In my case coaching had a big added value. It helped me to better understand myself, decrease stress and fear and take more pleasure from what I am doing.

  5. says

    Hi Sam –

    You CFO blog is very interesting since it covers such a wide range of topics. I especially agree with the passion part. I talk about it in my blog.

    I would greatly appreciate you taking a look at my CFO blog entitled “The Common Cents CFO”. It is located at http://www.stufleischer.com.

    Hopefully, you will find my four part article entitled “The CFO’s Four-Pronged Approach to Great Corporate Profits” of interest.

    Regards,

    Stu Fleischer

    • says

      Stu

      I had a look at your blog. Congratulations on putting one together and making the effort to keep on doing it. I know how much hard work it is, and I commend you for your content and your commitment. I know it will pay big dividends to you.

      Thanks for your comments and feedback. They certainly are appreciated.

      Best,

      Samuel

  6. says

    Just discovered your blog and although I am no CFO, I quite like it.
    As you are obviously an avid blogger, could you write a few words on how you see CFO’s avoiding the typical pitfalls for their passion? I am thinking about typical things like company politics, pressure from investors, etc. How do they keep that passion alive?

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