Chapter 1 – Guide to CFO Success

Dear Reader,SD_3DBookGraphic_300x300_com

My new book, Guide to CFO Success: Leadership Strategies for Corporate Financial Professionalswas released in the United States and Canada in March.

Thanks to my publisher, John Wiley & Sons, I am able to provide you with the complete first chapter of the book.

Guide to CFO Success was written for the Chief Financial Officer, people on the path to CFO, as well as people who work with the Chief Financial Officer.

This book helps current and aspiring CFOs develop the leadership strategies they need to positively impact their careers and deliver consistently exceptional results to their employing organizations.

To preview more of the book, just follow this link to Amazon.com.

Please note you can purchase Guide to CFO Success wherever books and e-books are sold. To find out where you can buy the book, follow this link.

How you can help make “Guide to CFO Success” a success

Once you have read the book, write a review on Amazon.com

In today’s world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the power of Google can lead this book to be recommended to those who can get the best value from it.

Thank you for your involvement in making a difference to others.

Wishing you continued success,

Samuel

[Podcast] CFO IXN Interview of Samuel Dergel: Guide to CFO Success

Earlier this year, I was interviewed by Chris Herbert from CFO IXN about my new book, Guide to CFO Success.

Here is a copy of the podcast. This post originally appeared here.

Thanks Chris!

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Recently Chris Herbert, interviewed Samuel Dergel, of Stanton Chase International. Samuel Dergel is a Director and Search Consultant and specializes in Executive Search for Chief Financial Officers and Senior Financial Executives.

Samuel has recently written a book titled, Guide to CFO Success, Leadership Strategies for Corporate Financial Professionals and Chris asks him a few questions about the book.

Below you will find a recording of the interview and a corresponding timeline, listing the 9 Questions and their respective timestamps within the interview.

 

Timeline:

00:42  Introduction

01:04  Who did you write the book for?

02:20  What motivated you to write the book?

03:58  What is the definition of a Chief Financial  Officer?

05:54  What makes a CFO successful today and in the future and what are the skills they require?

07:00  What do CFO’s need to do to ensure their future success?

09:10   What is a formal plan and why you need one as a CFO?

10:25  What do you need to do to become a CFO?

11:35  Can a CFO use what is written in your book to stay a CFO?

12:36  Do you need a different CFO depending on the type of company?

New & Improved – Samuel’s CFO Blog has been updated and expanded

Dear readers,

In anticipation of the release of my upcoming book on March 17th, I have upgraded my blog into a more complete website.Time to Upgrade

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you need not worry. I plan to continue blogging and providing insights into the mind of the Chief Financial Officer. If you receive my blog updates by email, you will still continue to do so. (For those who are not getting my blog updates, you can sign up to receive them by email by visiting the blog page and clicking the Sign Me Up button on the right of the page).

The new website includes all those blog pieces you have read before and would like to revisit, in a more modern and easy to read format. The new website is mobile friendly, so you can come back on your tablet or smartphone at the most convenient time for you.

The website now contains information about my book, including where you can buy it and what people have to say about it. It also describes how I help companies hire their next Chief Financial Officer and how I work with CFOs to help build their finance team. The website discusses the work I do in coaching finance executives, and gives details on the speaking and training that I deliver, as well as the dates of my speaking engagements.

You will also find links to my other blogs, including the very popular CFO Moves.

My goal in upgrading my website was to continue to stay relevant to you. If you have any comments, feedback or ideas for blog topics, please do not hesitate to send me an email or comment below.

I am looking forward to contributing to your continued success.

Samuel

25 Quotes from Guide to CFO Success

A number of my followers are excited about the release of my upcoming book, Guide to CFO Success: Leadership Strategies for Corporate Financial Professionals in the United States and Canada on March 31, 2014. (Available in the United Kingdom on April 9, 2014)

While you may have to wait a little longer to get your copy of the book, I extracted quotes from the book I thought might wet your appetite.

If you find you find these quotes relevant and interesting, you can let others know about the book by:

    • Sharing the Slideshare presentation on social media
    • Sharing your favorite quote on social media
    • Recommending the book to someone who would appreciate reading it.

Stay tuned for further updates, including speaking engagements and book signings.

Thank you for your continued support,

Samuel

The Sleepless CFO

Being Chief Financial Officer can be stressful. The responsibility that the CFO bears for the company they work for is not a 9 to 5 job. Most CFOs I have met and spoken with agree that the role takes up most of the hours they are awake, and even some of the hours they should be sleeping.Couple In Bed With Husband Suffering From Insomnia

So what keeps the CFO awake in 2014?

To find out, I reached out to my CFO Advisory Group. My CFO Advisors were instrumental in providing me with relevant and realistic input as I wrote my upcoming book. Guide to CFO Success: Leadership Strategies for Corporate Financial Professionals is published by Wiley & Sons, and will be available at all fine bookstores end of March 2014.

I recently asked my CFO Advisors what top their top 3 concerns that keep them awake at night. After reviewing their responses, here are the top 3 current issues that are keeping CFOs from getting a good night sleep.

#3 – Team

CFOs are worried about their team. Some CFOs are concerned about how to continue to grow and motivate their staff. Others are losing sleep worried about retaining the staff they need or dealing with the aftermath of unforeseen resignations. There are some CFOs who are unsure of how they will succeed in acquiring and developing the new talent they need to make their team even better.

Regardless of the type team based challenges facing the CFO, they know that they can only be successful if their team is strong enough to support them. When the finance team is not giving the CFO what she needs to succeed, this can cause anxiety and sleeplessness for even the most experienced CFO.

#2 – Growth

Growth can be an issue for many CFOs. Or, rather, the lack of growth is the real issue. Most for-profit companies define success as making more money, and for the Chief Money Counter, growth drives corporate financial success. It is the Key Performance Indicators of this growth that informs the CFO if the company will reach their targets or not.

When companies are continually growing their revenue and profit, all is good. Few companies though, do this regularly and consistently. Financial success for most organizations can only come when sales rise and profitability continues an upward trend. For the CFO, who knows they are king when the results are good, and the court jester when the results aren’t, losing sleep over growth is understandable indeed.

#1 – Cashflow

Cash is King. The ultimate responsibility of whether there is enough cash to do what needs to get done rests with the Chief Financial Officer (even when their team does the technical work). CFOs are concerned with cash from all sides, whether they are collections issues, access to capital and lending or how to make decisions about allocating cash in the most effective way.

Cash is, by far, the most common issue that is keeping my CFO Advisors awake at night. What is interesting about this response is that cash was a concern for most of my CFO Advisors, yet they all come from different industries and company sizes. It seems that cash issues are a challenge in most, if not all companies. While the type of cash challenges will certainly change based on the situation facing a company and its industry, most companies, and therefore most CFOs, are anxious and losing sleep over cash.

What is keeping you awake at night?

Samuel’s 2013 Recap + Top Ten Blogs of 2013

2013 was an interesting year for the Chief Financial Officer. I find it fascinating that the office of the CFO continues to receive more attention from the general business press, vendors trying to make inroads in to the C-suite, and from CFOs themselves that are turning to social media to get feedback on issues where they used to feel lonely. I believe that 2014 will continue on these trends, and I have a feeling that there will be a major trend change in 2014 for CFOs (Stay tuned).

2013 was a very interesting year for me. The highlight of my year was putting together my upcoming book, Guide to CFO Success. It was truly a yearlong process. I started putting the proposal together at the beginning of the year, which led to getting my book deal signed with Wiley. I then created and developed my CFO Advisory Group for my book. These 87 CFOs answered a weekly survey over 14 weeks and gave me (and you) input and anecdotes to support CFO success. I found the writing of the book one of the most challenging professional projects I have ever faced, and can say (after the fact) that it was an amazing personal growth experience. As December and 2013 wraps up, the book is in final production.

Click here to get your own holiday card from Samuel!

With Guide to CFO Success taking up a big portion of my time, I was not able to write as many new blog posts in 2013. Many of my top blogs viewed this year were written in previous years. The power of Google drives people who are interested in these topics. The topics and information in some of these popular blogs have been further developed in my upcoming book because of the interest in these CFO subjects. Stay tuned for new blog postings in 2014.

2013 was a very busy year for CFO Moves, my weekly blog covering CFO hires and unhires in the USA, Canada and the UK. I continue to be impressed by the feedback I get from the people following these blogs, and am grateful that people appreciate the work that goes in to preparing them every week.

2014 looks to be shaping up to be a wonderful year for me and my CFOs. The book will be coming out in March. I am scheduled to present at the AICPA CFO Conference in May. I had some very interesting end of year conversations relating to my upcoming book, and as these things develop, I will certainly keep you in the loop.

Wishing you and your family the very best for the holidays, and a prosperous and successful 2014!

Samuel’s Top 10 Blog of 2013

10) Podcast: Becoming a world-class CFO and Finance team: What it takes, why now, and who’s made it?

9) Why do CFOs Leave?

8) 5 Most Popular Names for CFOs (2013 Edition)

7) Road Map to Successful CFO Relationships

6) Different companies need different CFOs

5) Negotiating your CFO Employment Contract

4) CFOs: When interviewing for your next role, make sure you have one of these

3) Presentation Links: The Road to CFO

2) CFOs: Do you want to become a Controller? This CFO did just that.

1) The First 90 Days of a New CFO

If you’d like to see previous year’s top blogs, click here and here.

Do you have any topics that you would like addressed in 2014? Let me know by sending me a message on LinkedIn or commenting below!

Samuel

CFOs: It’s not just about Finance anymore

The Shifting Role of Chief Financial OfficersWhat value does the Chief Financial Officer bring to the company they work for? According to recent research by American Express, CFOs around the globe believe they are:

    • Seeing an increase in influence at their companies, and
    • Have more input than ever on improving their company’s ability to deliver value to customer.

CFOs also believe that they need to improve their skills in many areas, including some that are not thought of as “finance skills” such as:

    • Strategic thinking
    • Internal alliance builder
    • Conflict resolution
    • Global business acumen, and
    • Logistics acumen

It is nice to see that CFOs are more positive and upbeat on the value that they bring to their companies. I am a big believer in the value that a CFO can bring to the company they work for. I am also a big supporter for CFOs developing themselves further to meet the real needs of the people they work for.

The question I have is this: Are CFOs really adding value in their environment over and above what is expected in Finance? Maybe. The actual reality is not the perception that CFOs have of themselves, it is the perception that the people that CFOs report to that is most important.

Perception is reality. The perception of the people that CFOs work for is the reality that really matters.

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(Note to readers: I apologize for my absence on this blog for the past months. While my CFO Moves blog has been delivering every Monday morning like clockwork, I have been spending a significant amount of time recently on my upcoming book, Guide to CFO Success: Leadership Strategies for Corporate Financial Professionals. I am now in the production process with my publisher, John Wiley & Sons, and I’m looking forward to your feedback when the book is released in March 2014. Hopefully I will get to meet you in person as I speak at conferences and events in 2014. If you’d like to have me discuss my book at your local CFO event, ask the organizers to reach out to me to see if I’m available.)

CFOs: IPOs are coming back. Are you ready?

Initial Public Offerings were hot commodities in the early and mid oh-oh’s. Most finance leadership reading this blog remember those days well, and some of you did very well financially because of it.

The recession that occurred towards the end of the last decade put a stop to that IPO train. Companies needing capital for growth had to look elsewhere, and many companies were unable to succeed because this driver of growth dried up.IPO (Initial Public Offering)

For the past few months I have been hearing the rumble of the oncoming IPO train. A number of CFOs I have spoken with in the past months have shared with me that they are being given the strategic responsibility to be ready for when the IPO market comes back. There is a feeling of cautious optimism that this catalyst for economic growth will soon be back.

How can a CFO prepare for the talent challenges to come?

One of the biggest challenges that an uptick in the IPO market will face is that there is a small pool of talented mid-level professionals with relevant and recent IPO experience. The amount of work needed to be IPO ready is significant. When the IPO dam breaks, many companies will be rushing to get their IPO done. If the talent challenges are not planned properly, companies will have to be more reliant on expensive external resources (think audit and law firm rates). Companies who properly plan for their talent needs in advance will be able to go public earlier, which could be very beneficial as well.

Another significant challenge to companies that are currently private is that the cost of being public is expensive. A CFO needs to ensure that they have the leadership and professionals on staff that can deliver the quantity and quality of timely and correct information necessary to be considered a well-run public company. CFOs bear the burden when their finance team is not able to deliver accordingly.

CFOs who have been mandated to prepare for an upcoming IPO by their board need to have a talent plan to ensure they can meet their needs for going public and staying public. This plan for talent acquisition, development and retention is necessary to balance the costs of going public and staying public.

This talent planning business will not be easy. But those that start planning now will be at an advantage.

CFOs, get ready. You could be in for a very bumpy ride on the IPO Express.

5 Most Popular Names for CFOs (2013 Edition)

You may be aware of a blog that I put out weekly called CFO Moves. This blog is the most comprehensive report of CFO Movement across the United States. (We also have CFO Moves Canada and CFO Moves UK). In the past year, CFO Moves announced over 1,000 new CFOs that were hired, not counting those that resigned or were promoted beyond the CFO chair.

Last July we issued our very popular blog with the most popular names of CFOs hired, and this year we decided to do the same. (You can check out our 2012 edition here).

So, if your company hired a new CFO in the past 12 months, there is a good chance your CFO may have on of the following first names.

Men

    1. Michael / Mike
    2. John / Jonathan
    3. David / Dave
    4. James / Jim
    5. Steve / Steven / Stephen

Women

    1. Catherine / Katherine
    2. Susan
    3. Patricia
    4. Jennifer
    5. Christine / Christina

There was only one change in the top 5 for men (Jim replaced Mark) since last year, but for the women, the only one of 2012’s top CFO names that stayed in the top 5 was Christine.

VIDEO: Webinar Presentation – CFO Succession: The Right Way to Grow your Company’s next CFO

On May 23, 2013 I presented this Webinar on Proformative.

To get more information on this presentation, please view this blog.

Links referred to in this presentation:

If you have any questions on CFO Succession, please complete the form below and I will be pleased to get back to you.