Deciding whether you need a new finance leader isn’t easy … often you just want to quietly see who is out there and not actually take the leap and significant time-sapping effort/expense of replacing your incumbent – that is good leadership, scanning the horizon for a potentially better option. Nothing wrong with that.
Your CFO is often the #2 in your organisation – front and centre of key decisions, answering the key questions before you’ve asked them, turning the oceans of data and MI into actionable insight.
You don’t need to be a technical accountant to know if your CFO is driving the finance agenda forward, you just want to be assured that they understand every nook and cranny of the business, drive the growth agenda and address challenges before they turn into a crisis.
Many CFOs thrive on adrenaline, not knowing what issues will emerge this week but jumping on urgent tasks in a wide-eyed state of readiness. The very best CFOs skilfully scan the horizon of “incoming”, plan and mobilise their teams on important issues before they become urgent. There is a calmness and ruthless efficiency underpinning their work; things just get done and tasks dissipate away as opposed to the game of “whack-a-mole” that some play.
CFO’s are expensive. It is orders-of-magnitude more expensive if you don’t have a best fit CFO. The hardest part is often taking that first step – knowing who to trust to start a dialogue. Do you delegate to your HRD to reach out to your go-to agency to start a search – will the agency really understand your issues, will they “get” what you are reaching for. Will they prioritise your search ensuring that any conversations with potential candidates are carefully orchestrated to ensure incumbents are not alerted to potentially being replaced. After all, you may be merely “window shopping” at this stage – the future of your business comes first.
Oftentimes, a CEO will reach out to us for a confidential discussion on what aspects of their incumbent are concerning them – sometimes their nagging doubt leads to an active search. More often than not, they just want to start a dialogue and build a trusted relationship just in case they have a need one day – that’s a really positive step and a strong indicator of a client/CEO that we would choose to support and partner over the long term.