CFO Differentiation

Some interesting comments have been posted to a recent question on Proformative around how to differentiate oneself from other CFOs competing for the same positions.

It reminds me a little bit of the CPA / non-CPA controversy. You know, if you have one it’s critically important; but if you don’t hold that credential, you can do the job equally as well as someone who does.

These comments, though, boiled down to knowledge vs. impacts. How much  I know trumps the impacts I made. All the education in the world doesn’t matter if it remains merely “head knowledge” rather than translating to actions that deliver impacts.

I loved this statement from Andrew Neitlich, author of Guerilla Marketing for a Bullet-proof Career, made at the Career Thought Leaders conference last week …

“C-A-R (Challenge, Action, Result) stories are your license to brag.” 

Yes they are. So brag away and differentiate yourself from the Chief Financial Officers who are stuck in the rut of knowledge, duties, and responsibilities.

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4 Responses to CFO Differentiation

  1. Barrett Peterson says:

    Impact is why one is hired and paid. Knowledge is generally needed to provide impact, but knowledge alone is not enough. The old math proof rule applies: knowledge is necessary but not sufficient.

  2. Cindy,

    The Challenge, Action, Result format forms the heart of some of the behavioral based interviwing techniques in vogue these days, so it doesn’t hurt to think about your activities in that framework…you’ll be ready for anything!

    I am not sure about the CPA factor (disclosure – I do not have one). In my experience the ones who have it might fall a little more towards thinking in GAAP terms about things rather than financial or operational, which might make a difference to some when assessing the “strategic” capabilities.

    Thanks!

    • Cindy Kraft, the CFO-Coach says:

      “The Challenge, Action, Result format forms the heart of some of the behavioral based interviwing techniques in vogue these days, so it doesn’t hurt to think about your activities in that framework…you’ll be ready for anything!”

      Exactly, David. So if you work through creating your C-A-R + SI stories at the front end (while you are creating your marketing documents and marketing message), you really are ready for anything, any time! Except for due diligence on the company, your interview prep is basically available for a mere review to refresh your talking points.

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