One of the discussions by the recruiter panel at the CFO Rising conference was around the intangibles of being a Chief Financial Officer. Intangibles … as in presence. It won’t matter how great your finance acumen, skill sets, and deliverables are if you can’t, or don’t, communicate it compellingly. You won’t be able to sell it. If you don’t believe your greatness, no one else will buy it either.
In addition to the solid finance skill set, operational contributions, and perhaps even the CPA and MBA designations, strategic CFOs who desire a seat at the executive table must bring personal presence, charisma, and the ability to inspire confidence. This is NOT an extrovert / introvert issue. It IS about having confidence combined with stellar communication skills.
If you’ve been the catalyst that has led transformative initiatives, how are you talking about the problems you solved along the way?
If you’ve been a game changer that has led to growth, what’s the behind-the-scenes story that looks at the challenges and issues you waded through to deliver the growth?
If candidates can’t articulate these compelling stories with confidence, the stories will fall flat.
Digging deep to uncover a compelling value proposition is hard work. However, as in most things, the hard work inspires confidence and confidence leads to self-belief. When you believe in yourself and your ability to do great things based on a solid record of contribution, you can sell it and companies will buy it.
CFOs typically call me for the tangible … a resume. What they get is the intangible … a clear, compelling, and authentic value proposition that they can say, believe, and sell.