I’ve been talking about the necessity of great communication skills in CFOs for a couple of years. (The Secret Weapon, What Employers Want).
Here’s a recent quote from managing partner Nick Evans of Odgers Berndtson in Hong Kong:
“Communication is probably the vital skill now,” said Nick Evans, managing partner at executive search firm, Odgers Berndtson, in Hong Kong, of the skills required by CFOs in modern companies. “CFOs do not operate in darkened rooms anymore crunching the numbers; they are at the forefront of an organisation’s external and internal communication. The best CFOs are comfortable in front of the camera and are able to talk to analysts, investors and the media, explaining what’s going on. To reach the top of large organisations, the CFO needs to have not only the requisite technical and leadership skills but also the charisma, or X factor.” [emphasis added]
Communication skills are paramount to all Chief Financial Officers, both national and international. Both Tatum and Spencer Stuart are quoted as saying just that in my above blog posts.
Evans said something else, though, that bears highlighting …
Adding to the demand are Chinese firms which are also starting to look internationally for senior hires as their cross-border businesses and aspirations grow. “It’s therefore the maturity of the market; as organisations grow, the CFO role becomes increasingly more important and requires specialist skills. [emphasis added]
Subject matter subjects are hot prospects. When you can identify your specialty / positioning, who needs it, and then communicate a clear and compelling message to that audience … you’ve just differentiated yourself from the competition.