Personal Responsibility & Integrity

Is personal responsibility, and therefore integrity, at worst, dead? Or, at best, heading the way of the dinosaur? Or, is it just me?

I think there’s a cliche that says something like … say what you mean and mean what you say. Is that really too difficult today? Is acting authentically and consistently, within our personal values, a thing of the past? Or, is it something that sounds good in theory but not possible practically?

Take, for example, a recent article in Compliance Week entitled “Wayward CFOs Often Coerced by CEOs.” I’m thrilled to know that CFOs, who are tempted to blur the lines, aren’t necessarily going down the wrong path because they, themselves, have something to gain personally. But how very sad that Finance Leaders would fall on their sword, and thus go against their own personal values of integrity and honesty, for a boss and in order to keep a job.

“The Importance of Character” appeared on the AmEx Open Forum today and this line jumped out at me:

Years ago, I read a line in a book which said: “When in doubt, act like the Chairman would.” Is the “years ago” part telling?

The author goes on to say:

Leadership is a privilege and with it, come certain obligations, one of which is that leaders need to instill trust in people that they will do the right things, regardless of whether or not they are being watched.

Integrity. Personal responsibility.

A new report from the Quarterly Corporate Fraud Index Network produced by The Network and BDO Consulting, and posted by, says reported fraud jumped in the first quarter of 2011 to a near all-time high.

Is this a result of the lack of integrity and personal responsibility?

As a grandmother (ha, you didn’t know I was that old did you?) I wonder … will personal responsibility and integrity be merely remembered as a “fad of the past” by the time my grandchildren are grown? Will they understand the consequences of always shifting the blame toward someone else rather than standing firm for what they know is right and true and which they value, or will that (a lack of personal responsibility and integrity) just be the new societal norm?

What is the legacy we are leaving for future generations? I know. Lots of questions and very little wisdom from this corner of the world today.

SmartPhones, Finance, and CFOs

The Big Fat Finance blog recently had a post about finance and smartphones … and I think his point, bigger picture, is spot on!

I’m speaking at the Career Thought Leaders’ conference on Tuesday on Social Media trends … so I had these stats at the ready.

– 4x as many people have cellphones as personal computers
– 20% of households are now “mobile only”
– Americans send/receive twice as many texts as phone calls
– mobile marketing / advertising revenue is expected to exceed $3B in 2012
– customers read text messages 97% of the time

Additionally, the CEO of Google says mobile marketing is growing faster than “all” their predictions.

While mobile “marketing” is obviously different than “finance functionality” on your smartphone, it’s the trend that is telling. Technology development is moving at breakneck speed … consider the iPad. And then imagine the finance functions that are currently available on your iPad and computer being fully available on your always present smartphone. I believe that day is fast approaching.

Perhaps it’s a way to ensure you really do work 24 hours a day / 7 days a week! Or, that you truly can work from anywhere 24/7.

Can You Be Found by Recruiters?

According to Recruiting Thought Leader Kevin Wheeler, the successful recruiter of today will possess four key skills … the ability to

— find rare talent

— build relationships

— understand technology, and

— sell and close candidates

So here are a few of my questions to you, as the high-value Senior Finance Executives and Chief Financial Officers these recruiters are seeking …

— Can you be found? Easily, or, are you so obscure as to be almost non-existent? “Rare” should be about your talent, not your visibility.

— Do you have recruiters, who specialize in your space, in your network? Do you keep in touch with them on a regular basis? An online Rolodex is very different than a vibrant relationship.

— Are you tech-savvy or moving towards extinction? Your Linked In profile may answer that question.

— Is your marketable value proposition (MVP) crystal clear to you and your target audience to make the close easier for you? What do you have that a client will pay to get because they need it to fix their problems, challenges, issues, or situation?

Finding that next “right” opportunity has never been more challenging, even for top talent. A proactive, rather than a reactive, strategy can give you the edge because the plan is being executed long before you need the job.