5 Reasons CFOs Are Loathed and 5 Ways They Can Become Loved

By Rich Bond

If you have recently been promoted or hired as your company’s CFO, how can you avoid what I call CFO syndrome – the friction that develops between the CFO and the CEO, other members of the C-Suite, or functional managers?

I’ve met many CEOs who even say they hate their CFOs. Why is that?

Here are 5 of possible reasons:

  1. You’re the bearer of bad news.
  2. You tell people they can’t do what they want to do.
  3. Managers and executives can’t understand what you’re talking about.
  4. They feel you don’t understand the business.
  5. They only see you or hear from you when need their numbers.

So, what are you going to do about it? Particularly if you were just promoted or newly hired?

  1. Determine quickly what the CEO’s expectations are.
  2. Get to know your C-Suite partners and ask them what their problems are and what they would like from you.
  3. Get to know the business you’re in and make sure you understand it.
  4. Learn what is going on in the divisions – on the factory floor, in logistics and distribution, in sales and marketing, and in product development.
  5. Assess your team and see if they can give you the support you need to achieve your goals. If they can’t deliver, consider adding to the team or replacing the ones who are not performing.

If you do these things, you may find that your CEO and others in the company actually like you and your team. And more importantly, you can make them be seen as heroes, as you become their valuable strategic partner.

Over the years we have replaced members of the finance team at numerous companies. Profits subsequently increased by 50% to 100%.

Message me if you’d like to explore how we could work together for our mutual benefit.


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