What Character Traits a CEO wants from their CFO Part 2

July 06, 2015 By Dave Chase

This is part 2 of what I’ve learned recently from many of our top CEO clients.  Part 1 let us in on the secret of what output a CEO expects from his or her CFO.  Part 2 turns to to characteristics that the CEO expects their CFO to have.

CFO Traits

I’m glad to hear that Honesty place high enough above all others that it is clearly the winner.  Headlines these past few years have led me to wonder how much people really value this timeless trait.

I interpreted from their #2 ranked trait, Attention to Details, that they didn’t necessarily want us buried in the details, but rather, they were saying, “Please don’t miss something important because you’re flying too high.”

Third most valued trait was being a Strategic Thinker.  It wasn’t long ago that few people expected the CFO to think about much more than the numbers.  This has very clearly changed.  The CFO must contemplate what the numbers mean and relate them to the ongoing operations and strategy of the organization as much as they focus on their accuracy.

Our request to our CEO clients was a forced ranking.  Don’t make the mistake of believing that the remaining 9 traits are low in importance.  On the contrary, they cannot be neglected either.  Consciously devoting a little time to development in all these key areas will make you a stronger CFO.

David Chase has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With 14 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $450 million.


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