What is a CFO?
Well, it’s official. I guess Andy Warhol never made the comment about 15 minutes of fame that every person will experience at some point in their lives.
I can still relate to the comment, and I thought of that line when I was reading a new book by value pricing expert, Ron Baker. His new book is Times Up! along with his co-author Paul Dunn.
Ron quoted me on the definition of a CFO. He left out a critical word, so I’m going to use the original text he was provided:
A CFO with strong financial capabilities has the ability to become his or her company’s CEO for one full year without any degradation of sales, cash flow, the culture, or the value of the company. In most cases, those numbers will increase. At the end of one year, they are ready go back to being a CFO because that’s what they love doing.Mark Gandy – Page 175, Times Up!
The CFO I’m describing above is not aspiring to be CEO. The main point is that they know marketing, sales, operations, employee engagement, and all other aspects of the business like the backs of their hands. For varying reasons, they prefer being the person supporting the CEO instead of being the CEO.
Is the bar high? Yes, it’s supposed to be. That’s why that person is a CFO.