How Innovative CEOs
Foster Partnerships With Their CFOs
The C-suite dream team
- The CFO Supports the CEO for Better Decision-Making
- The CEO & CFO Relationship Is Critical to Success
That Elusive, Crucial, Necessary “Spark”
It’s natural for entrepreneurs to run their businesses with a double helping of optimism, grit, and tenacity. Innovative founders are fully invested in their abilities to bring a product or idea to market. And they’re often right.
But sometimes, that optimism and grit can lead the business straight into dangerous territory.
“Risk-averse people don’t become entrepreneurs,” said Mark Swanson, Chairman of Vu Technologies and co-founder of a consulting company that advises startups on strategy and raising capital. “Entrepreneurs see things other people don’t, but they also tend to underestimate the effort, cost, and scope of work required to change market dynamics.”
That’s why successful innovative founders surround themselves with a team of people who add to their strengths. And that starts with the CFO.
Between the CEO & CFO Is Critical to Success
Experienced entrepreneurs value having a CFO that can offer an alternative point of view when stakes are high. When the CEO is ready to leap, the CFO makes sure he or she is leaping in the right direction. That means the CFO needs strong convictions and should be able to clearly articulate the reasons for an alternate course of action in terms of business strategy.
CEO & CFO: The All-Star Dream Team
“The goal of the CFO is to counterbalance the tendency of the CEO to do risky things or act without enough information,” said Swanson. “The problem is that this can set up an adversarial relationship because the CFO is driven by numbers and hard facts, while the CEO is driven by optimistic beliefs and ideas. Ideally, the CFO should act as the advisor to make sure the company isn’t moving ahead too fast. To have this type of relationship, you need to have different points of view, but also shared values, trust, and motivations.”
In other words, the CFO says no at strategic times so that they can say yes with confidence when the time is right.
The CEO, on the other hand, must be willing to hear the perspective of the CFO. That requires a level of maturity as well as a good knowledge of people.
The Milk to Your Cookies
The bottom line is that hiring a CFO for a startup isn’t just about financial credentials. It’s also about strategic leadership and the ability to work in tandem with the founder. It’s about the push and pull between vision and execution. And when it all comes together, the company flourishes.
We understand the importance of working in tandem, and we bring you a total package of strategic financial leadership that gets you where you want to go. Whether you’re ready to start, scale, or exit, we’ll do what it takes to make your vision prosper.
Ready to see what having a full team of financial leaders working alongside you can do for your organization?
Call us to start the conversation!
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