Is Vision Hurting Your Performance?
Last week I attended a presentation on Goddesses by Li Edelkoort of Trend Union and a panel discussion by CFO’s from Estee Lauder, Cognizant, Prudential, and Ancestry. Each event was great on its own. The juxtaposition brought some cool insights.
First, do you take time to step out of your department to see what’s going on in others? Last week I learned about the cutting edge of marketing and the behind the scenes world of finance. I often talk about knowing your contribution to your organization. What better way to explore that than to know how the organization works, soup to nuts. The CFO’s shared how strategic their job is. As the connective tissue of the organization, finance makes key decisions about allocating resources, so they need to be very close to the strategy. What if you had a bird’s eye view when you make decisions? Is what’s good for your department always what’s best for the organization?
The second insight was in the CFOs’ unified response to the question, “Did you have the CFO job in mind at the start of your career?” They all said no. How often do we hear that we need to have a goal (more on that next week). Maybe I’m making this up, but it seems that by knowing what you are good at, you can focus and see opportunities that will leverage your unique abilities. Even the Trend Union presentation, focused on the future, was also more about feeling and experience than specific events.
And finally, the CFO of Ancestry shared that when he was first named CFO, he found some CFO’s he admired and began to emulate them. Pretty quickly, his board pulled him aside and said, “We hired you to be you.” I love that. Leadership really is about being yourself and using a few best practices to enhance what is already there.