Even the best CFOs occasionally need a pep talk.
I need mine after a CEO makes a decision or no decision on a matter where we have talked at length regarding the issue(s) at hand.
I know my strengths. I’m rock solid at identifying consequences for nearly every possible position a CEO can take. That’s why frustration sinks in when the CEO chooses Plan B or even Plan C. Those decisions sting. Please tell me I’m not alone (I can’t hear you).
The Sound Approach To Handling CEO (Big) Mistakes
I will not say their names, but two people I admire share a consistent message with me–perhaps they went to the same seminar on how to give great pep talks to frustrated CFOs.
Their message to me is, “Mark, you make the incisions, and the client makes the decisions.”
So pure, so true, so profound.
I now take this message to heart. No, it’s now indelibly inscribed in my mind. And it works.
We Need to Remember Who the Hero Is
As the CFO, we’re not the hero. We’re just the guide.
Guides don’t do the heavy lifting. Guides provide clear calls to action to CEOs by showing and possibly quantifying the consequences of each decision made.
Then it’s up to the CEO to decide even if he or she picks the wrong door.
And do you know what the new Mark does when the CEO chooses the wrong door? He chills out because he’s just the incision maker, not the decision maker.
Final Pearls of Wisdom–Just Let Go
My final words of advice if you are like me when CEOs make poor decisions–let go.
I know you love your clients and your work, but quit taking it personally when all of your calls are not made. A CEO audible is good periodically. Plus, who says we’re perfect to begin with?
Let go. I am.