How CFO Leadership Coaching Helps Give Current and Future CFOs an Edge

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The CFO role is incredibly important in any organization, as Chief Financial Officers are responsible for critical decisions regarding the company’s financial health. It is, therefore, essential that current and future CFOs have the skills and knowledge to succeed in this challenging role. CFO coaching is a valuable tool that provides finance leaders with the tools and strategies they need to approach their job with confidence and effectiveness. This can help them to make the best decisions for the company.

CFO Coaching

CFO Coaching is a unique program for finance executives that provides individualized training, mentoring, and development. This is designed to equip CFOs with the skills to make sound decisions in today’s rapidly-changing business environment. Through one-on-one coaching sessions and a cohort of other C-level executives, CFO Coaching and mentoring help each leader identify areas where he or she can improve performance in strategic and tactical ways.  

It’s vital in today’s day and age.

The coaching also results in CFOs becoming more confident decision-makers who can effectively manage budgets, lead teams of financial experts, understand the complexities of  changing industry landscapes, and anticipate external economic trends. In addition, CFO Coaching helps participants navigate the often-challenging interpersonal dynamics of leading a team in an organization, especially if the company has private equity backing.

Benefits for Current CFOs

The role of a Chief Financial Officer is ever-evolving. CFOs manage increasingly complex financial and operational issues beyond what was common even just 10 years ago. To help them rise to these new challenges, many current CFOs turn to executive coaching for finance leaders who model how to hone their leadership skills and strengthen their performance in the boardroom.

Executive coaching goes beyond traditional mentorship

This enables CFOs to develop key competencies such as strategic decision-making, communication skills, and problem-solving. An executive coach provides tailored advice that meets the individual needs of each leader, while providing insights into personal development opportunities within their organization’s culture. Through this guidance, current CFOs can discover how best to apply their financial expertise to achieve business objectives effectively and efficiently.

Benefits for Future CFOs

For aspiring CFOs, executive coaching is becoming increasingly de rigeur. Often a fast-growing company identifies a finance leader, often at a Senior Director or Vice President / SVP of Finance level currently in whom the CEO and other leaders see great potential – partly because the individual knows the business so well and has built a rapport over the years with the senior leadership team.  They recognize that specific CFO mentoring and coaching is an essential element in enabling the present leader to expand their vision, skills, executive presence, and investor-facing capabilities. One CEO recently remarked, “CFO coaching has been so valuable for Christine, I would have paid for it myself, out of pocket. 

Unique opportunities

Executive coaching for finance leaders provides a unique opportunity to gain insight as well as direct skills for becoming a successful CFO. An experienced executive coach provides useful, practical strategies and points leaders to resources many are unaware of on their own, such as at the CFO Leadership Council or CFO University, as well as specific tools for speeding up the close process, creating rolling quarterly forecasts, developing more sophisticated communications strategies, and handling negotiations with stakeholders. 

The process generally also includes mentoring sessions in which another currently-practicing CFO in the specific industry works closely with the individual CFO candidate to help them with industry-specific KPIs (key performance indicators) specific to their company. This ensures each future leader progresses quickly toward their next career milestone.

Best Practices for Effective Coaching

Finding an effective executive coach for CFOs and other finance leaders is essential in order to maximize their personal and professional growth. In today’s fast-changing business environment, the right executive coaching methods can provide 4x-6x ROI (return on investment) when it comes to developing a successful executive team. Here are some of the best practices for effective coaching of finance leaders.

  • First, a good executive coach should have deep knowledge in the area of finance and related subjects, especially FP&A (financial planning & analysis), private equity markets, Board presentations
  • Second, coaches should be well-versed in financial models that help executives make informed decisions during challenging times.
  • Third, they should also understand how different financial instruments work together to create value for businesses over time.
  • Lastly, coaches need to establish a trusting relationship with their clients and the sponsoring CEO, CHRO, and others involved in the engagement by communicating openly and honestly about expectations and goals.

CFO Coaching Turns Challenges into Opportunities

As the role of the CFO continues to evolve, CFOs need to have a wide range of skills and knowledge to remain competitive. Executive coaching for finance leaders can provide current and future CFOs with an invaluable edge over the businesses that compete with theirs when it comes to navigating an ever-changing landscape. An executive coach for CFOs will:

  • Focus on helping executives become more effective leaders.
  • Better understand their organization’s strategy.
  • Strengthen their communication and presentation skills.
  • Identify and help them identify new growth opportunities.

Deep insight into strengths and weaknesses

CFO coaching and mentoring provides current and future financial leaders with specific tools to lead teams, for example, based on Patrick Lencioni’s model, “Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” “The Advantage,” and “Death by Meeting.”  Hands-on coaching helps leaders increase trust among their team members, create a healthy approach to resolving inevitable conflicts, generate commitment, create accountability, and get results.  

The team members themselves are then better able to develop relationships across departments, drive digital transformation initiatives, and find solutions that maximize value creation for their company.  A good CFO sees that the coaching is tuned to their respective deliverables and that team training is leveraged to drive results. 

NEXT New Growth is ranked among the top CFO Coaching Organizations in the U.S. and Canada, according to Google

There are hundreds of executive coaching programs available.  What makes NEXT New Growth unique is the nice focus on working with CFOs (and occasionally COOs) to target key strategic and tactical skills required by private equity investors and boards – including leadership, communication, team building, executive presence, emotional intelligence, career progression, and personal branding.  Executive coaching for CFOs enables finance leaders to intercept the ways in which they self-sabotage and replace those behaviors with creativity, empathy, and laser-focused action that specifically address their business challenges.

Conclusion: CFO Leadership Coaching Advantage

As the role of a CFO has become even more complex and demanding, especially as the rate of change has accelerated in the past 5 years, executive coaching for Directors of Finance, Controllers, VPs of Finance and is being increasingly sponsored by both public and private-equity companies to develop the skill-sets needed by this select group to succeed in their specific niche. 

Private equity CFO coaching, in particular, can provide unique advantages tailored specifically toward the exit strategy of a portfolio company.  Through an experienced finance-specific coach and mentor, established and up-and-coming finance execs have access to resources and guidance designed with their individual goals in mind. A strong coach identifies areas for improvement and co-creates the best strategies or tactics for achieving targets along with the CFO and CEO.

Additionally, a CFO coach brings a fresh perspective which can be essential in helping a CFO who is in the trenches get out of it, broaden their vision, zoom in on what’s most important now and the next 18 months, and anticipate potential challenges and opportunities more effectively.  In short, executive coaching for finance leaders produces measurable results with a long-lasting impact.