A few weeks ago, I started another series of our Financial Leadership Workshop, and in Day 1, we discuss that paradigm shift that needs to take place to go from accounting to financial leadership. So, I compiled all the quotes from all of my curriculum that make me think… How can I lead my company differently? What can I do to better serve my clients? Take a look at following quotes every financial leader needs to read. Leave a comment below to suggest any other quotes and/or your take on the quotes I listed.
Quotes Every Financial Leader Needs to Read
While each of the following quotes is focused on a specific need or issue, I believe that every CFO, CEO, and financial leader needs to explore what each of these quotes mean.
Having a Plan
So often, entrepreneurs do not have a plan. We hear horror stories of executives telling their teams that there is no plan. Having no plan is a plan and it usually ends in disaster. Or maybe you have a plan but it is in your head and not documented. You must get your plan down in writing. Do you remember Captain Sullenberger landing the plane in the Hudson River on that chilly winter day? Here’s his take on having a plan.
“During every minute of the flight, I was confident I can solve the next problem. My first officer, Jeff Skiles, and I did what airline pilots do: we followed our training, and our philosophy of life. We never gave up. Having a plan enabled us to keep our hope alive. There’s always a way out of even the toughest spot. You can survive.” – Capt. Chesley B. Sullenberger III
Role of a Leader
Do you know the role of a leader? Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State, said the following about a leader’s role.
“The role of a leader is to inspire people to a common goal and enable them to get there.”– Condoleezza Rice
Are you financially leading your company (or trying to)? We are starting a new series of our Financial Leadership Workshop this March 2019. Click the button below to learn more about what this coaching workshop is all about.
[button link=”https://strategiccfo.com/financial-leadership-program/?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=button%20cta” bg_color=”#eb6500″]Learn More About the Financial Leadership Workshop[/button]
“The 8th Habit is to find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.” – Stephen R. Covey
“The iron rule of nature is: you get what you reward for. If you want ants to come, you put sugar on the floor”– Charles Mundger
The Rest is Just Details
Our very own founder, Jim Wilkinson, had this saying that business is pretty simple… It’s all about sales! When a financial leader is able to shift their mindset from accounting to supporting sales and enabling sales to grow, then you become a whole lot more effective. Read more about this phrase here.
“It’s all about sales; the rest is just details!” – Jim Wilkinson, founder of The Strategic CFO
There are several budgeting quotes every financial leader needs to read.
“A well-constructed numerical estimate is worth a thousand words.” – Charles Schultze, former Director of the US Bureau of Budget
“Budgeting is the bane of corporate America.” – Jack Welch, former CEO of GE
“Without a yardstick, there is no measurement And without measurement, there is no control.” – Pravin Shah
The Hedgehog concept – created by Jim Collins – is when companies identify what they do best and focus on that. For example, a hedgehog knows how to defend itself. That’s what it does best! It does not try to expend time or energy hiding or fighting.
“The purpose of budgeting in a good-to-great company is not to decide how much each activity gets, but to decide which areas fit the hedgehog concept and should be full funded and which should not be funded at all.” – Jim Collins
“The only things that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency.” – Eugene McCarthy, US Senator
Equip yourself with multiple tools, and more specifically, the right tool.
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail!” – Abraham Maslow
My Own Quotes
Here are two of my own quotes I use with entrepreneurs and coaching participants over the years:
“I do not believe in sacred cows.”
“Working capital is like your diet; if you do not manage it, then it can kill you.”
What other quotes have changed the way you lead your company? Leave them in the comments below. Also, click to access our 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs – this is everything CEOs have told us what they want from their CFO.