How Effective CFOs Are Driving Companies to Success and Profitability

For more than 30 years, there have been articles touting the CFO as someone who “needs to be strategic: a business partner and not just a bean counter.”

Business writers still publish these articles today, but it’s time to stop. CFOs know they need to be strategic, and they know they need to operate the finance function. They don’t need an article to tell them that anymore. They do, however, need clear vision and technology to help them juggle new balls in the finance ecosystem: regulatory changes, artificial intelligence and Blockchain. Finance must add these balls to its mix while still juggling its “traditional” responsibilities of internal controls, compliance and closing the books quickly.

The future of finance is chockablock with new regulations, technologies and business models. The CFO must handle responsibilities beyond the finance function. They must also use strategic skills to transform the organization. Using the old, heavy, rigid ERP offerings will not provide the tools to nimbly break out of the “Old CFO” role.

This eBook provides a guide to the new technologies every CFO needs to succeed as well as a strategic framework for balancing traditional CFO responsibilities with their new, highly strategic ones.

By: Oracle View

 

Source: How Effective CFOs Are Driving Companies to Success and Profitability | Inc.com

10 Steps To Achieve Any Goal – Roger Connors & Tom Smith

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Accountability powers you toward your goals, and these guidelines for unleashing its power will get you over the rainbow to what you want.

They’re all valuable traits, but they pale in comparison to what each of us needs most in the quest to total life success: Personal accountability is No. 1.

Related:  9 Ways to Achieve Your Biggest Goals—Quickly

We first introduced our powerful accountability philosophy to the world over two decades ago in a New York Times best-seller, The Oz Principle. Since then, millions of people have come to know us as “the Oz guys.”

Why Oz? As it turns out, the perfect metaphoric backdrop for our timeless principles is a timeless story, one that we both loved as kids.

Surely you will recall meeting Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, based on L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel. All of the main characters are thrust into despairing circumstances beyond their control. A tornado rips Dorothy from her Kansas farm and hurls her against her will to a strange fantasy world. The Scarecrow lives a stagnant life amid corn and crows because his creator skimped on brains. The Tin Man is rusted in place, unable to act because he lacks the heart to move. And the lovable Cowardly Lion? He lacks courage and nerve, and therefore lives a life well below his potential.

  Don’t let your circumstances define who you are and what you do.

Feeling victimized by shortcomings and circumstances, the characters believe they cannot possibly change things on their own, so they set off on the yellow brick road to the Land of Oz in hopes of finding an all-powerful wizard who will solve all of life’s problems for them.

At the heart of their message and ours lies this one simple principle: Don’t let your circumstances define who you are and what you do.

In other words, don’t place the hope of future success in the hands of some wizard’s wand. Relying on someone or something to save you only brings a sense of victimization that paralyzes your ability to think clearly, creatively and quickly. Instead, take charge of shaping your own circumstances, and good, positive, game-changing things will begin to happen.

Whether you’re looking to make wholesale changes in your life or just want to fine-tune it a little, here are 10 guidelines—highlights from our newest book, The Wisdom of Oz—that will help you unleash the power of personal accountability to take ownership for your actions, decisions, successes and failures.

1) Redefine accountability. 

Does the mere mention of the word accountability make you shudder? The negative (and uninspiring) view of accountability is reinforced in the common dictionary definition: “Subject to having to report, explain or justify; being answerable, responsible.”

Staying true to yourself and your goals should not be drudgery. You must view your accountability as a gift to yourself, a voluntary mindset to ensure success, not something you’re force-feeding yourself even though you hate it.

2) Think as if your life depended on it.

When you shift to a determined, creative mindset, you begin to discover solutions for challenges that you may have believed were out of your control. If your life depended on it, would you come up with a new idea or strategy to save yourself? Absolutely.

The goal you want to achieve or the problem you want to solve probably is not a life-or-death scenario, but many creative solutions come when you put everything on the line. While your life may not be at risk, your happiness and success are.

3) When you can’t control your circumstances, don’t let your circumstances control you. 

On March 22, 2012, the state army of Mali stormed the presidential palace, overthrowing the western African country’s 20-year-old democracy. In the turmoil, Islamic militants took control of two-thirds of the country and crushed the upcoming democratic elections.

It was a tragic moment when the coup happened, says Yeah Samake, mayor of the small town of Ouélessébougou, located approximately 40 miles from the chaos. “I came into my living room and completely collapsed on the couch. My wife came and kicked me. I couldn’t believe it. I told her, ‘I am looking for sympathy here. Why are you kicking me?’ She only said, ‘Get out there and go do something.’ ”

Whether you get off the couch on your own or require a little nudge from somewhere else, the point is to get out there and do something.

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4) You’ve got to want it more than you don’t want it.

 Everything will exact a certain price from you—energy, effort, patience, resources. It’s natural to want the good things in life without paying the price: You want to lose weight but don’t want to exercise or sacrifice your favorite foods. You want a promotion but don’t want to put in the extra hours. Success comes when you hit a tipping point and begin to desire your goal more than you dread the cost of reaching it.

5) Don’t let gravity pull you down. 

Just as massive planets produce gravity—drawing everything toward them—it seems that tough problems and challenging obstacles have enough mass to pull you away from getting what you want. This force gets bigger and stronger as the challenges get larger and tougher. Don’t give in

6) Every breakthrough requires a bold stroke.

Actor Jim Carrey grew up so poor that his family lived in a van after his father lost his job; at one point the Carreys slept in a tent on a relative’s lawn. But Carrey believed in his own future and in the things that he wanted to accomplish in his life.

As the story goes, one night early in Carrey’s struggling comic career, he drove his beat-up Toyota to the Hollywood Hills and, while overlooking Los Angeles, pulled out his checkbook and wrote himself a check for $10 million. He scribbled in the notation line “For acting services rendered” and stuck it in his wallet. In that moment, Carrey cemented his personal resolve. Over the next five years, Carrey’s promise to himself led to worldwide fame. At the peak of his career, his per-film paycheck reached $20 million.

When you discover your own internal power, you see that you have the right, the ability, even the obligation, to create your own best reality.

7) Ask for feedback. 

Soliciting advice and criticism from others creates accountability.

For this to work, you will need to convince the mentor, friend, colleague or significant other whom you’re appealing to that you want to know what he really thinks. The evaluator needs to know that he won’t suffer any blowback if he is totally honest. Feedback is key to overcoming blind spots and achieving better results.

8) Ask yourself, Am I a renter or an owner?

 We care more for the things we own than for the things we rent because we don’t have as much invested in things that are temporary; there’s not as much at stake. Have you ever washed a rental car? Of course not.

When you own something—whether it’s a car, a work assignment or a relationship—you make an investment, usually involving some degree of sacrifice. When you rent, you can walk away without losing anything. If you’re really committed to achieving your goal, go all in.

9) Prepare to move a lot of dirt.

 Finding solutions is just like digging for gold. Have you seen the Discovery Channel reality show Gold Rush? It follows the lives of modern-day miners as they compete against time, one another and nature in hopes of striking it rich. First the miners must remove a top layer of 6 to 12 feet of dirt and rocks before the real mining even starts. Below this seemingly worthless and painful 6 to 12 feet, they hit pay dirt. The more pay dirt the miners process, the more gold they potentially find. In the end, they must move several tons of dirt to find just 1 ounce of gold. It’s hard work, but it yields rich rewards.

Their bottom-line secret to success: Keep digging.

10) Make it happen! 

How do you do that? How do you really make personal accountability work for you? Wouldn’t it be easy if there were just some switch you could flip? An Easy Button you could push? Maybe an app you could use? Well, there really is a flipping magical switch-app-button. It’s called making a choice and acting on it.

You have the choice to fulfill your aspirations or wallow in the blame game and victim cycle.

True success doesn’t come from the outside but from within. There is no wizard. Taking greater personal accountability is the key to succeeding in everything you do.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

Why Finding Your Natural Fit Is The Key To Achieving Ecstasis – Chris Myers

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After reading Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal’s excellent “Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work,” I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into the concept of ecstasis, commonly known as flow.

For those that may not be familiar with the concept of ecstasis, it’s a elusive state of mind where a person become so engrossed in the task at hand that everything else simply melts away. As external distractions are eliminated, people find that their creativity and actions are guided by intuition, rather than rational thought.

Ecstasis is something that many high-performing artists, athletes, and academics draw upon when they’re in the zone, so to speak. It’s a magic state where your consciousness reaches another plane and creativity flows unimpeded.

Ecstasis is a drug in many respects, albeit a natural one that results from the release of various neurochemicals in the brain.

People are going to great lengths to experience ecstasis in their own lives, trying everything from transcendental meditation to microdosing mind-altering drugs.

Of course, for most of us, these extreme measures are neither feasible nor attractive. I believe that there is an important holistic solution that makes finding your flow state easier. I’m talking of course about fit.

In the world of business, poor performance and existential frustration occurs when an individual’s natural skills and proclivities are simply not a fit for the career they chose or the tasks they take on. That’s why I believe that finding the right fit, both in terms of natural skills and interest, is the most important factor when it comes to success.

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This grounded vision of flow was popularized by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the early 1990s. According to Csikszentmihalyi, this toned-down version of ecstasis/flow manifests itself when a person’s natural skills align with the challenges they face in a given situation.

When people operate outside of their flow, problems arise.  For example, if an individual works in a highly challenging environment in which their natural skills are outclassed, they tend to experience terrible anxiety and stress.

Conversely, if an individual’s advanced skills are wasted in an industry that is neither interesting nor challenging, boredom and apathy quickly set in.

Finding your personal flow in the context of work isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are a few key lessons I’ve learned over the years that can help you find your place in the workplace and avoid a life of quiet desperation.

Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses   

I began my career in consulting, because that’s what young business school graduates do. I wanted to do something more creative and entrepreneurial, but I was afraid to take on the risk at the time.

These were tough years for me, because no matter how hard I worked it just didn’t feel right. I tried so hard to conform to the ideal of what a hot shot consultant should be, even though I knew that wasn’t who I was. As a result, I was constantly anxious about my performance relative to my peers and stressed out over everything.

It was only when I took the time to be honest about who I really was that things started to improve. I grew to understand that my natural strengths were found at the intersection of finance and the humanities instead of analytics.

Once I began to see myself as someone with the soul of an artist trapped inside of a finance guy’s body, things started to make sense.  I realized that I’d never be successful or happy as a consultant and that my ideal state of flow would be found elsewhere.

This ultimately sent me down the path of entrepreneurship and ultimately led to the founding of my company, BodeTree.

Don’t let yourself get too comfortable

Now, the thing about financial consulting is that it generally pays pretty well. The personal comfort that came along with the job that I hated was the one thing that gave me pause when it came time to quit. I found that I could put up with a lot of short-term pain as long as I was well compensated.

Of course, this was an utterly miserable way to live my life, but I’d be lying if I said that money wasn’t a consideration. Ultimately, my desire to make a dent in the universe outweighed my desire for a comfortable lifestyle, but that isn’t the case for everyone.

For too many, the allure of comfort and the fear of financial hardship prevents them from ever making a positive change. My advice is to avoid getting too comfortable in a career that you know isn’t right for you.

Once you pass the metaphorical point of no return, you’ve committed yourself to a path that is both stifling and unfulfilling.

Learn to take risks

I’ll never forget the day I told my wife that I wanted to quit my well-paying job and start a company called BodeTree. She was months away from giving birth to our first child and here I was, proposing to eliminate any semblance of stability we had in our lives.

Still, despite the risks we both knew it was the right thing to do, and she gave me her full support. I was lucky in that when the opportunity for me to find my flow presented itself, I had the ability and support to take advantage of it.

Many people aren’t able to make that sort of a jump, and as a result, miss out on opportunities when they present themselves.

Fit leads to flow, and flow leads to ecstasis

Life is messy, difficult, and complicated. Nothing ever comes easy, and timing is rarely on your side. If you find yourself waiting for the perfect time or circumstances to make a change, you’ll never be able to move forward.

You have to get comfortable taking risks, both big and small if you want to find your perfect state of flow. This can be both scary and difficult, but risk and reward go hand in hand.

By putting yourself in the right mindset and aligning your skills with your endeavors, you make it easier to achieve the elusive flow state. It may not be as sexy or exciting as mastering transcendental meditation or experimenting with mind-altering drugs, but it just might prove to be a more sustainable path to achieving ecstasis.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

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