What is CFO Coaching?

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CFO Coaching is leadership development for Chief Financial Officers and key leaders on finance teams. Typically, CFOs are great with technical areas of their craft. Muscles that could use work often relate to communication with the Board, or leadership with colleagues. Sometimes it’s the ability to challenge the process: rethink old ways of doing things, to increase quality. Maybe it’s equipping the team to act, or modeling the way more effectively.

Yet few executives actually wake up thinking, “What I need is a coach!” Nope. If you’re like most C-level leaders, you wake up wondering whether you can hit your quarterly numbers. Whether you’re making the kind of impact with your colleagues and in the Boardroom that you desire. Whether you have the right people on your team. How to enhance your relationship with your boss, or improve communication with your private equity operating partners. How to make change happen faster. What your next career move should be. When can you stop working most weekends. And how you might possibly get more than a few hours of sleep.

Bridging the gap between where you are, and where you want to go — so everyone can get more of what they want, which is to be succeeding — is the key to unlocking more influence and effectiveness with colleagues, direct reports, board members and investors.

What Does CFO Coaching Achieve?

CFO coaching speeds up the growth of finance leaders and their teams. It focuses on improving outcomes in key areas that are important to the executive’s current challenges. For example, coaching can help:

  • Manage overwhelming workloads.
  • Improve team performance by ensuring the right people are in the right roles with the right attitudes.

Courageous Conversations and Leadership

Leadership coaching helps CFOs have tough but necessary conversations with their teams and peers about commitment and the need for better results. These “fierce conversations” require more than just simple advice; they need the motivation of a compelling reason, as there are often significant barriers to initiating such discussions.

Overcoming Self-Sabotage

Executive coaching helps CFOs identify and overcome behaviors that hold them back. This growth in leadership skills becomes clear in how they work with their CEO as a strategic partner and collaborate with their COO to produce useful reports and tools that improve revenue and cost management.

Key Goals of a Coaching Framework

A good coaching plan for CFOs usually focuses on one or more of the following goals:

  • Becoming more focused on operations and strategy.
  • Fixing behaviors that hurt performance.
  • Increasing influence with colleagues and the Board.
  • Expanding vision and changing limiting beliefs.
  • Improving team performance and employee engagement.
  • Enhancing leadership presence and communication.
  • Leading change and completing important company projects.
  • Resolving conflicts and having tough conversations to improve results.
  • Managing time better and dealing with overwhelm.
  • Creating a high-performance culture with accountability.
  • Getting support for ideas across the organization.
  • Strengthening relationships with the CEO and private equity partners.

Sustaining Momentum Between Sessions

To get the most out of executive coaching, it is important to keep the momentum going between sessions. One effective method is using app-based technologies, like the Positive Intelligence daily sessions developed by Stanford researcher and CEO coach Shirzad Chamine. CFO coaching often uses advances in brain science, cognitive psychology, and performance psychology to support ongoing development.

About Edith Hamilton

Edith Hamilton, MBA, CPCC, is a certified executive coach who specializes in coaching CFOs and VPs in Finance and Operations, especially recently promoted women in the C-suite. As a former executive in Fortune 500 companies with a background in private equity, Edith has over 25 years of experience in finance, operations, and growth strategies across companies of all sizes, including middle-market and entrepreneurial firms. She is known for accelerating leadership growth through tailored coaching plans that typically deliver a return on investment (ROI) of 4x to 6x.

Edith’s approach to CFO coaching helps finance leaders bridge the gap between their current state and their desired goals, ensuring they can achieve greater success and influence in their roles.

Conclusion

CFO coaching is a valuable tool for helping finance leaders improve their communication, leadership, and strategic skills. By focusing on key areas such as managing workloads, having tough conversations, and building stronger relationships, CFO coaching helps executives overcome challenges and achieve their goals. With the right coaching, CFOs can enhance their influence and effectiveness, leading to better results for their teams and organizations. Edith Hamilton’s experience and tailored approach to coaching make her an excellent resource for CFOs looking to grow and succeed in their roles.