CFO.com has an article on “What to Do on the Way to CFO“. This encouraged us to come up with our own suggestions but we thought we’d expand our list to include you public accountants as well, so here’s a short list of our key suggestions on “What to Do on the Way to Making CFO/Partner”:
• Develop a personality disorder – Whether it’s OCD, schizophrenia, or histrionic personality disorder, few bean counters make it to the highest levels without a screw coming loose.
• Master the art of small talk – As a CFO or Partner you will likely have to engage with several “little people” in your organization that you are unacquainted with. Small talk is essential to avoid awkwardness in these interactions. Weather, weekend plans, sports are standard topics that will help you avoid the dreaded silence.
Maybe the most important thing is after the jump
&bull Get really passionate about accounting and finance Remember those Grant Thornton commercials that used to run on CNBC? That’s exactly the kind of passion that we’re talking about. If you find it difficult to talk to your spouse, friends, children, and especially co-workers about anything other than financing options for acquisition, key shortcuts in Excel, or how the general public doesn’t seem to appreciate the proposed changes to fair value accounting, then you probably don’t have what it takes to be a partner or CFO.
We realize that this is not an all-inclusive list and welcome your input on what other traits and skills are imperative to achieving the lofty and glamarous heights of a partner or CFO.