Disagree & Commit

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When I made a move from the East Coast to the Intermountain West, I found myself in what some might call a radically different work environment. Some fans of a more direct approach might call it “honesty vs. dishonesty.”  The same principle but viewed from the more “compassionate” side might call it “heartlessness vs. empathy.” But inside of the change in styles, I was witnessing a real cultural challenge around the vulnerability and honesty to share what you feel as a leader rather than shy away from your own thoughts; sharing your instincts and feelings instead of hiding them for fear of offending.

Now I, for one, believe you can be honest about others’ performances or behaviors, your feelings on a matter that a colleague may feel differently on, or any other concept with which an organization is struggling without offending others. You can be direct, honest and empathetic all at once… and for most of us, with practice, we can do it and have others feel our vulnerability and genuine concern.

Tomasz Tunguz, a venture capitalist at Redpoint, recently wrote about this topic.  He skews toward the direct approach clearly, but has elements of empathy in his writing as well. It’s worth reading his thoughts. One statement he makes is a quote from a well-known supporter of the direct feedback, Jeff Bezos of Amazon:

Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit. “Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.”

Yes, it does require backbone to be direct. However, it also requires empathy to maximize leadership impact. Directness without empathy relies upon a leadership based in fear. But directness paired with empathy is true leadership.


David ChaseManaging Partner at Advanced CFO, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With nearly 20 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $0.5 billion.

http://www.advancedcfo.com

The post Disagree & Commit appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/disagree-commit/

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Microsoft CEO on Empathy & Leadership

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As I sat in a packed room a week ago listening to an almost mythical figure, the CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella, I found myself fully drawn in. Here was a longtime employee of a company long viewed as dominant but perhaps also corporate, bureaucratic and stiff. Yet here was the CEO of that company, emanating warmth and vulnerability. He felt genuinely concerned and empathetic. I was further surprised then when he began speaking about leadership in terms not so much about vision and strategy, but far more interpersonal and empathetic. Little wonder, then, that the company has shifted.

Satya began a book tour after his recent publication of “Hit Refresh,” and made a stop in my town to address a packed room that was celebrating tech leadership. Days later this article appeared, and I was impressed that he remained on-point in his tour. Here is one great line from a nice summary article:

Yet, Nadella admits that showing empathy doesn’t always come easily. It must be consciously cultivated and put into practice “Now, the challenge, though, is you can’t just say—I’ll go to work and turn on my empathy…,” he said. “I’m not even claiming that empathy is innate, it is something that needs to be developed…”

In the past year of my life, I’ve also been on a journey of enlightenment around empathy in leadership. It was truly refreshing to hear another espousing some of the feelings on the subject I’ve felt lately.


David ChaseManaging Partner at Advanced CFO, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With nearly 20 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $0.5 billion.

http://www.advancedcfo.com

The post Microsoft CEO on Empathy & Leadership appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/microsoft-ceo-empathy-leadership/

How to be a CEO…From 525 Interviews

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So, you’ve interviewed 525 interviews CEOs over 10 years?  That gives you street cred.  When I read the NY Times article titled, “How to be a CEO, From a Decade’s Worth of Them,” I was impressed, inspired and informed.  We’re always seeking additional insight into leadership styles, recognizing everyone has their own style.  Mimicking others styles, when they don’t fit your own well, frequently leads to incongruous behaviors and an inability to be genuine.  I was impressed because after the author interviewed 525 CEOs, he discovered three emerging trends that seemed adaptable to just about any interpersonal style.  Those three primary findings are:

  • Be curious
  • Lean into challenges, rather than away
  • Do your best in your current assignment or role

They really can be applied to just about any style or interpersonal characteristic.  Here is an article not only worth reading, but worth bookmarking and coming back to.


David ChaseManaging Partner at Advanced CFO, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With nearly 20 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $0.5 billion.

http://www.advancedcfo.com

The post How to be a CEO…From 525 Interviews appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/ceo-525-interviews/

2018 Startup Audit Survey

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While here at Advanced CFO we’re involved in financial audits on an ongoing basis, we recognize that is unique.  Many CFOs and controllers don’t experience them often, or never have.  In cooperation with our friends at CapShare, we conducted a 2018 Startup Audit Survey to help provide perspective.  Insights include what types of firms are most popular for first time audits, typical costs and timeframes, and how to minimize the inevitable pain of the audit by preparing well.  We think the results are insightful so we just had to share. Read the survey here and find out what questions were answered and gain insight to that fearful first-time audit.

The post 2018 Startup Audit Survey appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/2018-startup-audit-survey/

We’re Here to Guide You Through the Storm

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The stormy, cloudy skies of finances are always daunting at first. They block your view of what lies ahead on the horizon, and offer an unpredictability that can be unsettling – especially when the result could be solid ground with new growth ahead or a sinking ship with all your endeavors and efforts.

As the Captain of Excursions and Opportunities (CEO), it is your duty to your mates to forge the journey ahead, leading you and your voyager to unprecedented success and unimaginable fortunes. But what good is a chest of gold at the end of the journey if your ship lies at the bottom of the ocean with it?

The aggressive current of cash flow can quickly sweep you and your crew into uncharted territory, as dollars and cents are thoughtlessly thrown against debts and finances like waves crashing against an impenetrable cliff. And when the fog sets in, your financial mission can take on new turns, twisting you in all sorts of directions and misguiding you away from your destination. It’s during these clouded moments that judgements can steer you to shore or straight into shallow, rocky territory.

But lo and behold, light pierces through this dark and confusing time, guiding you through the mysterious territory and unclear landscape. It’s this light that can steer your business barge to safety so that it may stay afloat another day. So long as you follow the navigation of the lighthouse, you’ll surely find solid ground again.

Let Advanced CFO be the lighthouse to your weathered journey of success. With our years of combined experience, there is no storm that Advanced CFO hasn’t seen. We understand that while the passage may be unknown to novice businesses, a safe arrival is always the harbor one aims for. Our beacon of knowledge sheds light on the unknown territory ahead of your journey and can guide your crew to the trove of success.


David Chase, Managing Partner at Advanced CFO, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With 17 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $450 million.

http://www.advancedcfo.com

The post We’re Here to Guide You Through the Storm appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/were-here-to-guide-you-through-the-storm/

What’s the Secret to Cash Management? Organize, Organize, Organize

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When it comes to handling your business’ cash flow, it’s hard to know which advice to follow. So many different approaches can muddle the clear picture and vastly downplay the difficulties of gaining control of your finances. But we found some of our favorite pieces of advice on the website Investopedia that’s both easy to understand and easy to implement on your own.

So what’s this great advice? Separate and compartmentalize your finances into three separate cash flow categories: operational, investing and financing. By organizing your cash flow, you ensure that all areas of your business are being taken care of. Here’s a closer look as to what these compartments mean for your business.

Operating Cash Flow – When separating your finances, the first group you should prioritize is your day-to-day operations. Your building lease, electricity, payroll – these need to be taken care of first. They may not seem like very important necessities in the larger picture, but without functioning internet or satisfied employees, your company wouldn’t even be able to get off the ground.

Investing Cash Flow – After you’ve ensured that your lights will stay on and your employees paid, the next level of finances you should be eyeing are your investments. Building up your long-term assets will assure that your business has a future to look forward to.

Financing Cash Flow – Now that you’ve secured your day-to-day bills and finances for the future, you should now begin to split up your remaining cash flow and pay back your creditors. Most organizations are content to know you haven’t forgotten about your debts, so don’t panic if you can’t pay them back in full right away.

After all three channels have been taken care of and you still have money left over, you’ll then be in a rare but achievable state of business: liquid assets. Treat yourself and pay off a debt completely, invest in new and promising stock, or even give your company a bonus as a reward for all their hard work.


David Chase, Managing Partner at Advanced CFO, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With 17 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $450 million.

http://www.advancedcfo.com

The post What’s the Secret to Cash Management? Organize, Organize, Organize appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/whats-secret-cash-management-organize-organize-organize/

Access to Data Is Great, but It’s How You Communicate It That Matters

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Finance gets a well-earned bad wrap sometimes for ‘eye-charts.’ In the article “Access to Data Is Great, but It’s How You Communicate It That Matters“, there is little excuse for presenting information in a way that isn’t Simple, Helpful, Direct, Relevant and New.


Dave Chase is Managing Partner at Advanced CFO.  At Advanced CFO, we provide fractional accounting and financial services. We have served more than 800 clients. They see us as their strategic, outsourced CFO.  We provide CEOs with critical information so they can make key decisions with confidence.  We do this by leveraging our experience and technology to provide actionable information and results.  For more information, click here.

The post Access to Data Is Great, but It’s How You Communicate It That Matters appeared first on Advanced CFO.

from http://advancedcfo.com/access-data-great-communicate-matters/