Your Network

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As Seen in CFO Studio Magazine Q4 2016 Issue

 

The deeper value of casual business acquaintances

 

One day, even if it’s long into the future, you may find yourself in transition, and you may need to leverage your network of contacts for a new role or leads on a new role. As a senior finance executive, the time in transition can go up as your compensation increases. While the overall job market is strong, there is a trend towards outsourcing, moving roles to lower cost centers, and using technology to perform what were once core finance functions. In short, what’s available out there can become an increasingly mixed bag.

It’s What You Do

You’re a finance professional. Your value is being able to provide business insight from both the data you analyze and from the internal company relationships you build in order to tell a business story; you use your insight and relationship-building ability every day in order to partner with your CEO.

But your real CEO and partner is yourself and your family. There is a line from Nicholas Cage playing Jack Campbell in The Family Man: “Business is business. Wall Street, Main Street. It’s all a bunch of people getting up in the morning, trying to figure out how they’re going to send their kids to college. It’s just people.” And it’s the truth. Everyone you meet is essentially trying to do the same thing. So everyone has a responsibility to manage their career for themselves and for their families. How do we do that? We make sure that we are just as proactive in building out our network of contacts as we are in being proactive about supporting our current CEO. We make sure that we use that same ability to be insightful about business and to build relationships internally in order to construct relationships with our personal network of contacts.

We’ve Only Just Met

So the question becomes, do I reach out only to people I have a deep friendship with or whom I feel an immediate connection to?… or do I become consistent in reaching out to people whom I would consider casual business acquaintances?

The best thing you can do for yourself is to be proactive in reaching out to the people you meet (even if you do consider them casual business acquaintances) with an eye towards initially speaking with them (if you have just met them) and then to catch up periodically.

If and when the day comes that you need to call on your network for leads on appropriate roles, you won’t even have to ask for a job, you’ll just be “catching up.”

Your network will think of you when they hear of something, and they will keep you in mind. Your consistency will have helped you, and you’ll be responsible to your real CEO.

Finer Things Keep Shining Through

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As Seen in CFO Studio Magazine Q4 2015 Issue

CFO INNOVATORS HONORED AT THE CFO STUDIO RECEPTIONScreenshot (65)

English musician Steve Winwood sings, “The finer things keep shining through,” in his hit song, “The Finer Things.” CFO Studio’s summer reception, held July 14 at the Upper Montclair Country Club, tapped into that song name as a theme. Being honored that evening were the nominees and winners of the 2015 CFO Innovation Awards, which had been presented May 12.

Screenshot (69)Attendees enjoyed samples of Scotch as they learned about the intricacies of the whisky. Fine wines were on hand to be swirled and sipped, and craft beers were savored. A cigar roller demonstrated his craft as he made customized cigars for the group. Experts in all those finer tastes addressed the 100 or so in attendance, offering insights to make connoisseurs of the CFOs. Everyone left the reception a little more buff — their shoes, that is — as TAHAS Technologies and PC company Lenovo sponsored a shoeshine booth that was a big hit.

CFO Studio magazine’s Publisher Andrew Zezas hosted the event. Promotional partners were Deloitte, O’Connor Davies, and Robert Half. “This reception offered a fascinating array of the finer things in libations, and although I don’t smoke, the cigars looked interesting. There was superb networking, as always, at CFO Studio, with a lot of great peers. I even got my shoes shined,” said Ed Schultz, Principal at Allendale, NJ–based Highland Business Group, a consulting firm.

Mr. Schultz was not the only attendee who praised the opportunities for networking among the New Jersey– and New York–area CFOs and other senior executives. For some, indeed, the networking was the finest part. “I work at a company where I’m surrounded by and interacting wiScreenshot (68)th composers, musicians, and producers most of the time,” said Glenn Turell, CFO, Elias Arts Holdings, LLC, based in New York City. “The opportunity to attend the event, where I knew I would be able to network with accomplished CFOs and discuss common business issues and challenges, was something I did not want to miss.”

And Mark Toriello, Founder/Director of Marketing and Sales for The Alliance Group, commented that “aside from the great venue and the education provided by the on-site cigar and wine experts, this CFO Studio Reception once again gave me an opportunity to follow up on open items with past contacts as well as engage in new opportunities through the numerous introductions made possible by Andrew with new attendees.”

CFOs, and particularly those nominated for 2015 CFO Innovation Awards, made the evening a special one for all concerned.

David Drillock – Leading in a Period of Economic Uncertainty

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David Drillock, CFO of Cytec Industries, discusses Leading in a Period of Economic Uncertainty in a CFO Studio Interview with Andrew Zezas.

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