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CFOTL: What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you when you entered the CFO office for the first time?
Love: I’d say that it’s don’t let the urgent overtake the important. I’m a to-do list guy like I think a lot of finance people are. You’ve got stuff at the top of the list, barking at you for its attention, right? But, that’s fine. But is that the most important thing? Does it relate to strategy? Does it relate to making sure that operations are synced with that strategy? Is it something that’s helping drive valuation? Now, you can’t always just focus on the most important and the sexiest, most interesting things, but make sure that you’re prioritizing those things consistently.
CFOTL: Do you have a personal habit that you believe has contributed to your professional success?
Love: I think that it’s all about being inquisitive about the business and listening. And, guess what? People are going to be very interested in that. Multiple times, I attend either trade shows or other people’s staff meetings or other areas which have nothing to do with finance but everything, though, to do with our business. The executives and the other people in those departments said, “Hey, thanks a lot.” Like, for example, here, I attend meetings on Monday mornings. I start with attending the enterprise meeting run by our head of sales. I take a little break, get another cup of coffee, and then go to the marketing meeting every Monday to find out what their metrics are and the issues in front of them.
This helps to inform me about the business, and I think that people appreciate it. At least, that’s what they tell me, and I would say—if someone doesn’t want to be involved—then I would ask, “Well, why not?” Right? The world is different these days. Data has collapsed the walls between departments, so you shouldn’t have any reason for me to not be involved. I don’t need to be in every meeting, for example, at all. But being open, listening. If people invite you to a meeting, attend. You’re going to learn some good stuff. You’re going to grow as a professional and you’re going to learn a lot more about your business.