What do you wish someone had told you at the start of your CFO career?
“I don’t expect any sympathy for the following statement: It’s a lonely job. It actually is. And that’s why, I think, something like this that you’re doing here is a great forum because generally CFOs don’t get to talk to other CFOs or listen and communicate with each other. It is a bit of a lonely job, and I don’t recall this ever being pointed out. Again, I don’t expect any sympathy, I’m well paid. I have a good life. But, I’m pointing that out because I think I might have paid more attention earlier to ensuring that I had a network of CFOs to touch base with. To share problems with. Hence, a forum like this is a very valuable one.”
Is there a personal habit that you believe has contributed to your professional success?
“I have a tendency to overprepare. It feels like overpreparation when I’m doing it. I religiously prepare for most things. And I do that because I want to free up my mind to think, so anything that is more routine or giving a presentation or taking the board through certain materials, I know the materials inside out. So, then, I can look at people. I can watch their body language, their physical reaction to the things that I’m saying so that I’m not looking at my notes or down at the pages. I try to make sure I know my material, so technically I can discuss it with my eyes closed. This way, I can watch the reactions of the people that I’m talking to, to see if my message is getting across.”