The most cited traits of CFO’s

To find out which character traits form the foundation of good leadership, one usually need look no further than the C-level leaders of any top organisation.

These executives are the people who have grafted exceptional technical expertise with a range of favourable personality characteristics to reach the top. It appears that even for leaders whose jobs entail a heavy focus on 'hard' skills, for example CFOs, intrinsic character traits are what really makes them tick.

A recent Hays survey of 500 CFOs in Australia and New Zealand sought to find out which qualities these leaders credit their success to. The most cited personality trait in the survey was being hard-working – two-thirds (66 per cent) of the polled CFOs said that this quality played the biggest role in their success.

A similar proportion (63 per cent) said that being proactive has been an immense help to their career, while 59 per cent said it was their ability to work collaboratively.

The importance of interpersonal skills was also highlighted when the survey revealed that almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of respondents said they recently attended a networking event to develop their career.

“CFOs appear to value being able to share their thoughts and concerns with other finance leaders, and learn from them. Sounding boards are very helpful to them,” said Lynne Roeder, regional director of Hays Accountancy and Finance.

According to Ms Roeder, any CFO wishing to strive to a higher position needs to keep in mind the crucial role they play in the wider organisation – and the importance of having strong qualities such as a great work ethic.

“We frequently see board directors and non-executive directors including an appetite and capacity for hard work in their selection criteria when recruiting their next CFO,” she explained.

“For any aspiring CFO, demonstrating that you combine talent and expertise with a great work ethic can help you stand out from your competition.”

When sourcing the next high potential leadership candidates for your organisation's top executive roles, it can therefore, be worthwhile to conduct a thorough assessment of their personality and character.