1. A real CFO does not sit in the back office and crunch numbers all day, every day.
2. A real CFO does not avoid, gathering, assimilating and executing on value-added projects to the top line and bottom line.
3. A real CFO does not pretend to know everything about everything. He/she know his/her own limits and when to get advice from others.
4. A real CFO does not avoid asking tough questions and giving answers the CEO needs to hear.
5. A real CFO does not believe there is an “I” in TEAM.
6. A real CFO does not call him/herself a CFO because he/she has an accounting degree and a few years experience and hangs out a shingle.
7. A real CFO doesn’t hide behind his/her door, but gets out there and performs management by walking around.
8. A real CFO does not avoid teaching others so they can do better at their jobs. This includes the CEO and other execs in the company.
9. A real CFO does not avoid pulling up the sleeves and doing actual work, versus just telling people what they need to do.
10. A real CFO does not limit thinking to what’s in books, FASB, GAAP, IFRS, etc. but is open minded and thinks out of the box for creative solutions to business problems.
11. A real CFO does not only hang with the execs at the company, but is a collaborator and leader in the company and community at all levels.
12. A real CFO does not limit his/her curiosity to finance and accounting, but also is innately curious about technology, information, operations, sales and marketing. That way he/she can add extreme value to the company in many ways.
13. A real CFO is not stuck in the past with historical information, but asserts his/her insights into the future of the company, the company’s target markets, and the ever-changing competitive landscape.
14. A real CFO is not a “yes-man” but a trusted advisor to many people inside the company.