Management and Leadership Dream Job CFO Research Paper

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My Utopia Job: CFO

Being a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for a major Fortune 500 company would be my dream job. Capitalizing on a core base of competencies in accounting, cash flow management, and risk management, the CFO sits in the C-suite with a greater sense of purpose and a role that is instrumental in guiding the organization’s strategies (“Chief financial officer (CFO) job description,” 2017). An understanding of management concepts, theories, and principles will help me achieve this goal to help me manifest a utopic career. For example, systems theory shows how the CFO fits into the overall organization and its interdependent, multilateral nature. Likewise, the CFO must have mastered the main management concepts like those we have studied in this class including control and coordination. The CFO is role that balances strategy, tactics, vision, ethics, and communication. To be a successful CFO, one must also master essential conceptual, interpersonal, and technical skills. Because the role of the CFO reflects both my strengths and my passions, it is an ideal and realistic utopia job.

My Strengths

My strengths include strong communication skills and empathy, strategy and planning acumen, and analytical and computational prowess. I also have a strong sense of ethics and loyalty. These are all essential features of an effective CFO. A CFO is in a position of leadership but not one that requires visionary or transformational capacities. Rather, a CFO comprises the major managerial responsibilities and therefore helps the organization to achieve its goals. A CFO also fulfills multiple managerial roles, often concurrently, requiring competency in a wide range of managerial activities including organizing, directing, decision making, planning, staffing, and controlling (Darr, n.d.). In fact, a CFO is in a better position to be a servant leader, one who places the best interests of the organization ahead of less important objectives. My self-effacing personality makes the CFO role even more appealing to me.

The CFO’s Management Tools

The main tools in the CFO’s management arsenal include strategic management, benchmarking, and change management (“Top Ten Management Tools,” n.d.). I may also rely on some of the other tools of the effective manager that we have covered in the class, such as TQM, but strategic management, benchmarking, and change management are the specific tools that apply best for my ideal position as the CFO of a major Fortune 500 company. Strategic management is one of the most central function of a CFO, someone who is entrusted with the ability to forecast risk and manage uncertainties by taking specific steps designed to protect the company’s interests, reach projected earnings, or enter new marketplaces. The CFO develops new strategies for issues like fundraising and tax management, staying abreast of changes to public policy and legislation that impact our industry.

Benchmarking is another management tool used by the CFO. A CFO develops and implements benchmarking methods that help our organization maintain a competitive advantage. Working with the managers of other departments, the CFO learns about issues and constraints such as supply chain challenges, the production time, and quality issues that all play a role in budgeting.

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From the CFO’s point of view, benchmarking can even be considered the basis for strategic planning.

While all C-suite managers need to be effective change managers, the CFO’s role is unique. Change management A CFO may draw attention to impending changes to the legal landscape in one of the countries in which our organization operates, or become aware of a new technology that would help streamline operations and cut costs. Alternatively, a CFO might realize that a competitor has been considering a major merger that threatens our position. Taking into account the major ramifications of external threats and risk, the CFO uses multiple means of managing change including collaboration with other members of senior management. Taken together, change management, benchmarking, and strategic management are the three most important tools for any CFO.

Management Concepts

Of all the management concepts we have discussed in class, the one most pertinent to me in my utopic role as CFO is systems theory. Systems theory shows how each person or department is integral to the functioning of the whole organization (McNamara, n.d.). I recognize the role of the CFO as one that is collaborative and integrated into the C-suite, while also requiring personal accountability. The workplace design and function of the CFO entails as much time working independently as with other members of the management team. In fact, systems theory best fits my personal strengths as a CFO. Systems theory draws on my strength as a communicator and team player, someone who works within the ethical principles of the organization while also making suggestions to improve our performance, output, and positioning. I would leverage the concept of systems theory to build bridges and foster communication between various departments and external stakeholders too. The CFO recognizes the importance of forming strategic partnerships with industry stakeholders including members of the supply chain, policymakers, and others whose attitudes towards our organization may impact our ability to meet our objectives.

Boundaries and Role Clarity

Fortunately, I have a strong degree of role clarity and appreciate well-defined boundaries. I respect that other people will have strengths and competencies that I lack, and I would expect of my colleagues that they respect my position as CFO. One of the advantages of being a CFO is that we are empowered to make decisions: one of the most important management tools in any position. The boundaries I may encounter will arise during crises and change management implementation. Resistance to change may occasionally present challenges that require me to examine the company’s protocols and the roles assigned to each individual.


Even managers like me, whose natural leadership style is collaborative and transformational, need to recognize that we are in a position of authority. Our authority is something that entrusts us with responsibility to take action and make decisions in the best interests of the organization. We delegate tasks during the project management process to achieve incremental goals and long-term objectives. During….....

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“Chief financial officer (CFO) job description,” (2017). Accounting Tools.

Darr, K. (n.d.). Introduction to management and leadership concepts, principles, and practices. Management Theory.

Hilbert, P. & Cunliffe, A. (2013). Responsible management. Journal of Business Ethics 127(1): 177-188.

McNamara, C. (n.d.). Historical and contemporary theories of management.

“Planning, Organizing, Leading, and Controlling,” (2018). Principles of Management.

“Top Ten Management Tools,” (n.d.).

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