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A Finance Lesson for Your Teenager – The Opportunity Cost of a Cup of Coffee

(I started this note as a letter to our youngest daughter to pique her financial curiosity. It’s a story with many learning opportunities – I chose to focus on the benefits of frugality and compound interest.) We had just finished an errand to fix Michelle’s car. What a good feeling to check off one of our weekend to dos. A friend recently told her about…

Posted by Steve Rosvold on .

A Great Lesson for CFOs from the Sporting World

Here is a short lesson for Chief Financial Officers from athletes. In most sports, like business, success is measured in degrees and is often the culmination of many small victories and small failures. For example, in American football, the cornerback – a player whose main job is to defend against the forward pass by the opposing team – fails over 60% of the time, the…

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What is the First Step on the Road to CFO Success? And How Do We Get There?

We all know the answer to the first question. Believe in yourself. So, the follow-up question is how do you come to believe in yourself? I am a firm believer that preparation to perform a task or role is what builds the belief in our ability to successfully accomplish the task or role. I’ll bet you believe that too. Ok, how can you plan the…

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The First 101 Days of a Successful CFO

Since the 1st edition of this article was published two months ago we have received many thoughtful additions to our list of components identified in the original article. These additions fell into 5 main categories: · People, · Leadership, · Controls, · Operations and · Technology. Some had to do with the original article not effectively emphasizing certain components. Others were straight up, great new…

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Why Give More than We Take?

We work our whole life to acquire things. Yet, when our physical being perishes we go empty handed. I guess that is what drives many of us to believe in an afterlife. When we die our legacy in this life becomes the yardstick we are measured by. Most of us hope our legacy includes being remembered as a giving person. My concept of a giving…

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Why Failure Isn’t About Losing

Will you join me in discussing some problems I have with the way we interpret the word failure?  Failure is a noun defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: 1. omission of occurrence or performance 2. lack of success 3. a falling short 4. one that has failed The term failure as used in business, sports and relationships is almost always associated with a bad happening. …

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CFO Success Series: Managing Key Resources

To build our future we must invest in the present. Last week I had a conversation with colleagues about the value of an audit. It made me reflect on how the really good businesses I know surround themselves with the skills they need. They are rarely at a loss for getting great advice on a topic critical to their success. If they don’t require a…

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A Letter to Our Youngest Daughter – The Value of a Cup of Coffee

I started this note as a letter to our youngest daughter. We had just finished an errand to fix her car. What a good feeling to check off one of our weekend to dos. A friend recently told her about a new coffee trailer nearby. We drove over to check it out. The parking lot with the trailer had a number of other “food carts”…

Posted by Steve Rosvold on .

CFO Success Series: Financial Leadership Isn’t Optional

In a recent article, we identified some symptoms of and provided some remedies for an under-resourced Accounting, Finance and Treasury (AFT) team.  The antidote I prescribed aligns the Board and executives with the AFT team to alleviate the specific resource ailment that troubles many companies. However, the article did not discuss the underlying cause of the ailment – Poor leadership. A while back I was…

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CFO Success Series: For Best Results, Business Development Should Be Symmetrical

The majority of middle market companies started as small, conservative enterprises. As they grew many employees continued to wear several hats and perform multiple tasks within the organization. It may be just fine for a small business to have their receptionist double as their accounts payable clerk. However, if you plan to grow your business, you will want to fill the roles of accounting, finance…

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