The Top Three “Must Reads" for CFOs in 2018

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2018 has been a barnburner for business management books, as a red-hot economy and new rules on taxes, trade and tariffs take center stage. With companies looking for new ideas and new talent in the C-level suites, which tomes should executives put on their “must read" holiday list? These three books certainly qualify:

1. Finance Unleashed: Leveraging the CFO for Innovation

Authors: Magnus Lind and Kelly Barner

Lind and Barner offer up an insider's view on the life—and the challenges—faced by today corporate financial officers.

Structured in an interactive interview and case study format, the book sees a select group of global influencers and financial executives weigh in on issues near and dear to finance professionals, including Lean Six Sigma, innovation, customer-centricity, the financial supply chain, and behavioral procurement.

The authors have created a clear and compelling “real world" view, breaking the CFO role down into three primary categories: Customer-Centricity, Innovation, and Process, Structure and Technology. Each category is treated as a necessary “phase" that CFOs and other finance professionals can expect to encounter, while providing an insider's view of how to survive and even thrive in those encounters, for the good of their organizations and, just as importantly, for the good of their careers.

2. Crack the C-Suite Code: How Successful Leaders Make It to the Top

Author: Cassandra Frangos

Dubbed the “executive whisperer" by Diversity Women magazine, Frangos walks the walk when it comes to knowing the inside moves a finance professional needs to make to climb to a C-level role in a great organization.

As head of global talent at Cisco, Frangos spearheaded the company's CEO-search campaign in 2015, ultimately helping choose the successor to John Chambers, widely viewed as one of the most respected CEOs in the global tech industry.

Frangos puts that experience to great use in this book, a 2018 Digital Book Award Finalist for Best Business Book of 2018. In it, she gives readers a genuine insider's guide to creating their own C-level career path. By and large, Frangos poses the question every aspiring CEO or CFO is asking—how can I get to the C-level at a quality organization? She answers the question through engaging interviews with current CEOs and CFOs, along with helpful interviews with high-level career management recruiters and experts. 

The author breaks the C-level job search into four key categories: The Tenured Executive, The Free Agent, The Leapfrog Leader, and The Founder. In doing so, she lists the risks and rewards when choosing a C-level career path, and also cites “accelerators" and “derailers" that can impact your career climb, while getting to the core of the book—how to crack the C-level code, a job she handles masterfully for readers.

It's a quick, but highly informative look at how current corporate titans made it to the top of the mountain—and how you can, too.

3. CFO RED-HOT Career Guide; 2589 REAL Interview Questions

Author: Red Hot Careers

Red Hot Careers is in the business of publishing “how to" books for various high-level job seekers.

With the “CFO Red-Hot Career Guide", the authors have provided a blueprint for financial professionals who want to climb the corporate ladder and land a great CFO job.

The comprehensive tome walks would-be CFO's through the actual job preparation and interview questions CFO candidates are going to experience in their job hunt. All in all, the book lists a whopping 2,589 potential job interview questions, which seems excessive at first glance.

But when you drill down and think about likely interview questions, including “What were the easiest subjects in school for you?", “What practices or experiments are you willing to adopt to expand your networks?", and “When it comes to giving CFO information to employees that can be done either way, do you prefer to write an email/memo or talk to the employee?", the reader begins to catch a glimpse of what real-world scenarios potential company decision-makers will prioritize when hiring their next CFO.

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