Thursday Thoughts on Leadership: CFOs and Trendsetters

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels took me to Asheville, North Carolina for the annual CFO Conference, which brings together CFOs from among the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network to share ideas and economics trends. Also during the conference, we discussed best practices for how the CFO can better serve his or her company as not only the financial steward of the organization but also as the trusted partner to the CEO and leadership team.

I was excited to be among the CFO community at such a picturesque location though while I spend time on the East Coast, my thoughts remain with those in West, particularly in Northern California where devastating wild fires still rage, one of the worst fires to hit the Golden State, ever. We all send prayers to those affected by this awful disaster, and hope the winds cease soon and the flames are able to be extinguished so recovery can begin. Stay strong, California, we are with you!

From Asheville I flew to Virginia Beach, VA to the office of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty, where our trendsetter group, the Mavericks, was set to meet. This small think tank of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network CEOs gets together every six months to exchange ideas and foster company growth. I must give kudos to Barbara Wolcott, broker/owner at Towne Realty, for organizing and hosting such a well-put together meeting. Thank you, Barbara!

At every meeting, we do an idea exchange then give the CEO (this time, Barbara) candid feedback on the current state of her company and what can be done to improve it. We also take out time for the CEO from the previous meeting to report on progress made since we last met. In Virginia Beach, Allen Crumbley, broker/owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group, reported on the changes he’s implemented at his company following our meeting six months ago and how these changes have positively impacted his brokerage’s success.

I’m a big proponent of the “status update” portion of the meeting because it means there’s accountability in the actions we suggest. As you know, the fourth discipline in the Four Disciplines of Execution system is to “create a cadency of accountability,” which is of utmost importance when you want to ensure a goal is met. No matter how great a plan or idea may be, it won’t amount to anything if it’s not executed and carried out in full.

So, what’s the message? From forward-thinking CFOs to innovative CEOs, this week was all about being surrounded by great leaders whose ideas can foster even greater success. Today, take a look at the people around you and the businesses you associate with every day. (I was impressed, for instance, by TowneBank, which is affiliated with Towne Realty. This affiliation between a real estate company and a financial institution offers incredible value to home buyers and sellers, who are able to employ Towne Realty as a one-stop-shop for all their real estate, mortgage, title, settlement, insurance, and banking needs.) One way to grow as a leader and a business is to look internally and make positive changes for yourself but another way is to assess the strength of your partnerships and the leaders around you, and from this strength, build on your own.

GINO BLEFARI is CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC. You can follow Gino on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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