The road to the chief financial officer’s desk isn’t paved by numbers, it’s built on relationships, according to a panel of experts who spoke during a breakout session at the CUNA CFO Council Conference in Austin, Texas.
The panel included:
Badics says her path to CFO was largely forged by her ability to network.
“So much of what I’ve accomplished is because of who I know in credit unions and maintaining the relationships I’ve developed,” she says. “I probably have 15 CFOs who I’m constantly in touch with and share ideas with. When an opportunity develops, those are the people who are going to contact you.”
But building relationships within your credit union are just as important, the panelists say.
“There are many different roles, from facilities, wealth management, audit, and risk,” Mousoukos says. “There were different people in each of those areas. It was so important to get know each one of them and understand their responsibilities. I quickly learned how much time I had to spend on the people side of things.”
Whether you’re in the CFO chair or aspire to it, Vick says it’s important to make yourself valuable to others within the organization, both above and below you on the organization chart.
“If your expanding your influence outside of your area, people will come to you for answers,” Vick says. “You’re going to become that valuable partner that other departments need.”
A productive relationship is even valuable if you want to take over your boss’s job, Mousoukos says. You can help him or her achieve their next career goal by taking over some of their responsibilities as they look toward a more prominent role.
“You can change the conversation to helping that person prepare for the next role, and at the same time it’s helping you develop,” Mousoukos says.
Visit CUNA News for more conference coverage, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNA_News, @cumagazine, and @CUNACouncils, and by using the #CFOCouncil hashtag. Learn more about the CUNA CFO Council, a member-led professional society for credit union executives, at cunacouncils.org.