If Your Organization Was an Orchestra, What Instrument Would You Play?

If your organization was an orchestra or a mariachi group, what instrument would you play? Watch video

My wife today told me that a trumpet player is loud, proud, and confident. She even threw in that a trumpet player is full of hot air.

She is 100% right!

You simply can’t play the trumpet the way it was designed unless you are allowed to play it proud, loud, and confident, especially if it is for a mariachi.

Can you think of somebody in your organization who is loud, proud, and confident?

Would you say that he’s full of hot air?

The position that is often said to be loud, proud, and confident, is usually the CFO, the CIO, or even the CEO.

Today’s CitySpeak article is about the CFO in your organization compares to the trumpet player in a mariachi or orchestra.

Is the CFO in your organization like a trumpet player in a mariachi band?

Think, what does your organization need from its CFO?

Do you want your CFO to be quiet and meek leader, lacking confidence?

Of course not!

You know how important it is that your CFO be proud and confident about his/her job, and at times even loud, or at least loud enough to make his or her point when “sharks” take an interest in your organization.

The shareholders of an organization (in local government they are called stakeholders), they expect their CFO to be very confident like any strong leader who needs to watch over the millions, or even billions m, of dollars that are at stake when under his or her management.

There was never any fraud under my watch during the 35 years I served the CFO role for my organizations.

In some cases, as I said earlier, the trumpet is asked to play quietly in the music, especially if the composer or arranger wrote it that way.

The same is true in organizations or companies that at times require the CFO to play the CFO role in a more quiet or subdued fashion.

It is okay to play softly at times, however, the CFO can never compromise the heavy financial responsibility that the CFO position was created to play in that leadership role as chief financial officer!

Be thankful that the CFO in your organization, just like the trumpet player in a mariachi, or some other orchestra, needs to play loud, proud, and confident.

Think today of all the companies and organizations where the CFO was quiet when they should have been loud, proud, and confident.

Do you remember companies like Enron, Lincoln Savings & Loan, Arthur Anderson, Adelphia, the City of Bell, WorldCom, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and many other organizations?

The CFO was asleep at the wheel, and he or she did not play their CFO as loud and confident as they should have!

An interim City Manager, whom I worked for some years ago, wrote a negative letter about me to the incoming permanent City Manager.

He wrote, “John thinks that the finance department is the most important department of the organization”.

Heck yes I believe that the finance department is the most important department (to me), because I’m responsible for it.

However, I know the finance department is only one department in an orchestra of departments that make up our organization!

The CFO follows the direction of the CEO (and the Board of Directors or governing body), just like the trumpet player follows the conductor in an orchestra or mariachi.

Whether you play music by ear or by reading music, follow your instincts and follow your true North to ensure that your organization stays out of trouble.

As the CFO, similar to the trumpet player, learn to perform your job loud, proud, and confident when called for, even if you’re accused of being full of hot air.

Thank you for listening.

This is John Herrera from MuniTemps and CitySpeak.

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