039: Rethinking The Role Of The Modern CFO with Alena Bennett

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10 or 20 years ago, the role of CFOs in the corporate world was pretty straightforward. They kept books and records for their companies, did financial reporting, and maintained statutory compliance. Interestingly, CFOs operated behind the scenes and made company decisions sorely based on budgetary reasons; all the other strategy implementation and decision-making were left to the rest of the C-Suite executives. But in today’s world, that’s no longer the case. 


Gone are the days when CFOs only had technical skills that revolved around financial reporting, compliance, and audits. The CFO of today plays a key role both in capital allocation and corporate leadership decisions.


Unfortunately, not many CFOs possess the crucial leadership skills needed to accommodate the quick pace of innovation and heightened competition in today’s economy. And sadly, not many are willing to learn these essential skills. So, what can be done the situation? Today’s conversation with Alena Bennett is centered around outlining the roles and responsibilities of the modern CFO and helping current and aspiring CFOs develop effective leadership and communication skills. 


  • Getting to know Alena Bennett (02:39)

  • Modern CFOs: A new type of finance executive (05:10)

  • Building good working relationships (07:15)

  • Why Alena decided to settle on the world of CFOs (08:12)

  • How CFOs have evolved from bookkeeping into corporate leaders (10:32)

  • Essential leadership skills for technical leaders (12:48)

  • People leadership skills for the modern CFO (15:45)

  • How CEOs can support their CFOs improve operational efficiency (18:28)

  • Dissecting Alena’s new Book: CFO of the Future (20:29)

  • Top 5 tips for leaders and upcoming leaders (25:20)

  • Temporal landmarks and goal achievement (27:15)


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Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Drive by Daniel Pink



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Obsessed with unleashing the power of purpose, Alena is a speaker, author, mentor, team facilitator and leadership coach who loves to provoke conversations around issues that matter.


She leads communities for CFOs, aspiring CFOs and Leading Women in Finance and is the go-to for CFOs and their teams looking for next-level success. 

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