Companies are increasingly looking for CFOs who have depth in a critical area but also have shown versatility. This means that individuals should look closely at their own career path.

Often, attractive candidates for high-level finance positions have worked within the business, perhaps as a business-level CFO or as the CFO of a specific geographic region of the organization. They may have had responsibility for some area of operations, which shows breadth of knowledge as well as the ability to think outside the box.

We've even seen some nontraditional moves, such as a former CFO who took over the lead role in HR, then moved back to work as the CFO. The reason for this move was specific to the circumstances of that company, but after working in HR, the CFO was a much better finance leader because his view became so much broader. Now in senior executive meetings, he no longer focuses on the numbers or the metrics, but on how different decisions would affect the business and how they would be executed.

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