Executive Roles and Character (biz)

[W]e are all suited for different roles. I prefer partnerships rather than hierarchies. And this is how I usually operate.

– I like Sales and Revenue jobs – but it’s hard to control relationships upon which sales depend. One needs to be more intuitive and ‘likeable’, gather and distribute information, rather than creative. (I have to be likeable and share information)

– I love P&L jobs – I have control over them. One needs to be better at problem solving, and persuasive. Creativity is necessary and rewarding. (I have to be right and creative)

– I hate Balance Sheet jobs. – I never feel like I can control them. One needs to keep a lot of details in memory, and resort them, and report on them. And most creativity is … limited. (I have to be diligent, and not wrong.)
This is how I tell people why I prefer NOT to hold the CEO role, but the problem is finding someone not stupid enough to be the CEO. Normally I don’t like to take the CEO title, but prefer to have a ‘President’ and myself the “Chief Strategy Officer”. In a perfect world you have a three person partnership for customers (president and CEO), inside the company (CTO/Strategy), and suppliers (CFO/MBA). I don’t believe in using CPAs for CFO, and instead use MBA’s for CFO, and CPA’s for VP accounting. In my experience CPA’s cannot accurately report BOTH financial and operational accounting on the same P&L and Balance Sheet, nor do they produce rolling reports that let you see trends. Why? Because this requires a bit of extra work developing posting ‘macros’ (Processes) so that data isn’t pooled (munged), and so that it’s clear whether one is making money from operations, from capital trades, or from financialising the business.

Curt Doolittle

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