News & Events ⇢Articles ⇢


In truth, it’s a lost art. Below are key observations for building meaningful relationships and accelerating your career the right way.

Strategic partnerships before friendships

This might sound cold and impersonal. In reality, it’s neither. It’s a valuable lesson that my first mentor tried to teach me in Manhattan. He told me, “The most fun people don’t always make the best co-workers. Always let someone’s work doing the talking.” Unfortunately, I didn’t truly comprehend the message until a few years later.

That’s when I received a promotion to the ranks of middle management. One of the co-workers who I occasionally joined for happy hour tried to use my promotion as his means for coasting through work. He started arriving late and leaving early. When we faced impromptu deadlines, he punted projects back to me or other managers. Eventually, it necessitated a face-to-face talk behind closed doors. All he could say was, “I thought we were friends.”
Continue reading

From Controller to CFO? Not so Fast!

Traditionally, a company might groom its Controller to ascend to the role of CFO, either as part of a long-term management plan or upon the former CFO’s departure or promotion. It makes sense on paper, since the Controller and CFO work closely together, sharing responsibility for the back office. However, as discussed in the blog titled 3 Common Mistakes by Management – through the Eyes of a CFO, more is expected and needed from the CFO in these changing times. These responsibilities include strategizing with upper management to develop tactics for managing the growth of companies. This makes the jump from Controller to CFO more challenging than ever. In layman’s terms, it’s like asking a historian to become a prognosticator!

Continue reading

3 Common Mistakes by Management – through the Eyes of a CFO

1. More revenue is always better

When I announced the launch of Hemera Financial Solutions, my peers frequently volunteered the same advice – “sales drive business.” While it’s certainly true, chasing revenue can cripple a business. During a recent business pitch, a prospective client raved about a new contract that paid $50,000 per month. I simply asked, “What’s the profit margin?” He had no idea.

He factored in the cost of the materials to complete the engagement, but never considered the cost of his employees’ time. After a rough calculation of the salaried staff hours required by the contract, I estimated that the prospective client lost $30,000 per month on that engagement. This job also tied up the availability of resources for other projects which suffered as less seasoned workers were forced into roles for which they weren’t adequately suited.

What should have been done? Continue reading