How mindfulness can help CFO’s achieve high performance

Being a high performer in any industry requires a great deal of focus, stamina and energy, but unfortunately that could come at the risk of burning out, with a recent study conducted with finance professionals in 2022 revealing almost all (99%) experienced some level of burnout.

In the world of finance, the role of a CFO is one of the most challenging and demanding positions. With the responsibility of overseeing financial operations, managing budgets, forecasting cash flow, and ensuring compliance, the role of a CFO requires intense focus and concentration. However, as the demands of the job increase, it becomes more important for CFOs to reduce the risk of burnout and cultivate mindfulness in their approach to work.

Mindfulness is the practice of being more present in the moment, observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment, and developing a sense of clarity and calmness. At its core, mindfulness is a form of attention or awareness training which can help you be more aware of your actions and behaviours. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can help CFOs be more aware, effective and successful in their roles.

Having personally delivered numerous mindfulness programs in many financial organisations over the years, I see the immense benefit in adopting the practice.  Here are some ways in which mindfulness can help CFOs become high-performers:

Better Stress Management

The job of a CFO can be extremely stressful, with tight deadlines, long hours, and constant pressure to deliver results. Mindfulness can help you manage stress by reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. By practicing mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and mindful movement, you can reduce the physical and emotional effects of stress, leading to improved mental and physical well-being.

Improved Decision-making

As a CFO, you are required to make critical decisions that can have significant impacts on the organization’s financial performance. Mindfulness can help you make better decisions by allowing you to approach problems with a clear and focused mind. When you are mindful, you can better recognize and regulate your emotions, which can help you make more rational decisions. Additionally, mindfulness can improve your ability to consider a broader range of options, leading to more creative and innovative solutions.

Increased Productivity

Mindfulness can help you become more productive by improving your ability to focus and concentrate on the task at hand. With mindfulness, you can learn to minimise distractions and maintain your focus on the job you are doing. Additionally, mindfulness can help you prioritise tasks, making it easier to manage your workload and meet deadlines.

Better Communication in Meetings

Effective communication is crucial for success in any role, and this is especially true for CFOs. Mindfulness can help you communicate more effectively by improving your listening skills and reducing your emotional reactivity. When you are mindful, you can listen more attentively, and respond more thoughtfully, which can improve your ability to build relationships and resolve conflicts. As part of my work as a high-performance coach I encourage my clients to take a few mindful minutes (close eyes and breathe) before any meeting to clear their mind and enter the meeting with clarity and presence.

Improved Strategic Thinking

As a CFO, you need to be able to think strategically and anticipate potential risks and opportunities. Mindfulness can help you develop a more expansive and strategic perspective by reducing mental clutter and allowing you to think more clearly on the matter at hand. With mindfulness, you can access the insights and intuition that are necessary for successful strategic planning.

Enhanced Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others. It is a critical skill for any leader, and especially for CFOs who need to work with a range of stakeholders. Mindfulness can help you develop your emotional intelligence by increasing your self-awareness and empathy. By becoming more aware of your own emotions and the emotions of others, you can communicate more effectively, build stronger relationships, and inspire greater trust and respect.

All in all, mindfulness is a valuable tool for CFOs to develop and maintain high performance in their roles. By practicing mindfulness, CFOs can manage stress better, improve their decision-making abilities, increase productivity, communicate more effectively, think more strategically, and enhance their emotional intelligence. While the demands of the role may be challenging, cultivating mindfulness can help CFOs rise to the challenge and achieve success. The great thing about mindfulness is relatively easy to learn and adopt into your daily routines so you can become a more effective, resilient, and high-performing CFO and maintain your energy.

About the author

Melo Calarco, is a mindfulness and high-performance expert, keynote speaker and corporate programs facilitator. His work has helped many CEO’s, leaders, corporate executives, surgeons and other medical professionals, elite athletes, and other high performers to build resilience and perform at their absolute best, without burning out. He has trekked and cycled around the world on his mountain bike and shares this experience in his work which has been described as truly transformational! Marco is Author of “Beating Burnout-Finding Balance” (Wiley $29.95)

Find out more www.melocalarco.com