021: Mike Smith, CFO, Castle Worldwide, on Drawing Out the Talents of Others

What does it take to be a strategic CFO? Join us as Mike shares his CFO mind-set and recalls the milestones that shaped his finance and management philosophies. The CFO role is increasingly becoming an operations role, explains Mike.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:21:00)


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Finance Philosophy

“If a company has a CFO who can not only analyze the company’s financial information, but also understand how the company operates, and if the CFO can put the two together in way that allows him or her to give a different perspective on strategic decisions that a company faces, this is going to allow the company to make better decisions and find new solutions to barriers that might otherwise limit growth.”

Key Metrics

“We look at revenue growth and liquidity and use things like the “quick ratio” — and we put a lot of emphasis on EBITDA here. Consistently growing revenue is a great accomplishment, but the real measure of success is how you control your costs, grow the bottom line, and generate cash flow to create real value in the business.”

Mentoring Round

“In business, people sometimes think that whoever knows the most is the guy who will make the company successful, but at the end of the day, it’s the person who can draw the most out of the employees. It doesn’t matter how good you are. It’s how good you make others.”

Business Applications

“In the past, we had to perform a very manual process that would take several days of calculating the statistics related to the different test items, and then we’d have to analyze the results. Now we have SAS enterprise software and the statistics are calculated in a matter of minutes, so we can immediately begin analyzing the data to help us build the final exam forms.”

Business Book Pick

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm By Verne Harnish


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