Good advice for CFOs in gaining control of their time from a Q&A with Deloitte's Ajit Kambil (Nov 21 Wall Street Journal).

One of the points made: Get the right team you can trust so you can delegate. As you are promoted or your job becomes more robust, stop doing your old job. The opportunity cost of not doing so is great. 

Jen's comment: I am surprised, but maybe I'm not surprised about how many CFOs I meet who are still working many hours and not achieving their highest strategic advisor value to the organization. They are too much in the weeds. And not just temporarily as needed. When we help our clients make a hire, we first have the CFO share who is on the bus, what seats they are in and what they do in their seats. It's a natural discussion to suggest ideas for organizational development and help the CFO understand how he/she might better leverage time.

(Excerpted from the full Q&A):

Q: Delegating can be difficult for some executives. Why is that, and what if the CFO doesn’t have the appropriate staff?

Ajit Kambil: For some individuals the challenge of delegating comes down to trust: If they don’t fully trust their team and the staff that they’ve inherited, it can be hard for them to resist getting overly involved. (And) ....resist the temptation to keep doing the things they used to do.

Second, time-box the new job: Get the right staff in place, delegate, verify once or twice that tasks are being handled well... If there are talent issues, we suggest CFOs try to resolve those....ideally within the first 180 days if possible.... 

If CFOs don’t do that, they can’t free up the time to deal with the ambiguous and complex things their CEO is looking to them to help navigate. And, they could damage their own brand, as well as the finance organization’s output.

Full article here.