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CFO SA's Graham Fehrsen: Five lessons for a better future

Through the course of a tumultuous 365 days since the launch of the inaugural and extremely successful Finance Indaba Africa, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn alongside finance leaders and exceptional professionals, and I’ve learnt some great lessons. While some are familiar cliches and almost all seem like common sense, in my experience, it’s the obvious and common-sense advice that is often the hardest to live by. Here are my top five.

What does South Africa mean to you, asks CFO SA MD, Graham Fehrsen

CFO South Africa is a proudly South African platform, even with its Dutch roots. At the recent CFO Awards, we hosted a masterclass with leading CFOs on the topic of race and transformation. What would we say if we spoke openly about these issues and how would it reflect our values and attitude? It was one of the most powerful conversations ever hosted in the CFO South Africa space and attendees have all asked that we continue this conversation.

Stay curious to be relevant in 2020, says CFO SA's Graham Fehrsen

Artificial intelligence (AI) already has the ability to read, write, present and take on a physical presence, all with alarming intelligent and coherent patterns. By 2020, a bot might write this piece, moderate a panel at a CFO Summit, and deliver outstanding insights to you, the finance professional, across multiple platforms. If this bot can build trusted relationships with people and creatively collaborate, I am definitely out of a job. And so are you.

What will make you successful in 2017?

I had the privilege of learning with a great number of South Africa's finance leaders in 2016 and from these engagements it was revealed that a primary ingredient for success is consistency. Even in a year of huge turmoil, CFOs that are really making their mark show remarkable consistency.

CFO Awards 2016: Why being acknowledged is tough

The most difficult thing about being acknowledged is that you open yourself to scrutiny, writes CFO South Africa MD Graham Fehrsen, three days before the annual highlight on the CFO's calendar - the CFO Awards.

From the MD: Perspective - an elusive but important career guide

It is easy to get caught up in your day to day grind and never lift your head long enough to see the horizon. Most of us have, at one point or another, found ourselves in that dreaded cycle of counting down the week days wishing for a weekend. If you’re fortunate enough to have a job that is truly fulfilling then it is quite possible that you don’t experience this and may be caught in the trap of not knowing when to “down tools” sufficiently to make time for the rest of your life.

From the MD: You can't buy experience

You can listen carefully and take notes. You can write a to-do-list and focus on your day to day actions, but the harsh reality of life, and particularly a professional life, is that you can't buy experience.