Jodi Swinburne addressed the attendees at the final CFO Incubator for 2016 over breakfast on a picturesque morning overlooking Sydney Harbour. Jodi became the CFO APAC of Cushman and Wakefield in May 2016, having previously held a range of finance roles in Australia and abroad.
In her naturally engaging style, Jodi related her progression from junior finance professional into a regional C-suite role, describing her pathway as “non-traditional”. She started out investigating fraud but soon found herself involved in implementing and fixing shared service finance operating models, rising ultimately to hold several divisional finance roles. Change became a regular feature of Jodi’s roles and as she developed from manager to leader she quickly learned to deal with complex financial and people issues and the importance of maintaining a set of trusted advisors.
Early on, one of Jodi’s mentors encouraged her to inventory her skills and experiences and to consciously decide which to keep, abandon and build. She returns to this inventory every six months to help keep her commitment to her own development in focus. This technique has given her the uncommon ability to clearly articulate what she wants in a role, and she is unafraid to ask for it.
Jodi’s advice on how to become a CFO is simple:
Choose it and chase it
Be passionate about it; and
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Perhaps out of necessity, she has also developed the ability to see the brighter side of a tough situation, which she summarised as: “be realistic about the bad, but sell the good”. Although Jodi has spent most of her time dealing with bad news and helping her teams through periods of rapid change, she stays positive and retains the ability to remain focussed on the future throughout.
If you would like to find out more about our CFO Incubator program, please visit our CFO Incubator page.