We chose both a “hard” and a “soft” story this week. (See below.)

As a reminder, you can join our CFO readers who participate in #CFOMustRead by sending us your most interesting reads of the week from around the web. Send us the link as well as a brief take on why you think other CFOs will find the story valuable. We publish the best submissions weekly.

You can send us a #CFOMustRead in two ways:

  1. Send a nomination to us via Twitter, by inserting the hashtag #CFOMustRead into a tweet.
  2. Nominate a story in the comments section of this post.

CFO‘s editors will be watching for your recommendations daily. Each week we publish an article that highlights the best recommendations and the readers that submitted them.

If you’d like to follow along to see what stories are recommended, you can track the comments on this page or follow the #CFOMustRead Twitter stream using Twitter Search or TweetDeck.

Both of this week’s #CFOMustReads came from Mark P. Borman, Here’s his profile on LinkedIn. Thanks, Mark.

The first piece is a whitepaper by Microsoft, CFO 2.0: Evolution of a Chief Finance Officer. We’ll forgive Microsoft for getting the job title wrong, because this paper is a solid synopsis of the history of the CFO job.

It contains some interesting nuggets, like this comment about CFOs of the 1970s: “With financing in short supply, CFOs were forced to make drastic shifts in their financial strategies, relying heavily on cash flow rather than on debt.”

And this, about the 2000s: “Many federal prosecutors cut deals with CFOs to help target CEOs; however, CEOs repeatedly pointed the finger back at their CFOs as the architects behind their multi-billion dollar fraudulent plans.”

Our touchy-feely pick comes from Harvard Business Review. Roger Jones of Vantage Hill Partners analyzes “What CEOs Are Afraid Of.” The article could have been called “CEOs Are Dysfunctional Too.”

The fears CEOs admit to are far from unique, but the resulting behaviors stand out: “a lack of honest conversations, too much political game playing, silo thinking, lack of ownership and follow-through, and tolerating bad behaviors.”

Bottom line: you might want to have a heart to heart with your CEO after reading this piece.

See you next week.

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