I’m a big fan of boats.
This makes me neither particularly erudite nor exclusive in my personal preferences. While some may scoff at these “holes in the water,” there’s a mental benefit to these aquatic forms of displacement that are both scientific and self-evident. But if you are a proud boat owner — or of any kind of watercraft — I don’t need to tell you this.
You would most likely respond, “Why did it take you so long to learn this, landlubber?”
I was out on a sailboat this past weekend like I’m sure many of you were, or at least on some other system of aquatic propulsion. We didn’t travel very far on this particular day, but maybe that isn’t even the point. The point is, we could have. Whether you’re re-reading “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” or watching the cinematic opus “Master and Commander,” what is indelible is the sense that, when you’re in a boat, you may go on a real adventure.
Even if it is only to the other side of the pond.
And you might even want to share that adventure with someone else! Though as you know, in many parts, people like being plain and quiet and have no use for nasty, disturbing, uncomfortable adventures. Why, they might even make you late for dinner!
“Yeah, but we do finance,” you might say. Close the books at month’s-end, keep the working capital ... working and the cash flowing. Is that it?
Or, might it be the energy of Kapitus CFO Anthony Rose, who tells new hires, “Don’t let my vision of you be greater than your vision of you”? Sure, maybe he thinks about death a lot, but it is because it motivates him to live a fulfilling life of going somewhere. (Just keep in mind, if you go anywhere with Rose, you’ll likely be running, biking, or swimming, rather than sailing.)
English humorist Terry Pratchett once wrote, “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Rose’s race may have the same starting and finishing lines, but, as Pratchett asserts, that doesn’t mean no adventure has occurred in between.
Or, if you were to listen to finance chief Connor Wray talk about the bedrock of his company JonnyPops, do you get a sense that it’s not simply a business as usual for him and his co-founder Erik Brust? No — the entire concept is a mission implanted and embraced by college friends who want to honor a friend’s memory while making the world better. The journey is never finished.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry famously wrote, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” We at CFO chronicle all sorts of finance chiefs who not only understand the ins and outs of running a finance team and leading a company, but infuse a passion in the people around them to believe in the journey they are all on together.
Perhaps no CFO is so public about this mission than Premier Claims’ Melissa Hurrington, who is a LinkedIn must follow, in part because of her daily words of wisdom and humility, but also because to us she said her personal mantra is, “Do it scared.”
I bet, when facing an ancient death trap to uncover a historical artifact, Indiana Jones never had the courage to say that to himself.
We all need to be out there on the water to see where the adventure might take us. Our CFO senior reporter Vincent Ryan might even let you borrow his kayak.