September 2; Tentative Body Language Is Uncalled For
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful


Chapter Nine: Finance; September 2

Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call,

who will get ready for battle?

1 Corinthians 14:8

Tentative Body Language Is Uncalled For

Sound Finances

The conference call was not going well. Your Business Professor sat with the CEO as he asked some simple questions into the air. On the other end is his unseen Finance VP with his deputy. They both mumbled and bumbled.

But the CEO deferred to his invisible top number-crunchers anyway.

These guys are usually a delight to talk with. But not today. They were unprepared, which was bad enough. The numbers-guys didn’t quite sound like they were in command of methods or of the figures.

Also on the line was the outside auditor who had some more basic questions. A multi-million dollar contract had been inked and the bean counters attempted to keep the many zeros straight with GAAP and IRS and deal terms with the word “realized” being mentioned way too much (or maybe not enough?). Cash and Accrual were getting crossed up.

The CEO looks at me as the Finance VP stuttered and stumbled some more. We could feel his discomfort through the phone.

The Boss hit the mute and asked, “What do you think?”


Earlier we had discussed the competence of his numbers-men, which was marginal. As the call droned on with the bean counters a-paper shuffling in the background, I said, “We have two problems: one, get the numbers right for the annual report, and two, whether or not to replace staff.”

“Fire the accountant?” the CEO asked.

“Yes. And maybe your VP ”

“Why? They are not falling down incompetent…” the CEO said.

“True, they will fix the problem,” I said. “But I would trade some performance for appearance.”

“What do you mean?”

“Those two make you nervous.”


Selling is about a transference of emotion, not merely a presentation of facts. Godin, Seth (2007-05-10). The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) (Kindle Location 492). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

The staff had not persuaded the CEO that they sounded like they knew what they were doing. Yes, it is true that being a good talker does not make for good numbers. But.

A confident clear call should inspire the team, including the manager, with confidence that these accounts are right. If the messenger is uncertain, hesitant, then the content is doubted. This might not, well, -sound- fair but timidity will make the boss worried and jumpy.

Don’t make the boss nervous. It is your responsibility to calm and to ensure that your manager is relaxed about your work. You must sound like you are certain.

Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 1 Corinthians 14:8



You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *