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how to be a good chief operating officer

Example: "A successful COO uses data and metrics to understand what's happening in their company. You want someone who is professional, yet in touch with your customers as well as your employees. A COO should balance out that visionary tendency with practical follow-through. Before you can define the best character traits and skills that make up a good Chief Operating Officer, it’s first necessary to define the job description. Read More Answers. If they're handling the gritty details of what's going on in my organization, I want them to come to me with total honesty. Yes, We Have No Choice, Gender Bias: Trademark Act Never Contemplated A Woman Or Gay Male President, Cannabis Challenges Differ In Each State Where It’s Newly-Legal, 5 Unexpected Places To Find Your Next Great Business Idea. You want to get an idea of how they see changes and implement them. They are data driven: Sometimes it is tempting to rely on your gut for decisions in business. Chief Operating Officer (coo) Recruited by CEO/Founder and charged with building infrastructure to help this $10MM annual revenue non-public school reposition itself in a competitive market. Chief operating officers are oftentimes unsung heroes in a somewhat amorphous role. - Kevin Conner, BroadbandSearch, 11. Much of the operations lean on their shoulders, and you need to have consummate trust in their abilities. How Much Money Is a Good Leader Really Worth? With many different interpretations of what the role entails, which can encompass everything from strategic vision to hands-on management, it can be a tricky task for COOs to find a successful balance, both on an individual and organisational level. Yet, unlike other senior executive roles, there is no established framework or body of knowledge to support the COO. There is a total lack of ego. A Drive For Data And Actionable Metrics, To make sure daily operations are running in the most optimal conditions, a COO should utilize strategies based on data-driven decisions and actionable metrics. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. After all, that's going to be a major part of their work for you if you bring them on. In this post I explore the ambiguity of the role of a COO (Chief Operating Officer) in a startup, and my journey to becoming one at Mattermark. 4 Reasons a Retreat Into Nature Will Increase Productivity, 5 Reasons Why Good Leaders Must Be Great Followers. But the chief operating officer role is less clearly defined. Asked to name an inspiring CEO, and most of us can easily name a half dozen or more: Steve Jobs, Meg Whitman, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer. A chief operating officer is an executive at a corporation who makes important decisions regarding production and worker policies. The one thing you must know when trying to hire a COO is yourself. That's another story. Hiring a chief operating officer (COO) can be a daunting task for any business. ‘’ Is A Trademark – Does This Matter To Your Business? This degree should be in business or a related field. The scope of the COO is really the scope of any operating business. Because they are responsible ensuring strategic vision translates into profitable operations, COOs must be data-driven. They have no ego: The best COOs put the organization first. They understand the business depends on talented individuals working as a team. - Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40, 4. Perhaps more than any other role, the COO position is tailored—and in some cases created or eliminated—to fit the needs of an organization at a particular point in its development. Copyright © 2021 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Stellar COOs move up -- look no further than Tim Cook at Apple, and the recent reports that Sandberg is a contender to succeed Bob Iger as CEO of Disney. A Keen Understanding Of Your Own Limitations, A COO is an extension of your hands and the person who accomplishes what you cannot. About six in 10 COOs say the complexity and diversity of the position is fundamentally what makes it worthwhile, according to Ernst & Young’s survey of hundreds of COOs. Complement a CEO’s experience or management style. Step 1: Obtain a bachelor’s degree. A COO may be hired to accomplish some or all of the following tasks or objectives: Execute strategies developed by the top management team. But when a CEO or a business-line head, or director of procurement says, “I just know this initiative will be a home run,” the effective COO is the one who will stop them or slow them down and ask for data to guide decisions. Support Your Employees The phrase, “The ability to get … If he/she notices all the small issues, it frees me up to focus on the big picture. When you get a concrete example of what the candidate does, you understand how they think and … Doesn’t let personalities influence … 3. The writing style is approachable with a “business casual” tone that incorporates useful case stories (via 1 paragraph asides) and links to recommended articles, books, and applicable regulations. Accenture called the COO, “perhaps one of the least understood roles in business today.”. Similarly, when media outlets request interviews, the top COOs will find ways to share the limelight with others. Ways Entrepreneurs Can Stretch Their Capital, 2 Million Professionals Polled On How To Make Virtual Conferences Better— Here Are Their Top 10 Hacks, Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business. Is It Time To Change Director Board Compensation In Private Real Estate Firms? A Strategic Vision. Chief Operating Officer Degree While there is no one path toward becoming a COO, there are educational requirements and preferences. It is their job. - Rachel Beider, Massage Greenpoint, 2. COO (Chief Operating Officer) is a title used to describe a high-ranking operations executive manager in a private or publicly traded organization. He/she can fix daily problems while I worry about where my company is going long-term. Rather than allow the business to be guided by instincts, internal politics, hunches, or executives’ gut feelings, the best COOs will insist the business be driven by data. Related: How Much Money Is a Good Leader Really Worth? Believe it or not, a great portion of CEO, CFO, and COO training seminars are about how individuals in those roles go about training the employees that report to them. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Can We Save Social Media? When Facebook hit sticking points in key negotiations with PayPal, Sandberg reportedly helped smooth out differences by contacting John Donahue, CEO of PayPal’s parent company eBay. Works constructively with all types of people. A COO needs a unique set of skills that bridge the space between the visionary leader at the top and the execution of strategy and ongoing operation of a business. As the founder of a private equity crowd funding network and in my years in private equity investing, I’ve seen how vital COOs are to companies, particularly during periods of rapid growth or business transformation when execution risks are high. - Brennan White, Cortex, I've founded two companies, and in each, I have brought on a different COO. That means the COO needs a solid understanding in sales, marketing, operations, customer success, etc. According to a study from Accenture, the role of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) is one of the most misunderstood in business today. They are strategic with a focus on details. Overseeing operations of the company and the work of executives Chief Operating Officer Interview Questions And … You are hiring someone to fill the business needs created by the inescapable fact that you are an imperfect person and the business requires more than you can give. Businesses should not underestimate the value of a strong COO. As enforcers and systems developers, they implement and create ways to operate more efficiently. Thinking of becoming a Chief Operating Officer? Think about your typical chief operating officer (COO): busy, driven to meet objectives, and practical to a tee. What is it that makes a great COO? © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. Even if the founder isn't one of these, it’s good to notice what qualities they embody. Now, name three extraordinary chief operating officers? We have a great work dynamic and he truly compliments areas that I need help with. Email Plus, enjoy a FREE 1-year. Questions about an article? There is no educational requirement to become a chief operating officer, but many of these executives have business degrees. The knowledge, skills, and job duties that these executives have differ, depending on which department they oversee. I have found that great COOs have four attributes, which are good examples to follow for anyone in business: 1. They are responsible for overseeing the executive of the strategic vision of the CEO. Lead a specific strategic imperative. Although the costs of a bad hire are sometimes difficult to quantify, they are definitely hard to ignore in terms of staff morale, productivity, and ultimately, financial losses. Because there is so much variation in job duties from one organization to another, there is also a large variation in the characteristics that make up the “perfect COO”. Elon Reeve Musk FRS (/ ˈ iː l ɒ n / EE-lon; born June 28, 1971) is a business magnate, industrial designer and engineer. I've found that a COO with considerable experience helped to direct where I was headed with my startup and offered new insights. A successful COO balances a breadth of experience and knowledge with an ability to manage strategically. Strive for alignment: It is no small feat to align behaviors, organizational design, compensation, and … They can find the people to achieve that strategy and oversee their execution. You have to make sure the attitude of your operator is aligned with the key strategic priorities and commercial impact of the decisions that are made by the business. I understand that the data I am submitting will be used to provide me with the above-described products and/or services and communications in connection therewith. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else. Understands each functional area. Other titles to describe this role include President, General Manager, Managing Director, among others. Communication is paramount, and being a cheerleader is preferred. Forty-four percent of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 CEOs had been COOs, according to the Crist Kolder Assoicates 2013 Volatility Report. Amplify your business knowledge and reach your full entrepreneurial potential with Entrepreneur Insider’s exclusive benefits. The Visionary And Integrator Archetypes, In Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, the case is made that a great business team requires a "visionary" and an "integrator." With the right balance of a grounded CEO and a practical-but-ambitious COO, startups can go far. Entrepreneur Store scours the web for the newest software, gadgets & web services. Finding a COO who complements the founder means that the management team has a fuller, more diverse set of skills. This trend has led to a renewed focus on the chief operating officer. - Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance, COOs are useless if they cannot connect with people. The coo chief operating officer will make some changes to how your company works. Below, leading members of Young Entrepreneur Council give some insight into what makes for a great COO, whether it’s experience, attention to detail, integrity or other essential traits. When these archetypes work together, they have effective synergy. They fill in your deficiencies, whatever they may be (sales, managerial, technical). 3. Hire someone who has high integrity, honesty, and is hardworking and willing to learn rather than someone who has a ton of experience. 3. Being Able To Cross The T's And Dot The I's, In general, founders are excited by big ideas. Led and directed all Operations, Strategic Planning, Business Development and Conflict Management with 100+ employees and a network of 50+ providers. At the same time, she knows the bounds of her responsibilities so as not to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Opinions expressed are those of the author. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. 2. As Ernst & Young pointed out in The DNA of the COO, “Rather than possessing a single set of skills that can be easily identified in any business, COOs have to adapt, chameleon-like, to the environment in which they find themselves.”. One of the best degree options is a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). Keith Rabois, former COO of Square, describes the COO at a startup as a doctor in an emergency room, constantly fixing things, triaging and diagnosing issues to determine if they are minor or potentially fatal. 4. There are a few things they have in common that made them successful: They love details, they're meticulous, they do what they say they'll do, and they are lovers of creating systems to make the company operate better as a whole, whether it's with or without them. Early days set the tone … Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of the world's most successful entrepreneurs 45 and younger. Expertise from Forbes Councils members, operated under license. Actionable metrics are more work, but are the only way to effectively evaluate and set goals. Strive for alignment: It is no small feat to align behaviors, organizational design, compensation, and … Question # 11 ... Chief Operating Officer Interview Questions And Answers. Learn more about the role including real reviews and ratings from current Chief Operating Officers, common tasks and duties, how much Chief Operating Officers earn in your state, the skills current Employers are looking for … However, the COO role means different things to different people and organizations. A good COO is a people person. Sheryl Sandberg -- arguably the highest-profile COO in America today -- has an extraordinary ability to dig deep on a wide range of issues. Do not leave the COO to fend for themselves in his or her early days. Members of Young Entrepreneur Council share the top things every founder should look for in a COO. - Matthew Capala, Search Decoder, I need a COO with close attention to detail. We know you have impressive, measurable achievements, but don't let the operational metrics overshadow your human capital accomplishments. Scroll to … - Peggy Shell, Creative Alignments, As a venture studio partner, I see many startups focusing on skill set when hiring an appropriate operator, which often leads to major issues down the road, like conflict between mindsets. I interviewed a few candidates for my COO position and ended up hiring someone who is extremely dependable, fair, honest, and interested in the success of my company. A good operations leader knows that time must be allocated to employee improvement, and asking this question explores their self improvement philosophies. Qualifications for a Chief Operating Officer (COO) A COO typically has extensive experience within the field in which a given company operates. Learn more at There may be other types of chief executives—such as chief operating officers (COOs), chief financial officers (CFOs), or chief human resources officers—who manage a specific part of the organization. Determining Compensation: Chief Operating Officer 2 Now that you have a good sense of what compensation looks like for a chief operating officer, your next steps are to consider the total cost of adding this position and determine if you will pay in the lower, median or upper quartile of the compensation range. For just $5 per month, get access to premium content, webinars, an ad-free experience, and more! 8 Characteristics of Great Leadership. But the chief operating officer role is less clearly defined. With CEOs we talk about strategic vision, leadership, determination, an ability to motivate and inspire -- those traits that create iconic corporations. - Artur Kiulian, Colab, The one major skill you should look for in a COO is that he or she have experience with actually expanding and growing a small business or other venture. How Many Do You Have? They formulate business strategies and lead junior level executives and … Related: 5 Attributes to Look for in High-Performing Employees. These COOs find ways time and again to highlight others. Your Chief Operating Officer executive resume will be read by financial, operational, marketing and human resources managers and you must appeal to all of these audiences. The role of the chief operating officer is often one that is high-stress and high-demand because they are responsible for all areas of an organization, as well as making critical business decisions. The chairman leads and influences the board of the directors and chief officers to manage the financial, human, technical and environmental working of a corporation. As they maintain the operations, they keep an eye out for ways to improve the company by deepening the pipeline of talent, constantly raising the level of talent through strong hires, and providing opportunities to develop existing team member skills. Emotionally stable. - Kristopher Jones,, It helps to get a COO with considerable strategic vision because they provide the framework for your overall vision and put a definition to it along with actionable steps. Crist Kolder Assoicates 2013 Volatility Report, 5 Attributes to Look for in High-Performing Employees, Humble Leadership: 5 Dimensions for a New Style of People Management, 10 Inspiring MLK Quotes on Leadership and Purpose. Effective COOs often have a broad range of skills that enable them to support the diverse set of functional leaders reporting to them. Consider a bachelor’s degree. They should have had previous experiences where they took an organization from its infancy to higher growth, and from medium success to over the top success. "A good COO has to have the organizational and analytical skills to be able to solve problems and create procedures, but they also need to be able to deal with people," said Hayashi. Show the ropes to an inexperienced CEO. Explaining your analysis process helps a hiring manager see how you reach conclusions that can better a company. - Matthew Nederlanden, Security Camera Warehouse, Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of the world's most successful entrepreneurs 45 and younger. As of 2016, the BLS noted that nearly half of all chief executives worked more than 40 hours per week, to … The presiding person leading the business and possessing the highest authority in the company is chairman. It embraces a range of disciplines, from Technology to Human Resources, from Legal to Risk. Handling those details can be no small matter. It helps to get a COO with considerable strategic vision because they provide the … Detail your process by giving an example of a time you used data analysis to improve an aspect of a business. Estimating Total Position Cost It's helpful to have a COO who tells it exactly like it is. They will decline speaking engagements and instead give those opportunities to a business-line head or head of marketing. Chief operating officers, or COOs, are senior executives at their companies’ highest level of leadership. YEC members…. Smath. You may opt-out by. It can be overwhelming to choose. Chief Operating Officer is one of the most complex senior management roles in organisations today. The perfect COO for a startup is someone who can take the ideas of plans of the CEO, break them down into actionable steps, and ensure that they're done efficiently. A COO should never rely on vanity metrics that show nothing valuable, such as having 800 sign ups for a service but only a few paying customers. Whether you are scanning the global market or looking locally for a COO, there are some innate traits that go into ensuring you hire the best. Not only are good COOs instrumental in turning strategy into operational and financial success, the COO role is the most common stepping stone by far to the CEO seat. From the beginning, Sam Walton surrounded himself with the kind of people who had big ideas and weren't afraid to take risk and bring those ideas to life. If they cannot connect with the people whom these systems affect, the chances of success and ROI are very slim. Explore our giveaways, bundles, "Pay What You Want" deals & more. Walmart has elevated and been guided by leaders like these, who constantly inspire us to achieve the next level of success. Coaching and developing people is core to any leader’s role, especially for a Chief Operating Officer. A bachelor’s in business or a related field is recommended, and aspiring COOs should choose management-focused subjects. Everyone wants solutions that make a system run smoother with less effort. They keep their company’s high-level strategy front-and-center while understanding the details of day-to-day execution to ensure what needs to happen does happen. - John Rampton, Due, 6. Related: 4 Critical Traits of Great Leaders. They appreciate talent.

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