Tag Archives: COO

How Do Identify and Bring In A COO? Five Suggestions

Situation: A company’s Board is pressing the CEO to hire a COO to oversee operations. The Board’s concerns include succession planning for the CEO and a desire for the CEO to put more focus on the vision and strategy of the company. There are no current candidates within the company. How do you identify and bring in a COO?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Think beyond roles and responsibilities and consider how you would describe the ideal candidate. This includes attitudes and behaviors, talents, experience, and essential skills. Map these attributes and use them to guide your recruitment and selection process.
  • Increasingly, companies are using a values-based process to evaluate personnel both for promotion and outside selection. Tony Hsieh of Zappos talks about this in his book “Delivering Happiness.” This doesn’t substitute for skills and experience, but helps to identify candidates who will help to strengthen your company’s culture.
  • Assure that you have a full process in place that will help you to recruit and select a good candidate. If it has been a while since you last recruited a high level executive, consider securing outside resources to assist. One of the CEOs even hires a 2nd expert to vet the recommendations of the primary expert.
  • Where can you look for good candidates?
    • Talk to your key vendors about who is really good in the industry. Look for a high potential individual in another company who doesn’t have room to grow in their current situation.
    • Also look at related industries where there will be cross-over knowledge and skills.
    • Don’t overlook the military. Talented officers are regularly rotating out of the services – people who have exceptional experience leading and motivating people.
  • On-boarding a new senior executive is different from a lower level employee. If you choose the right individual and they fit your culture, this will ease the process. Be aware that some of your current senior employees will likely be upset that they were passed over and may be difficult. If you haven’t done this in some time, it is worthwhile to secure counsel on the best ways to bring a new COO on-board.

Key Words: COO, Operations, Succession, Candidate, Role, Responsibilities, Attitude, Behavior, Experience, Values, Process, On-Boarding

What’s My Role as CEO? Five Perspectives

Situation: The CEO questions whether he is the right person to lead the Company. The Company has solid revenues and profitability, but growth is lower than expected. How can the CEO improve his situation and solidify his leadership?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The primary functions of the CEO are to assure the maintenance of company values, to provide vision, and to monitor resource allocation within the company.
  • Identify your strengths, and the most important areas where you need help. Create an organizational chart not of positions but of strengths that are needed within the company. Compare these positions with your own strengths, and focus your own activities on your strengths. Promote or hire talent to support you in the latter areas.
    • As you hire or promote and delegate, make sure that you are allowing those with new responsibility the latitude to run their areas of responsibility.
  • Should I consider hiring a CEO or COO?
    • Maybe. If you do, first identify the key leadership traits that we most want to see in a candidate.
    • If you hire a CEO, this individual should have skin in the game. They must be perceived as a leader, and there must be a clean hand-off.
    • Consider hiring a COO. This can be someone willing to take this role with the understanding that your long-term objective is to replace yourself as CEO. A person unwilling to come on as COO and to develop into the CEO may not be the right candidate.

Key Words: Leadership, Role, Strengths, Delegation, Organizational Chart, Values, Vision, Resource Allocation, CEO, COO