What makes a great (Wingman) COO?

Continuing our recent series on the topic of COOs.

According to research conducted by HBR, there are 7 kinds of COO. Said another way, no one size fits all.

One role of the COO is to be the "Executor." In EOS parlance, the integrator role can be the COO. Essentially, the Executor can lead the execution of strategies developed by the leadership or management team (as you scale your business, and in my experience, typically an exec team is composed of no more than 3-5 people). 

As a quick aside, often the role of CEO is thought to be outwardly focused or so called "Visionary" in EOS parlance; the COO is inwardly focused. COOs take on the responsibility for delivering results on a day-to-day basis. The day-to-day operational nuts-n-bolts that make the place hum and fun to work.

It is rare, but I have seen CEOs who are excellent executors. In other words, they wear both hats. The converse is also true.

In today's dynamic business environment, you must be able to adapt nimbly and efficiently to rapid changes. Thus, two sets of hands are handy (no pun intended). My mentor used to refer to me as his Wingman before I ascended in time to his job. Wingman suited me perfectly. 

CEO: heads up for opportunities around the corner

COO: heads down focused on operational success and efficiency necessary for success today

Next time: Type 2 The Change Agent