$treet $mart$ (vol. 23)
Most of us, when asked, can easily name a top visionary CEO, like Steve Jobs, or Mark Zuckerberg, but very few people can name a top COO, at least without putting some thought into it. Truth be told, COOs are actually more vital to a business's success than a CEO. Sure, big visions and big ideas are helpful, but they are not vital.
There is an entire graveyard of "great big ideas", that couldn't be executed.
[ /ˌäpəˈrāSH(ə)n/ ]
an active process; a discharge of a function. Minimize Risk In The Business by way of the formation of the company, insurance, contracts, human resources, technology, and measurement
In order to build a great organization we need both Vision and Execution. The problem is very few "founders" are good at both. In fact, it's rare to have both qualities equally weighted. It's typically one or the other: Visionary or Integrator.
The Role of a Visionary
Visionary CEOs provide unique ideas and creative solutions that no one else can. They are really good at seeing far into the future, they rely on their intuition, and have a passion for culture. They have 10 new ideas a week - 9 of which are garbage - and should be disregarded. However, when Visionary CEOs don't have strong COOs, they whipsaw the heck out of their teams trying all 10 ideas until they get to the good one.
The Role of the COO
Every business needs to have a cohesive unit if it wants to succeed, and that's where the COO comes in. This person serves as an all-encompassing adhesive for Sales & Marketing, Operations, and Finance teams - smoothing out any bumps along the way so everyone can work together harmoniously towards collective success. The key words are "Collective Success".
A good COO keeps their CEO at arm's length from the team, challenges their ideas, and forces them to flesh out their ideas, to ensure that they do not disrupt the collective success of the team. And this is why every great visionary, needs to find a strong second in command and actual operator. Only when combined with a COO's logical structure and long-term strategies do CEOs become unstoppable forces that have the potential to elevate a company’s success exponentially.
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