A company’s chief operations officer, or COO, is responsible for one of the most important aspects of the business: day-to-day operations. Since the current and future success of any business depends on operating as a well-oiled machine, finding the right hire for the COO position is essential.
But while many business leaders will focus on the qualities they to do want to look for in a COO, it is equally important to know what you do not want to look for, because certain traits or characteristics that seem harmless in another position may make a candidate ill-suited for the position of COO. To share their views on the matter, members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs discuss eight types of people you might want to keep away from when you hire your company’s COO and why they probably wouldn’t be the right person for the job.
1. Someone who lacks structure and discipline
Hiring the right COO for your business is arguably one of the most critical things you do to make or break the success and culture of your business. A person who lacks structure, discipline and the ability to grow with the company would be someone you would want to avoid. The right COO should share your vision for the company, its goals and its growth in the same way that you do so that you can work as a unit to achieve those goals and achieve that growth. A great skill to look for in a person is generally someone who is a leader and not a follower because that type of person tends to find a way to get things done and process processes in a constructive way. streamline. – Roman Smolevskiy, A+ Construction Pro
2. Someone who is a mirror image of the CEO
The COO should complement the knowledge, experience and style of the CEO. Therefore, the first thing to avoid is bringing in a mirror image of the CEO. While the COO must have the ability to track, there must be a balance. If they are not ready to take responsibility or refuse to take the blame, they are a bad fit for them. A COO does not have to be a “yes” man or woman. One should be willing to engage in a healthy debate and should not be afraid to “agree to disagree” at times. If a COO thinks he’s a natural successor to the CEO role, that’s a disaster. The COO is expected to execute strategies determined by management and in many cases handle special projects such as change management, organizational development and more. Avoid someone who can’t listen well and can’t inspire the team. – Vinay Indresh, Joy of space
3. Someone who is proud
The best COOs put the team first. There should be zero ego. These COOs usually find ways to showcase others. They tend to put others on the stage and train them to be the next COO. More than that, a good COO will find ways to share the spotlight with others, not to prioritize their own pride. – Daisy Jing, Banned
4. Someone who leads with emotion and ideology
Avoid those personalities who lead mainly with emotion, assumptions and ideology – you could say, someone who is political in nature. There’s something to be said for a CEO rooted in subjective and emotional leadership, but a good No. 2—usually a COO—is curious and asks questions, basing recommendations, decisions, and actions on data (understanding finance is crucial), more objective logic and fact-finding. A good COO does not see his job primarily as guiding business principles (nor does it find fulfillment in them), but rather as aligning and calibrating it with reality and grounded truth. If a candidate is more interested in “assessing” cultural values and starting to make recommendations that aren’t based on data or fact-finding, they’re probably looking at the wrong role. – Jake Goldman, 10up Inc.
5. Someone without success stories
When hiring a COO for the company, I would avoid anyone with no success stories. I would like to know what problems they encountered in their previous work experiences and how they came up with the right solutions. Hiring a solution-oriented mind answers many questions for me. It shows not only their skills and aptitude, but also their commitment and character. That’s a lot of items on my checklist. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable shapes
6. Someone who cannot take decisive action
When I was looking for a COO, one of the most underrated skills I learned to look for was calm. A COO will inevitably be burdened with many dynamic priorities and will have to calmly steer those around him in the right direction to get the job done. Emotion is translated from the leaders of an organization, and if the COO of the company calmly manages many priorities, those who report to them will be able to focus and achieve goals. When looking for a COO, identifying a person who is calm and decisive under pressure is paramount to success. A person who cannot take decisive action in the face of multiple priorities can leave an organization paralyzed. A great COO has a combination of composure, decisiveness and strategic creativity. – Julian Hamood, Trusted technical team
7. Someone who is obsessed with small details
If you want to hire a qualified COO for your company, I recommend avoiding candidates who are obsessed with small details. COO is a big role; you have to keep an eye on the whole company at once. When you bring in someone who is easily fixated on a small problem, they can overlook countless bigger problems. One way to test this in an interview is to make a list of common issues and ask the candidate to rank them by urgency. Then ask the interviewee if they would delegate to solve the problem or do something themselves. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
8. Someone who is too independent
As a COO, the team must be able to trust that you can manage people and perform your tasks at the same time. Good people are the company’s greatest assets and it is the leadership team’s job to identify, recruit and attract key members. That means the COO should take the time to get to know the people he might be working with. As for hiring a COO, hire someone who has led the same team size as they will lead in your company. Hire someone who collaborates, is interdependent and can inspire people to keep the wheels turning, because operations are the backbone of any business. If it’s not moving, the company won’t – and you need someone you can trust to keep the clockwork going. – Jay Dahal, machine