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Coaching: Everyone Helps the CEO, But Who Helps The COO/Second-in-Command?

There has been much fanfare when it comes to supporting and coaching the executive suite, particularly the CEO. But who's there to support the Second in Command? COO Coaching is equally, if not more important to keep a healthy organization thriving. Learn more in the infographic below.

Infographic about Second-in-Command COO.

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Partly because the Second-in-Command/COO role varies by company!


There is no standard job description, or even job title, for Second-in-Commands because the role is based on:

  • CEO’s expertise and needs.

  • Company’s lifecycle stage.

  • Expertise and strengths of other leadership team members.

  • Which of the seven Second-in-Command types the company needs.


This lack of clarity, which keeps this secret weapon underutilized, is nobody’s fault.


When a company is growing, especially rapidly, there isn’t time to step back and clearly define the CEO and Second-in-Command roles.


Unfortunately, over time, lack of clarity at the top leads to:

  • Inconsistent processes and information.

  • Chaotic work environment.

  • Difficulty allocating time effectively.

  • Reduced productivity and profitability.


In fact, companies lose 20% to 30% of their revenue every year to inefficiencies. And new internal and external challenges continue to emerge.


Fortunately, an equipped Second-in-Command with a clearly defined role can reverse this trend and help you elevate your business.


Strategies to ensure your Second-in-Command/COO is best prepared to support you and your company include providing them with:

  • Coaching.

  • Strategic tools, like a business operating system.

  • Technology tools.

  • Membership in a Peer Group for Second-in-Commands (2iCs).


Here’s to you and your 2iC rocking 2024!

Everyone Helps the CEO, But Who Helps The Second-in-Command?

More than 40% of the world’s leading companies have a COO. But without a standard job description. Many Second-in-Commands are filling the COO role without the title.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon

  • The Second-in-Command/COO complements the Entrepreneur (aka CEO)

  • The job of COO varies based on

  • CEO needs

  • Company stage

  • Leadership team strengths

  • There are roughly seven different 2iC types

  • Executor: Executes strategies and delivers daily results

  • Change agent: Leads specific business changes such as mergers

  • Mentor: Mentors a younger or less experienced CEO

  • Other half: Complements the CEO with unique skills

  • Partner: Co-leads to improve CEO effectiveness

  • Heir apparent: Succeeds the Entrepreneur/CEO (with their blessing)

  • MVP: Keep in the company because they are too valuable to lose

  • There are three consistent attributes of a successful Second-in-Command/COO:

  • Acuity

  • Quickly grasps complex concepts 

  • Juggles multiple tasks effectively

  • Organization

  • Defines priorities

  • Allocates the right amount of time, energy, and resources to achieve the goals/vision

  • Process and structure

  • Reduces complexity and systematizes processes

  • Creates clarity and accountability while providing consistency

  • Translates the big picture into achievable components

  • But true Second-in-Commands/COOs are extremely rare (with a 4:1 Ratio)

  • Four (4) Entrepreneurs/CEOs to every one (1) Second in Command/COO

  • This leaves 75% of Entrepreneurs/CEOs without a true Second in Command/COO

  • The recent COO resurgence is garnering lots of attention

  • Rose up to 16% between 2018 and 2022 

  • Today, businesses need a Second-in-Command/COO when the Entrepreneur/CEO:

  • Feels overwhelmed

  • Spends time managing people but not growing people

  • Works on areas of the business that drain them of energy

  • Isn’t getting enough done

  • Has no time or life for themselves (the business owns them)

Unfortunately, not every Second-in-Command/COO gets the support and guidance they need — putting modern organizations at a significant disadvantage.

The Cost of Not Investing In Your Second-in-Command/COO

  • Companies lose 20% to 30% of their revenue to inefficiencies every year

  • Due to pressure and inadequate training, many Second-in-Command/COO’s are unable to allocate time effectively

  • Only spending ⅓ on long-term strategic planning

  • Too much time spent dealing with employee and operational priorities

  • Modern challenges for the Second-in-Command/COO include:

  • External challenges:

  • Worker shortages and employee turnover (44%)

  • Digital transformation initiatives (43%)

  • Supply chain disruptions (29%)

  • Compliance functions (18%)

  • Integrating new acquisitions (17%)

  • Carbon footprints (17%)

  • Internal challenges:

  • Lack of clarity in role

  • Changes to the vision and priorities

  • Chaotic work environment

  • Unengaged teams/staff not comfortable speaking up

  • Losing top performers

  • Information silos

  • Isolation

  • It’s clear the skills and tools of the past are no longer enough

  • Second-in-Commands/COOs must lean into upskilling to develop new strengths

Empowering Second-in-Commands/COOs creates a measurable impact on business growth, leading to better clarity, improved communication, and sustainable success when implemented correctly

Upskilling Your Secret Weapon for 2024 and Beyond

  • Make sure you have the right Second-in-Command/COO 

  • Assess your current situation (Diane Integrates)

  • Hire the best possible talent (VisionSpark)

  • Provide coaching for your Second-in-Command/COO (Diane Integrates)

  • Improve clarity and accountability

  • Keep company aligned, focused, and moving forward

  • Accelerate results

  • See increases due to coaching:

  • Individual performance (70%)

  • Team performance (50%)

  • Organizational performance (48%)

  • Earn ROI (return on investment) in coaching of up to 788%

  • Incorporate strategic tools, like a Business Operating System

  • Increase valuation with world-class Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Break down silos and increase retention

  • Improve meetings (Focus on solving issues and capitalizing on opportunities)

  • Accelerate results with 6-week, quarterly, and annual meetings

  • Achieve your quarterly, annual, and 3-year business goals

  • Grow the business faster and more strategically

  • Sponsor participation in a Second-in-Command 2iC/COO Peer Group

  • Improve decision-making capabilities 

  • Reduce harmful biases in the decision-making process by actively engaging in diverse networks 

  • Increase goal attainment

  • Raise the chance of goal attainment by 95% through ongoing meetings with accountability partners

  • Enhance innovation and identification of growth opportunities

  • Spark ideas through exposure to a wide range of diverse perspectives

  • Fuel continuous learning and professional growth

  • Provide learning opportunities seen as important by 86% of employees

Equip your Second-in-Command and elevate your business.


Rocket Fuel


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