Finding your “no” person can be your company’s greatest asset

    Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

    You’ve heard of Batman and Robin. Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee. Bert and Erny. These are just some of the iconic duos of recent history known for their loyal friendship and charismatic personalities.

    What we know about successful duos is that opposites often attract, and the perfect match might not be someone who exactly matches your energy, but who mirrors your ideas and decisions.

    The same goes for CEOs and COOs.

    As a CEO, you may be the dreamer, big thinker and motivator in your company. But you need that perfect complement to keep you grounded, ignite your ideas, and control you when it matters most.

    In other words, who is your “no” person?

    Related: 5 habits every CEO should avoid to be a truly remarkable leader

    Your COO is the checks and balances for your big ideas

    The COO of my company is truly a changemaker. More than managing operations, he is the checks and balances in most of my business decisions and adds energy to my ideas.

    As an, I encounter all sorts of tempting opportunities — partnerships, products, acquisitions — and it can be easy to get distracted by the shiny object syndrome. My COO is the (subtle) “no” person who tells me, “This is a great idea, but not now” and keeps me focused on what’s best for the company.

    As a CEO, you need that direct yet empathetic voice to remind you where your priorities lie and what’s realistic for your business. If there’s no shortage of opportunities, your COO will help you determine what’s worth pursuing straight away versus what is meant for the future.

    Related: 3 hats every COO should wear

    Your COO is your “chief organizing officer”

    If a CEO is the “chief energizing officer” – the visionary – then the COO is the “chief organizing officer” who brings the team together to make this vision a reality.

    Entrepreneurs are full of fire and big ideas, but we need someone to support us in the organizational structure, processes and operations to bring these ideas to life. This may require building new systems, hiring the right talent, acquiring new tools, and otherwise creating a game plan to achieve these visions.

    My calendar quickly fills up with networking events, speaking engagements, conferences, and the like. My COO keeps the engine of the organization running by overseeing operations, delegating activities to the team, optimizing systems and building processes.

    Related: Hire a COO to go above your weight

    Your COO is a source of inspiration and accountability

    My COO was the primary source of accountability when it came to writing my book, Law firm SEO. After attending the COO Alliance conference, he came back inspired and encouraged me to research, write and launch my book.

    Your COO is both a source of inspiration and accountability. They are often the driving force behind the initiatives that take your brand to the next level, and the gentle nudge to take responsibility to move you forward.

    But this collaboration only works if you have a good working relationship with your COO. This should be a relationship based on trust and respect. You should equally invest in their growth and success by providing training opportunities, coaching, conferences, tools and more.

    Who is your ‘no’ person?

    Whether you have a COO or are still looking for that “no” person, I highly recommend getting the Working Genius personality model in your partnership. This assessment rates you on the six working personality types and can help you highlight characteristics that complement your working styles.

    My working genius is “invent and galvanize;” my COO’s is “Discernment and Enabling.” My work frustration is “wonder and tenacity;” my COOs are “invention and tenacity.”

    What the Working Genius Personality Model tells us is that my COO is the trigger (taking action) for my wonder (big ideas). Again, the perfect CEO/COO dynamic balances between the visionary and the organizer.

    It takes courage to realistically evaluate your weaknesses, and it takes humility to let someone have that level of responsibility in your life. Realizing the benefits of creating a dynamic duo relationship will improve your leadership and possibly the profitability of your business. So, who will be your “no” person?

    Related: Are you a real CEO? Here’s a formula for self-assessment


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