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What Qualities Make The Best Chief Operating Officers (COO)

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence” – Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook)

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Throughout the history we have heard of great kings, who ruled the lands with might, who withstood sieges against the worst of odds, who did wonders which made their name iconic in history books. But, what do we know of their commanders? The short answer is; not as much.

The same can be said about the present corporate world where CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are general knowledge, but Sheryl Sandberg and Kevin Turner, their respective COOs, are not.

The COO is an unsung hero, standing strong behind each and every move of the company, drafting strategic blueprints and executing them to achieve corporate goals.

The role of COO requires a specific set of talents, which are widespread in every sense of the word.

1) Tactical and detail oriented

A seasoned COO uses a combination of experience and knowledge to identify the key elements that turns the wheels. He makes sure that they are strategically addressed before anything gets to set sail. Having an eagle eye for detail is a must in this role, coupled with a mentalist-like ability to think in others’ shoes.

2) Encourages the talented

According to Forbes magazine, talented workforce is the key to success in any corporate sector, and a good COO will always be able to tell one’s worth. He will strive to acquire the best brains to the team, and to felicitate those already within, and not let the golden egg grow feet and run away.

3) Selfless

A good COO is the farthest from a self-lauder. Instead, he will share the ups with the whole team and bear the downs as a personal responsibility. In other words, he will do what needs to be done to benefit the company and its employees, over personal gain.

4) Evidence based

The COO will be the one in the room who calls for the statistics when everyone else is enthusiastic about the brilliant new idea. He knows the importance of making fact-based decision, and not giving in to whims and hunches.

A good COO will always adapt to change, and grow in value with time and he will let anyone know it is the diversity of the role that makes it so wonderful to make a living of.

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