COO stands for Chief Operating Officer. Part of the senior management, a COO, oversees the ongoing operations of a business. Their communication and interpersonal skills have to be top-notch and they need to have a good working relationship with executives and employees on the managerial level to ensure smooth operations. The only executive who has authority over the COO is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). If a CEO is the company’s external face, a COO is the company’s internal face.
Basic responsibilities of a COO
A COO is privy to all the current and future projects, as they overlook the execution. This means that although the COO might not have the authority to approve or disapprove the business plans and projects, they are the ones who are executing the plans according to the business model of the organization.
Suppose the CEO comes up with the ideas. In that case, it will fall upon the COO to implement those strategies. In most cases, the COO will have more practical experience in managing and executing affairs. A COO can also have a say in the hiring and letting go of employees, as they have a better idea of the kind of employees who will complement the organization and those who aren’t working up to their potential. This means they are also authorized to give promotions as they are responsible for employee reviews as well. They also arrange training and workshops for the employees to attain the latest skills in the field and boost morale.
One of the COO’s main roles is to prepare managerial reports regarding updates on projects and employees to present to the CEO and the board. The reports provide an overall account of the daily ongoing in the organization. It is up to the COO to create a safe working environment for the employees and smooth over any hiccups.
Since the COO is apprised of the daily ongoing in an organization, they are unofficially trained for the CEO position once the CEO decides to retire or pass on the title. In some cases, the CEO can be untrained, and the COO provides the required training to the CEO.
Importance of a COO
The importance of a COO is sometimes overlooked. They may not seem as important as the CEO is the company’s face, nor like the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who is in charge of the finances. However, a COO is a middle man or the communication legion between employees and senior management. The COO is thoroughly aware of the internal affairs and knows what works for the organization and what doesn’t.
How to become a COO?
Since a COO dons’ various hats in different industries, there isn’t a specific skill set requirement. However, the person must have good leadership and communication skills and the ability to delegate tasks and head teams. By managing operations effectively and demonstrating the ability to do so, a person can be on their way to becoming a COO.
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- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)
- Chief Information Officer (CIO)
- Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
- Chief Purchasing Officer (CPO)
- Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
- Chief Sales Officer (CSO)
- Chief Risk Officer (CRO)
- Chief Legal Officer (CLO)