What makes a great COO?
Firstly, it is crucial that they possess exceptional leadership skills. They tend to have oversight of many different departments such as IT, Compliance and Operations – particularly in slightly smaller firms – and therefore have to be able to adapt their leadership styles to suit each division, especially as these areas can often be extremely complex and technical. Furthermore, it is important that they are able to communicate effectively with people of all levels, both internally and externally, particularly in this time of uncertainty. Negotiating, mediating and having to partake in difficult conversations are all usually part of a COOs role and therefore they must be able to understand the most effective way to communicate.
Another key point to note is that a Chief Operating Officer in any firm must be strategic. Although they are often in charge of actually implementing the CEO’s strategy, they must have a strategic mindset for that to be successfully put into action. The key is to get the right balance of strategy combined with experience and knowledge, as this will guarantee the overall vision of the company isn’t compromised whilst still ensuring the everyday tasks are executed to a high standard.
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Focusing on and being driven by data is a really important part of being a great COO. It is argued that often people working in executive or leadership positions at companies can make hasty decisions or think that they know the best course of action based on previous experience, but a COO often has the responsibility to challenge this and slow the process down to a point where decisions can be made more logically. There really isn’t room for them to come to decisions based on instinct – in order to get the results and for the vision to succeed, they must turn to the data and make rational decisions guided by their findings.
To be a great leader and manager, it is extremely important to be a real ‘people person’ and have the ability to connect with colleagues, making them feel reassured and comfortable. Whilst the pandemic has allowed people to work from home and have a bit more balance in their life, this hasn’t necessarily been the easiest thing for people to adapt to. Often, employees can be left feeling a bit isolated and vulnerable without the daily social interaction with colleagues and some have stated that they have lost slight confidence in their ability. A great COO will have had to adapt to the new ways like everyone else whilst still making sure colleagues work efficiently and any issues are dealt with in the best way, which can be harder to do when working remotely. Now more than ever, a real sense of community and inclusivity needs to be maintained, and they will have a big part to play in making sure this happens.
Above all, they must have a positive mindset and be confident in their ability. From the interview process right through to working in the role, they must believe in their capability and vision, ensuring that their colleagues feel positive about it too. They should want everyone involved in the business to succeed and work to the best of their ability. A strong COO is crucial to a good business if they want to have financial and personal success in the long term and they should never be underestimated!
About Fram Search
Established in 2010 by Simon Roderick, a recruiter with 20 years City recruitment experience, Fram Search is a specialist financial services recruitment consultancy. We focus on permanent and interim recruitment in the UK & internationally.
We provide high quality contingent and retained recruitment to boutiques and global brands. We have long established relationships and access to deep talent pools. Fram takes a highly consultative approach, and we have a quality over quantity ethos. We are proud that our contingent fill rate is nearly three the industry average and we augment our retained search methodology with rigorous psychometric testing. Champions of diversity & inclusion, all staff have undertaken unconscious bias training.
Please contact us on 01525 864 372 / [email protected] to learn more.
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