Wasn`t that book, "Execution," written by a hired professional killer? :-D
Okay...I HAD to put that in....
The Chief Operations Officer (COO) nowadays has often taken on the
tasks of computer technology (aka Information Technology, or IT). Some
large companies have a specific Chief Information Officer (CIO), or
Chief Technology Officer (CTO). However, the COO often oversees the VP
of Information Systems, and is the final authority on all things
Secondly, the COO is the one who examines, analyzes, and plots the "implementation" of the business---the "doing things."
If the CEO looks at "what are we gonna do," and the CFO looks at "how
are we gonna pay for it," the COO looks at "how is all this happening."
To be a successful COO you`ll want to focus in on the field (and
skills) of Logistics. Simply put, this has come to mean the details of
how Thing gets from Point A to Point Z.
Think about these two examples. Suppose you run the classic lemonade
stand. You sell 10 glasses of lemonade in 1 week. Each glass costs
10-cents to make, and you sell it for 20-cents. At the end of the week
you`ve spent $1 to earn $2 in *revenues,* with a $1 basic profit.
That`s one situation.
But now consider the idea that you have one person making the lemonade,
while another one is selling the drinks out on the corner. The
"operation" of the business includes: buying lemons and sugar,
connecting to a water supply, having on hand glasses and pitchers, the
cost of the squeezer (employee), and the cost of the sales force (the
one selling the drinks).
One of your decisions as COO---the Head Honcho in Charge of
Operations---would be whether or not to consolidate the manufacturing
and the sales. Could you fire the squeezer, and tell the sales person
they have to also make the drink?
Another option is to examine how much you`re currently spending for
lemons. That would be based on a report from the Chief Financial
Officer (the CFO). Let`s say you`re buying them for 40-cents each, but
you know someone in Mexico who can sell them to you for 30-cents.
If you fire the squeezer, and tell the CFO that you`re "switching your
operations" so that you get the lemons from Mexico for 30-cents, that`s
part of your job. It also means some hard emotional decisions. That
squeezer lady has 3 kids, her husband died, the car was hit by a train,
and her dog just died.
I think to be a successful COO means having a clear handle on the
Details. Somebody has to "sweat the details," while everyone else is
running around not worrying and being happy. Somebody has to make hard
decisions about who keeps or loses their job, why, and how it`ll
benefit the overall running of the business.
That means knowing who YOU are, so that you can hold your reasoned position when you have to make hard decisions.
As a side note, many times when a company is about to fall into, or
already has declared bankruptcy, the stockholders bring in a
"Turnaround CEO." In many cases, those "gunslingers" have a very strong
background in operations. They`re the ones who take over control of the
company, and make the reality decisions that the previous
administration didn`t know how to, or couldn`t make, which led to the