Onboarding A New COO: Part 3 – Letting Go

Onboarding A New COO: Part 3 – Letting Go

Now that you have your new COO, and you’ve allowed them some time to immerse themselves in the company culture and make waves, it’s time to move into step three of your onboarding process.

It’s time to let go!

Step three is the hardest part for many CEOs because it’s about letting go of control over your company. You see, the reason you hired a COO in the first place is that you needed to get some things off your plate so that you can focus on the ideas that will propel your company forward.

Entrepreneurs are all about big shiny stuff, but once you hire a COO, you have to start running everything through them. I promise you that they will take care of your ideas! They will make sure to start your ideas the right way and start to scale your company for you – while at the same time protecting you from yourself.

Time for another analogy…

Think about building a company like building a house – it’s very similar.

Say you are hired to build a home, you are the contractor, and your job is to make sure that everything is done in order and up to code so that the homeowner has a safe and reliable house.

Now imagine that you are doing your job and the homeowner shows up while you’re working on putting in the framing.  In the midst of all this “groundwork”, they just randomly want to install the stove.

You’ve got no cabinets, no gas hookup, no electric – but for some reason; they think it’s okay to put a stove in way ahead of schedule.

You’d get angry and say, “What are you doing putting a stove in?  Wait – wait – we need six more weeks!” – but the homeowner just thinks, “But I want to put the stove in now.” Or maybe they want to put up the cabinets before you’ve finished with the drywall.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Handing your company over to a COO is hard, I know, but it is crucial that you allow them to do their job (and save you from yourself).

One thing that I always recommend for CEO and COO relationships is date nights – and I’m not kidding. A CEO and COO relationship is very similar to marriage; you need to make time in your calendar for the two of you to spend time one on one. I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs that say, “Yeah, I don’t need that” but the fact is that it’s not actually for you. It’s for your COO. They need it!

You COO needs this time to…

  1. Get up to speed!
  2. Build trust!
  3. Slow you down.
  4. Take all the ideas out of your head for safe keeping.

The point is that once you hired a COO, your job is not to start things anymore – your job is to share your ideas with your COO and let them do their job. You can focus on the future of your company while they focus on determining (with your team) which ideas will get you where you want to go.

And that’s it – the third of three essential steps that need to happen when you onboard a COO.

Of course, I have to end by mentioning that I recommend to all of my CEO clients that they enroll their COO in the COO Alliance. We are the world’s leading network for seconds in command, and we bring COOs of high-growth companies together to learn and grow. I’m sure you’re part of a CEO network, and I know there are many to choose from – but make sure you consider that it is vital for your COO to have also a place to grow.

Send this page to your COO so they can apply now, or submit their information on their behalf and get them excited.

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