So, you’ve hired and trained a new COO, now what?
If you’ve allowed them some time to immerse themselves in the company culture and make waves, then it’s finally time to move onto the final step of the onboarding process – letting go.
The final step in onboarding a new COO is often the most difficult part for many CEOs. Why is that? It’s because the final step is all about letting go of control over your company. That’s difficult for any leader, but it’s essential!
You see, the reason you hired a new 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.
It’s hard to let go, but you have to trust that your COO knows what they’re doing. They’ve been trained well. They will make sure to do what’s best for the company. They will make sure to start your ideas the right way and start to scale your company for you – while at the same time they’ll be protecting you from yourself.
To do a good job, your COO needs to trust themselves. If you can’t even trust them enough to take off their training wheels, how are they ever going to trust themselves enough to learn how to do the job right?
“Organisations that give their employees the space to work independently will create a healthier atmosphere and more productive team. Trusting your people to work autonomously creates a greater sense of community and helps to build a healthy team spirit that is an important prerequisite for success.” – CIPHR
Think about building a company as you’d think about building a house. 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 electricity, but for some reason, they think that 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? We need six more weeks!” but the homeowner just thinks, “But I want to put the stove in now.”
Handing Things Over
Handing your company over to a COO is hard, but it’s crucial that you allow them to do their job!
Or think of it like this – a CEO and COO relationship is very similar to a marriage; you need to make time in your calendar to spend time one on one while also having your own separate activities.
Your COO needs this time one on one with you to:
- Get up to speed
- Build trust
- Slow you down
- Take all the ideas out of your head for safekeeping
The point is that once you’ve hired a new 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, of course) which ideas will get you where you want to go. You just have to trust them and let go!
Do you have any strategies that help you finally let go? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send us an email, and someone from my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.