Duties Of The Chief Operating Officer – Etsy COO Linda Kozlowski led an international expansion, consolidated and began developing her marketing plans, began revising the company’s brand, launched a new communications strategy, and began integrating user feedback into product development—all in about six months. While others can
Crediting her abilities, she is quick to cite the plan laid out by CEO Chad Dickerson. He outlined not only how her specific actions will affect Etsy customers, but also how her role will interact with the rest of the leadership team — especially Dickerson. This precision led to efficiency.
Duties Of The Chief Operating Officer
Kozlowski is part of a new group of COOs who use knowledge and experience in various positions to create systems that elevate the entire company. At places like Evernote and Alibaba, she led global expansion, marketing, public relations, customer experience and business development. Decades of extensive exposure have not only shown her the levers for each functional area, but also how they can be coordinated to make a startup successful.
Chief Executive Officer Or Ceo
In the first round of the CEO Summit, Kozlovsky turns his attention to the most mysterious roles in senior positions. She describes why and how companies should make their business the foundation, as well as how to identify the COO that is right for you. Kozlowski discusses what an operational leader is and isn’t to position any startup for success.
It’s common for startups to wait too long to bring in an operations manager due to a lack of clarity about the role. It’s more intuitive what other executive positions do: the CMO manages marketing and the CTO oversees development. But with COO, it’s less noticeable. Even a quick Google search of the definition leaves much to be desired: “a senior executive responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a company.” But don’t functions have their own operations team, such as sales and marketing?
“We’re all familiar with technology operations, but COO is really about business operations: how you run your business, think about strategy, and drive the business forward in growth,” says Kozlowski. “The COO role is tailored to each company and requires deep self-awareness on the part of the CEO and founder to identify the specific skills and qualities they need in a partner.”
Self-assess yourself to find your match. If your executive team were a film crew, your CEO and COO would be the director and producer. “Your COO must complement the CEO and the rest of the executive team if you have the opportunity to radically transform your organization,” says Kozlowski. “The skills required will differ for each company, management team and stage of business. My strengths lie in scaling companies with significant global presence through strategy, marketing and sustainable customer experience. I prefer to work with a CEO with a technical background whose strategies can help grow the business as we go to market. But this will be different for each company depending on the stage and composition of the executive team and will evolve as you grow. Be prepared to accept and adapt to your needs.”
The Role Of The Chief Human Resources Officer (chro)
Identifying the right candidate requires deep introspection and what Kozlowski calls self-awareness 301: a crash course in identifying your strengths and weaknesses and thinking very hard about how those qualities affect how you run your business. Ask yourself these questions to find out what qualities you need in a COO.
What attracts me? You enjoy, by default, and excel at these tasks. Write them down. Seriously. Go back to them and pay attention to how they structure your day and management style.
What am I delaying? We all have those old things in our inbox or on our to-do list that we put off or tell ourselves “I’ll do it tomorrow” but never do. Maybe you’re short on time, but maybe there’s a skills gap you need to acknowledge. Make a list as they come to mind and see if they are the traits and abilities of your COO.
What would I like to know and love? Of the things you put off or just skim over, what do you wish you had better knowledge or skills for? Eventually you will become proficient in these areas and attract them, but in the short term you need to find ways to develop them. Your COO should act as an instructor to guide you.
Chief Executive Officer (ceo) Job Description
First, answer these three questions for yourself. There is hardly another co-founder or colleague who has worked with you at every stage of your career. So, you are the best judge of what you like to do and where you need to improve. Once you have the answers to these questions, Kozlowski recommends hiring others to review. This could include your executive team, board and investors, mentors, partner or executive coach. “Don’t direct their thinking and don’t preface too much. Verbally or in writing, encourage them to appreciate who you are, the roles you are achieving, and the areas in which you need to grow,” says Kozlowski.
“There is a caveat when you ask your executive team, board and investors for critical feedback on what you need to improve. As a CEO, especially of a young company, you probably worked tirelessly to promote yourself and prove your leadership so that people would like you and invest in you,” says Kozlowski. “This is not the time to convince them that you know everything. Look for sincerity, not echo. Ask for feedback and keep quiet. Thank them for everything they give back to you.”
Think of it as a puzzle where your COO will fill in the missing pieces to complete your leadership team.
Adjust and select your counterweight. Now that you know what you need, you can start looking for the COO who can best help you grow your company. According to A
Chief Operations Officer Cover Letter Examples
In the article, there are seven types of operational managers. Given that the COO must complement the CEO and founder, you’ll likely need a mix of roles to identify the right partner for you.
“I am the other half and the performer, and these are quite common types. The CEOs I’ve worked with tend to have skills complementary to mine. In tandem, our abilities are better than alone,” says Kozlovsky. “For example, with a CEO who brings a big vision to the company, he can deliver on that plan at scale. For another CEO who ran the business primarily in the US, I bring significant experience in global scaling.”
Of course, there are different CEO-COO pairs. “Maybe you’re looking for a successor, someone you’re training to be the next CEO. Or if you are a younger founder, perhaps the best choice is an experienced mentor who can impart wisdom and help guide the business,” says Kozlovsky. “There is no perfect formula, and many COOs are a combination of two or three types. The right COO for your company depends on the skills that the CEO lacks and needs to develop – this is especially true for young CEOs.”
Look for candidates in unexpected places. Don’t just look for MBA programs or finance veterans. Kozlowski spent nearly two decades in PR and communications before moving to marketing and operations at Alibaba. “It was great because the skills I had developed before were suited to this role: anticipating problems, communicating a clear vision, understanding what to ask next and how to avoid trouble when things go wrong,” she says. “I rely on these skills every day as COO. Don’t limit your search options at the very beginning.”
Chief Executive Officer Cover Letter Examples
Regardless of the type of COO you need, there are certain non-negotiables for a COO. Here are five things to look for when screening job candidates:
Trust. There’s a reason why this word is thrown around a lot in business, but it’s especially important between CEOs and COOs, given how much they need to be in sync when making decisions on the fly. “You can’t do business with a person who is supposed to be your soulmate if you don’t have an honest relationship with them. Point. It’s not just about trusting their instincts and abilities, it’s about knowing deep down that they’ll step into the chaos with you, do their part, and have your back at the same time,” says Kozlovsky. “The challenge is to see if the potential for trust is there at the outset. A new COO, like any new employee, will want to show how they’re handling every part of their new job. But don’t forget to use the CEO as a sounding board for a particularly difficult early-stage choice. Come with options, intelligence and opinion, but also vulnerability and genuine input. Not only is it an opportunity to come together during a difficult decision, but it also shows that you believe that two heads are better than one at the beginning of a relationship.”
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