In a recent Financial Times article, “Seven lessons in management I learnt over the last decade,” Michael Skapinker delivers succinct lessons in one of the best management pieces we’ve read. Of particular help for our CEO clients and placements, he points out: “A good deputy helps you sleep at night.” By “deputy” Skapinker is broadly referring to anyone who can leverage you, whether that’s a formal COO title or a bright, hungry young intern who is sophisticated enough to appreciate being a good “gopher” to the CEO.
Too often CEOs worry that a “No 2” needs to be a formal COO title with the compensation requirements that goes with that person (and fear it might upset the senior management apple cart). However, think of this person as anyone age 18 to 80 who is bright, capable and can leverage you. Ideally, the “No 2” or “deputy” should possess skills different from yours, while at the same time, support you.
No matter the title, as CEO, you need someone who will take your vision and turn it into operational reality.