Career Path For Chief Operating Officer


Youll Need A Bachelors Degree

Career Advice on becoming a Chief Operating Officer by Steve K (Full Version)

Speaking of courses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a four-year degree is essential to any top-level executive. The COO is about as close to the top as you can get! Since youll be overseeing business operations, we strongly recommend you consider a bachelors degree in business.

If youve already got a degree and its not in business, youre certainly not out of luck. Some COOs do have degrees that have nothing to do with business, such as technical degrees. However, if this is your case, youll want to look into developing your business knowledge as you prepare. Consider supplementing your next steps in education with courses in or .

How Do You Become A Chief Operating Officer

Because they are tasked with the oversight of a variety of different departments, Chief Operating Officers are required to have a well-rounded education. Many c-suite hopefuls excel in high school and enroll in four-year degree programs through universities.

While some will launch straight into their business careers with their bachelors degree and entrepreneurial spirit, others will approach an MBA in business, operations, or product management as options to enhance their resumes. However, the key to building up business acumen is having the right work experience, connections, and acquired business savvy.

Whether it be from a formal education in business or otherwise, they must have engaged in continuing education and networking opportunities to uplevel their business savvy over the course of their careers. A successful track record in team management in their professional life is really helpful as well.

How Much Money Does A Coo Make

The salary of a COO will vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. These factors include the company they work for, their experience, and their contract. According to PayScale, as of March 1, 2022, the average COO salary is $144,996. The base salary ranges from $74,000 to $246,000. On top of that, COOs are paid bonuses and profit-sharing plans.

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Understanding A Chief Operating Officer

The COO mainly focuses on executing the companys business plan, according to the established business model, while the CEO is more concerned with long-term goals and the broader company outlook. In other words, the CEO devises plans, while the COO implements them.

For instance, when a company experiences a drop in , the CEO might call for increased quality control, in order to fortify its reputation among customers. In this case, the COO might carry out the CEO’s mandate by instructing the human resources department to hire more quality control personnel. The COO may also initiate the rollout of new product lines, and may likewise be responsible for production, research and development, and marketing.

The Underpinnings Of Success

How to become a CFO

Even though the role is so contingent, we have identified some success factors that came up consistently in our interviews with executives in widely varying situations. The single element most critical to the success of a CEO-COO pairing, we quickly saw, is the level of trust between the two individuals. To speak of trust is almost a cliché, but the vehemence with which our research participants stressed it suggests they consider it more crucial here than in any other business relationship. Wendell Weeks, who rose from COO to CEO at Corning, referred to the need for a true partnership, in every sense of the word. The trust has to be absolute, he said, because there are those in the organization who are always seeking to drive wedges if they can. Other executives specifically used the metaphor of having one anothers back. Hearing their comments, we were reminded of Harry Levinsons insightful 1993 article, Between CEO and COO, in the Academy of Management Executive. In it, he wrote, The relationshipis fraught with many psychological complexities. Perhaps it is the most difficult of all organizational working relationships because more than others, it is a balancing act on the threshold of power. Levinson went on to explore the dysfunctions that can arise in such situations: unhealthy rivalries, defensiveness, overcontrol, rigidity, misconceptions, and doubt.

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What Is The Typical Career Path For A Chief Operating Officer

The career path for a Chief Operating Officer can vary widely. Most come from backgrounds in business, in various roles such as business or financial advisors, product management extraordinaire, salespeople, and other support roles. Having tenure within the industry of the company you hope to work with is key to landing this high-level job.

What Does It Take To Be A Coo

COOs have a strong educational background combined with extensive work experience. A strong COO will have worked in a variety of positions, particularly in a specific organization, to understand all of the different parts of a business and how they work together. This allows them to pinpoint specific issues and gaps within the organization. Having experience managing people and teams is also imperative to be a COO. In addition, COOs should be great at communication, flexible, and strong leaders.

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The Job Outlook For The Ceos Right

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top executives field on a whole is growing at 6 percent per year about the same rate as other management positions. However, its extremely difficult to measure the positions growth for three main reasons:

  • Its constantly changing. According to EY, the COO role is one of the most rapidly changing roles at the executive level. Thats why it can be difficult to pin down who and what the COO is.
  • Companies hire or promote from within. When this happens, its called an MVP COO, someone who is promoted to keep them with the company.
  • COOs are sometimes cofounders. This is especially true in the case of startups, where the COO was there from the start.

What this means for you: Be prepared to round out your education and experience as much as possible so that you can be flexible when the opportunity arises. The greater your ability to demonstrate leadership, business acumen, and industry insight, the stronger candidate youll become.

How Much Is A Coo Salary

COO’s of Stripe, Infor and Instagram discuss their career path | Fortune

Although COOs have many responsibilities and must have many skills, they often are rewarded handsomely for their hard work.

A COOs salary varies depending on myriad factors industry, age of company, experience, length of tenure and salary history, just to name a few the average COO base salary is $141,757 annually, plus an additional $24,930 per year in bonuses, according to compensation website PayScale. According to PayScale, COO salaries typically range from $71,000 per year on the low end to $246,000 per year on the high end. For comparison sake, the average salary of a CEO and a CFO is $158,193 and $131,816, respectively.

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What Does Coo Stand For

The letters COO stand for Chief Operations Officer. The Chief Operations Officer is just below the Chief Executive Officer in a company. The common letter of C in both titles gives us the C-Suitethe highest level of management and leadership in a corporation. The Chief Financial Officer rounds out the C-Suite executives. All of the members of the C-Suite answer to the Board of Directors and Chairman of the company. In some cases, the CEO is also the owner and head of the Board. Titles of President and Vice President are often applied to these positions as well.

The Seven Coo Archetypes

Despite the fact that the COO role is far from consistent across companies, Nathan Bennet and Stephen A. Miles found some themes as they explored the COO role in Second in Command: The Misunderstood Role of the Chief Operating Officer . They identified seven COO archetypes:

  • The executor. They turn ideas and strategies into business realities.
  • The change agent. They are brought on to lead a specific change initiative, such as a turnaround or a planned expansion.
  • The mentor. They typically coach a young, founder CEO. They have deeper industry experience and apply that to co-lead with the CEO.
  • The other half. They are the ideal foil for the CEOtheyre great where the CEO is not as developed or interested.
  • The partner. They co-lead the company alongside the CEO.
  • The heir apparent. They are groomed to take over the top post in a succession plan.
  • The MVP. They are promoted from within in order to keep this valuable leader at the company.
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    Chief Operating Officer Trends

    Here are three trends influencing how COOs work. COOs will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

    The Need for Operational Excellence

    The need for operational excellence is a trend that is quickly gaining traction in the business world. This is because businesses are realizing that they need to be more efficient and productive in order to stay competitive.

    Chief operating officers can utilize this trend by focusing on improving efficiency and productivity within their departments. This may include streamlining processes, implementing new technologies, or training employees.

    More Focus on Customer Experience

    As customers become more demanding, businesses are beginning to focus more on customer experience. This means that COOs will need to develop skills in areas such as customer service, marketing, and product development.

    A Greater Emphasis on Innovation

    Innovation is becoming increasingly important in the business world, as companies are looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition. As a chief operating officer, you can capitalize on this trend by developing a culture of innovation within your company.

    What Can Further Education Do For You

    How to Become a COO ð Your Path to Chief Operating Officer

    Advanced degrees are common in the board room, . As a COO, the position of CEO will lie within reach and some 40 percent of the top CEOs have MBAs.

    Having an MBA not only improves your chances of commanding a higher salary, but it also puts into your hands the skills you need to competently lead the operations of a company. We very strongly recommend that you consider one, especially if your bachelors degree isnt already in business.

    However, there are two specific reasons why an MBA is particularly necessary for a future COO:

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    How To Become A Chief Operations Officer

    A chief operations officer works alongside and reports to the chief executive officer , and is one of the highest-ranking executives in a company. As such, they work tirelessly to ensure that all company operations fall in line with the plan established by the CEO.

    There isnt a single, direct career path to becoming a COO, but there will be educational requirements and expertise expected of you.

    How To Become A Coo Your Path To Chief Operating Officer

    So, youve got your eye on the Chief Operating Officer position? Way to shoot for the stars! The COO is second-in-command in most companies. Its a unique position thats largely considered one of the most challenging positions in the boardroom.

    We know youve got it in you, and were excited for you to take this step. To help you get there, weve put together this handy guide on how to become a COO. Well take a close look at:

    • What its like to be one
    • How to determine where you are in your path to becoming one
    • The skills you should cultivate now in your career

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    The Coos I Interviewed

    I interviewed six COOs. Four work at startups with 40 or fewer employees one works at a company with 200 people and one works at a 500-person company. All were within technology companies, spanning the e-commerce, financial services, gaming, and healthcare industries. Unsurprisingly, the COOs working at startups are younger than those serving in larger companies.

    Who Reports To The Coo

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    Nearly everyone within an organization will report to the COO, although they may not do so directly. The COO has wide-ranging responsibilities, and they oversee every area of the company aside from other chief executives, the board of directors, and the owners.

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    What Does A Coo Do

    Every COO has different responsibilities, because every organization and industry is different.

    Generally speaking, the COO is the CEOs right-hand person, according to George Whittier, president of electronics manufacturer Morey Corp. lead and oversee the companys day-to-day operations to ensure continuous process improvement, Whittier explained.

    Amy Sanchez, certified career coach at Swim Against the Current, said COOs work closely with CEOs to make important company decisions. They also work with other C-suite executives, including the CFO and CIO, to ensure all departments are supporting the companys objectives as defined by executives and the board of directors.

    For Randy Hayashi, COO at credit card processing company Payment Depot, perhaps the best way to define the responsibilities of the COO role is to view them in relation to the CEO.

    My role is to take the big vision of the CEO and make it actually happen, he said. That means I am responsible for coming up with the procedures to allow my sales manager, support manager and tech manager to execute the vision of our CEO. My role involves finding solutions and implementing them into our daily procedures to keep our company growing.

    The COO reports to the CEO, but everyone else mid-level managers like sales managers, marketing managers, and product managers, as well as other C-level executives like the CFO and the CTO report to the COO.

    Business Management Bs Business Administration

    Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:…

    Hone your business acumen and garner added…

    Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:

    • Time: 68% of graduates finish within 36 months.
    • Tuition: $3,575 per 6-month term.

    Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

    • Account executive

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    Chief Operating Officer Skills & Competencies

    In addition to the educational and experience requirements, organizations look for COO candidates who also have soft skills such as leadership, decision-making, and communication. Here are some of the most important qualities:

    • Leadership: A COO must have excellent leadership skills, business acumen and ability to effectively manage, lead and supervise a multidisciplinary team
    • Strategy: They must excel at strategic thinking, be open to new perspectives and better ways to do things and be creative, a visionary, and manage innovation well
    • Completion-oriented: A COO must be results-driven
    • Understands finance: The COO must have a track record of successful financial management
    • A successful COO must have superior decision-making skills
    • Delegation: Must have the ability to delegate effectively
    • Communication: The COO must possess executive-level communication and influencing skills with the ability to resolve issues, build consensus among groups of diverse internal/external stakeholders, and have proven skill in negotiating and mediating conflict

    A Lock On The Back Door

    What does a COO (chief operating officer) do at a big corporation?

    Obviously, the creation of the COO role adds a layer of management executives who previously had direct access to the CEO now have an intermediary to address. One of the COOs first challenges is to develop relationships with direct reports that discourage them from seeking backdoor access to the CEO. At the same time, the COO must depend on the CEO to block efforts by those who might want to circumvent the position. This is not to say that restricting access to the CEO is the goal. Ed Zander, now CEO of Motorola, previously served as COO of Sun Microsystems under Scott McNealy. Zander says the two made it clear that any of the COOs direct reports was entitled to go to McNealy to talk about things. But the lines of responsibility were still respected. One thing that Scott did very well was to never undermine me, Zander told us. He always backed all my decisions. He would hear people out but then send them to me.

    CEOs constantly have fresh thoughts with operational implications they must be in the habit of discussing those with their COOs without delay.

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    Explore Coo Key Responsibilities

    There isnt really a norm when it comes to being a COO due to the positions, nature and responsibilities changing drastically from company to company. The triangle of effective leadership is all about setting direction, finding alignment and then getting commitment.

    Dale Williams, Former COO, GetSmarter

    If you want to fill the shoes of a COO, dont expect a one-size-fits-all job description. Your immediate response is to work in line with the needs and goals of the CEO, always being willing to adapt to a fast-changing corporate and external environment, and have a mission of helping the business to innovate and grow.2

    How To Write A Chief Operating Officer Job Description

    Think about the typical chief operating officer : busy, driven to meet objectives, and practical to a T. As such, your COO job description should be brief, specific, and realistic. Start by introducing your company, then outline expectations for the COO. Once youve painted a picture of the work environment, clearly spell out the objectives, responsibilities, and qualifications for the role. Set the bar high because youll likely get more high-quality candidates that way. A strong COO job description conveys the day-to-day and long-term impacts of the role and avoids excessive detail and empty jargon.

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