COOs are the best business leaders, not CEOs

CEOs are always seen as the people who are running the show, the woman and man behind the company’s success and achievements. They are lauded and respected everywhere.

However in today’s world of enterprise, which is getting complex everyday, there are many unsung heroes, who are seldom heard, at least outside the company.

These are the people who manage the day to day complexities and challenges and usher their team through difficult times, and thus ensuring that CEO’s and board’s vision for the company is fulfilled. they ensure that targets are met and everyone is on their right course.

Such one person who is often the second run in the hierarchy is the COO. The unsung woman and man, who is always in the arena with her/his sleeves rolled up.

So who is more important, the CEO or the COO for the company?

The one who envisions and shows the path or the one who ensures that company moves on that path and does not waver from here to there, in spite of all day to day complexities and challenges.

At Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen summit in Laguna Niguel, Calif. on Wednesday , the argument which followed was that the world should train the limelight a little less on the chief executive officer and a little more on the chief operating officer.

It’s actually to the detriment of the company that the visionary has the power because often that person is not equipped with the information” to actually run the company and make decisions, argued Alda Leu Dennis, general partner (and former COO) at Initialized Capital.

I see my job as being the doctor,” she said. “When you’re scaling, every week or month could be incredibly different. I operate triage.” In the beginning, Houseparty co-founder and COO Sima Sistani needed to recruit talent and pay them, so she functioned as HR lead until those tasks were set and delegated. “I just suture and put it out there and figure out how to operationalise it and make it efficient. If I’m doing my job well, I’m putting myself out of a job every month. That’s how I see it (via).

The guys who actually do the job or the guys who envision it?

Take your pick, but this world is better off due to guys who have hit the dirt and rolled up their sleeves. And above all else, they are not in the ‘FTV’ club of LinkedIn.

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