Artwork for podcast Second in Command: The Chief Behind the Chief
Ep. 386 - Mastering the Art of Second-in-Command
28th May 2024 • Second in Command: The Chief Behind the Chief • Second in Command: The Chief Behind the Chief
00:00:00 00:40:12

Share Episode


Today's episode of the Second in Command podcast is a recast of a conversation between Cameron and Linh Podetti, host of the EO Business podcast. During the conversation, Cameron explores the vital role of a COO in entrepreneurial success, drawing on his extensive experience with businesses such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK. He emphasizes the importance of the COO as a complement to the CEO, focusing on operational areas that the CEO may not excel in or find draining. Cameron discusses his journey and the evolution of his role, highlighting how different stages of company growth require different leadership skills. He also introduces his new book, "The Second in Command," which captures his insights and strategies for cultivating effective second-in-command leadership.

They discuss how to find and nurture a COO. Cameron advises that internal promotion to COO might be challenging as the company grows, suggesting that hiring from outside can bring in necessary expertise and perspective. He further explores the complexities of compensation in leadership roles, particularly around the topic of equity, noting a shift in trends where not all leadership positions require equity as part of compensation. This part of the discussion illuminates the practical aspects of appointing a second in command, including the importance of alignment with the company’s stage of development and culture.

The conversation concludes with personal reflections from Cameron on achieving a balanced and fulfilling life beyond business success. He shares his personal transformation, from being a stressed entrepreneur to leading a lifestyle focused on happiness and personal fulfillment, which he supports through a vivid vision for his life and marriage. Cameron stresses the importance of COOs investing time in personal development and hobbies to prevent burnout and maintain their passion for business. This approach, he notes, not only enhances personal well-being but also enriches leadership effectiveness by setting a holistic example for their teams and businesses.


In This Episode You'll Learn:

  • How a complementary COO can significantly bolster a CEO's strengths and help manage their weaknesses, essential for organizational balance and growth. (1:16)
  • How a COO’s role varies significantly with the growth phase of a company. (2:13)
  • Cameron's involvement in EO since 1995, and how such affiliations can dramatically enhance an entrepreneur’s confidence and network. (4:52)
  • Strategies for identifying the right second in command, whether promoting from within or hiring externally, and the importance of understanding your own leadership needs first. (9:41)
  • How Cameron transitioned out of his role when he was no longer the right fit, as well as the emotional and strategic complexities of such changes. (11:40)
  • Trends and perspectives on whether or not to offer equity to high-level executives, backed by survey data and industry practices. (16:38)
  • The risks of CEOs distancing themselves too quickly from newly appointed COOs, underscoring the need for ongoing engagement and oversight. (18:21)
  • How companies should manage the critical first months of a COO’s tenure to ensure alignment with company culture and strategic goals. (21:15)
  • How personal fulfillment and happiness are essential for sustained success and leadership effectiveness. (27:06)
  • Strategies to ensure your COO does not experience burnout, mirroring the supportive dynamic necessary between spouses. (31:12)
  • The nuanced division of labor between a CEO and COO, ensuring that both parties are engaged in roles that play to their strengths and passions. (34:27)
  • And much more...


Connect with Cameron: Website | LinkedIn

Get Cameron’s latest book “Meetings Suck: Turning One of The Most Loathed Elements of Business into One of the Most Valuable”

Get Cameron’s online course – Invest In Your Leaders

Mentioned in this episode:






More from YouTube