COO is inherently a part-time job

I've previously argued that COO is inherently an interim job.

But COO is also inherently a part-time job.

Part-time role forces the COO to focus on helping other executives and teams succeed.

That way, the COO does not become the organisation's new shadow leader**. It also forces the COO to build systems that do not rely on the COO's input. Thus supporting the interim nature of the job.

Part-time role conforms to the speed of change very well.

Organisational change is often slow for the areas with the most leverage. So I don't know if 100% commitment would have that much more impact anyways. Okay, the COO could support the organisation in many other ways too, but here's the third point:

With a strong Chief of Staff, part-time COOs generate even more bang for the buck.

It's a role that supports the executive team and coordinates day-to-day operations. Leaving part-time COO's duties to the CEO's table will never work as the skillset should be very different. But with the Chief of Staff, things will move forward even during the COO's absence.

So when executed right, COO is inherently both an interim and part-time job.


**Sometimes, it may be desirable for the COO to assume the organisation's leadership. But then, I've learned that it's about replacing the CEO or becoming a vice president. And that requires close to 100% commitment. Otherwise it just does not work.

Get these thoughts to your inbox