The CoS role has become very popular in the last decade but is still widely misunderstood – including by your boss!
Sure 101 OKRs are part of it, but that stuff is easy. The tricky pieces are about 'role scope', ‘implied leadership’, ‘solving Winston Wolfe crisis situations’, and other c-suite ‘dark arts’ nobody teaches you about.
Don't worry I *know* this whole game better than anyone else. Work with me to succeed at the tough parts of the job and help you take the next step towards that VP and ultimately COO type leadership role.
How Do You Win
In The CoS Role?
Chief of Staff Coaching
What Challenges Can We Work On Together?
Building a stronger CEO-COO relationship
Cutting through organizational complexity
Running a hyper-efficient remote operation
Finding a cost-effective simple operating system
Managing complex leadership dynamics
Finding a 'safe' sounding board for issues
Typical COO Coaching
Getting clarity on role scope and focus
Educating exec team on role value
Managing being overwhelmed by 'stuff'
Implementing OKRs in a simple manner
Partnering with complex and challenging Founders
Planning career next steps and development
Typical CoS Coaching
Focusing your time on the areas you do best
Aligning your team with the business priorities
Delegating with accountability so things get done
Improving your productivity while reducing stress
Executing via your team / CoS / EA effectively
Getting in place the right executive team
Typical CXO Coaching
Do you coach CEOs?Potentially. My core approach is to focus my coaching efforts and build deep partnerships with the second-in-command in organizations. These second in command executives -- usually COOs, CROs, CFOs or CoS -- face unique challenges of how to help the CEO shape the strategy, and act as their senior operational partner to integrate business execution on a week-to-week basis. Sometimes CEOs do not have a COO or equivalent and are themselves more operational. In these cases it can make sense for me to support them as CEO in an on-going coaching relationship. Often one of the ways I help these typically scale-up CEOs is to help them find the right COO/CoS type solution to fit their vision, organization and personal style.
What CXOs do you coach?In about 50% of businesses there is not a COO, but instead a senior commercially orientated executives – i.e. CBO [Business], CRO [Revenue], CCO [Commercial], CCO [Customer] or 'Strategic' CFO. In these businesses many of the classic COO responsibilities fall on this commercial leader including how to integrate the go-to-market strategy across commercial functions and align with product management teams. I have decades of extensive experience in this area and so these executives find my coaching very helpful. I do not coach CTOs, CPOs or CHROs as coaching these roles require deeper technical knowledge.
Do you coach junior CoS and aspiring COOs?Junior CoS and aspiring operational leaders are usually found in business organizations with less than 70 people. In my experience the more limited complexity of operational challenges they face and limited personal development budget they have does not usually lend itself well to individual 121 coaching. For people at this stage of their career, I typically suggest that they join a free ops community, go to peer meet-ups and do group / online training courses. Plus get the core 'must read' set of books. I would be happy to recommend some of these courses, books and communities to you if this is your situation.
My company has less than 30 people. Will you coach me?No. I coach executives of larger companies where there is complexity due to scale. I do make some rare exceptions for companies of 30 to 100 people depending on the potential of the individual and business. However I do have a large network of other coaches who might be a great fit for executives in the ‘zero-to-one’ stage, so it's worth reaching out.
How many clients do you work with at any given time?10 to 12 executives is my sweet spot, and usually 60% of these are COOs, 30% are CEOs/CROs and 10% are senior CoS (note: most CoS in Europe are in more junior positions than the US). This scope ensures I can focus on these individuals in a responsive manner, and gives me time to support my larger company consulting engagements.
How much does coaching cost?As a coach, I work on a monthly retainer that varies depending on whether we meet weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Usually regular sessions are 60-90 minutes long. Also included are regular in-real-life catch-ups and of course unlimited whatsapps! I do not share my rates online, but they have never been a challenge for the high-growth companies I work with.
What if I want to see if there is a good fit?I fully agree that 'fit' is critical to build any trusted partnership. What's more I only want to work with clients where their is mutual respect and trust. The best (and only) way to get a feel for fit is just to jump on a call and chat. So let’s have a free no commitment discovery call! You should also know I never work on a minimum commitment basis -- so if you ever feel you are not getting a good RoI you can leave at any time. That’s how confident I am in the value I provide! Over the last decade, no COO has left within six months of starting, and most stay for 18–36 months or longer!
Do you follow a standard coaching program?Yes and no. I have a standard set of topics and structures to follow which is flexible enough to cover from aspiring COOs to more experienced executives. However no two senior operators' situations are identical and so I have found blindly following standard structured programs just doesn't work for the complex multi-dimensional challenges leaders face. Instead my approach is to work on parsing through your short-medium-long term goals, to customize my program so that it fits you. This often starts with the immediate business operating challenges you are facing, and evolves into softer more people-orientated elements of your role. Ultimately the trusted relationship we build almost always ends up with me becoming a career confidante.
Frequently Asked Questions
Given it is such a senior and critical role it’s amazing there is not more advice and books on the COO role.
That, combined with the fact that every business has a different and rapidly evolving organization challenge, means most COOs and Heads of Ops have little real-world guidance to help them succeed.
Through my coaching you get help and practical support to put in place foundational systems, deal with inevitable people issues and ultimately run the smooth operation you know you can!
How Do You Crush
Your Senior Ops Role?
COO & Senior Executive Coaching
“What I like the most about working with JB, is that he has been been a senior COO, CoS and Board Member himself - so he shares not only the theory but also the practical hacks to get things done.”
Founder & Series C COO
UK Deep tech
Trusted By Executives Backed By
Who Do I Coach?
Scale-Up CEO & CXOs
You are the leader of a 100+ person org who is seeking advice and support to level-up their leadership from a seasoned exec who has directly run world-class global business teams of over 350 people in matrix organizations.
Senior Chief of Staff
You are a senior CoS at a growing 100+ person firm or public company who would like practical guidance how to get to the next level in your role and career from the most experienced business CoS in the world!!
COOs & Heads of Ops
You are the senior operational leader of a growing 100+ person firm that wants the mentorship of a confidential sounding-board and delivery partner who has been in your shoes! Look no further!
Chief of Staff
COO & Snr Ops
CEOs & CXOs
What Is My Coaching Model?
Your strengths, leadership style, zone-of-genius, role setup, current challenges, 18 month gameplan, career...
Your partnership with the boss, board and leaders in sales, marketing, product, eng, HR, finance...
Your involvement with strategy, OKRs, meetings, GTM, rev growth, projects, dashboards, comms, culture...