As the head of the company's daily operations, the COO is responsible for the company's productivity. He or she consults with senior management and other departments to develop and implement strategies and business goals. The COO is responsible for ensuring that all employees perform their daily tasks and work with the proper efficiency. As the CEO, he or she is expected to make big-picture decisions that affect the company's bottom line and affect employees.
While the job description of the COO may sound imposing, it is not. Many COOs are atypical and come from very different backgrounds. These differences can make it difficult to compare the different characteristics of COOs with one another. It is vital that the COO be able to learn from those around him or her. In this way, the COO will have the ability to make the right decisions in the best interest of the company.
The role of the COO varies from company to company and industry to industry, but the close relationship between the COO and the CEO is the same. Often, the role of a COO is defined by the CEO. In the book Second in Command, the authors compare the role of the COO to the role of a vice presidential candidate. The COO must be trusted by the CEO and functional leaders and have the full support of the board of directors.