Cameron Herold is host of the Second in Command podcast and bestselling author of The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to Elevate Your BUSINESS, Meetings Suck: Turning One of the Most Loathed Elements of Business into One of the Most Valuable, and the new books Free PR: How to Get Chased By The Press Without Hiring a PR Firm and Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less (in its seventh printing).
Cameron Herold is the founder of COO Alliance, which helps COO’s become better leaders. He is the mastermind behind hundreds of companies' exponential growth and has built a dynamic consultancy, including his time as COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. His current clients include a ‘Big 4' wireless carrier and a monarchy.
- Who is Cameron Herold?
Cameron’s first entrepreneurial memory was when he was seven years old. He was cold calling dry cleaners about how much they would pay for coat hangers. His parents raised Cameron and his siblings as entrepreneurs right from the beginning so there wasn’t really a time before then when he wasn’t doing his own thing.
- Why Second in Command?
Cameron started off his entrepreneurial career with College Pro Painters within a franchise which super charged his growth as an entrepreneur. He went on to work in three other companies where he was second in command and helped those companies grow. All that prepared him to take 1-800-GOT-JUNK from 14 employees to 3100 employees and that’s where he found the match between the CEO and the COO.
A lot of the time the entrepreneurs that start a business have all the vision in the world but don’t have the skills they need to grow their business, so it makes sense to bring someone in who has those skills.
The CEO in the early days of a business is the Chief Everything Officer, but that eventually evolves into the Chief Energizing Officer once the business gets going. When they transition in the later stage they can deliver on the why of the business but not necessarily the how, which is when the COO comes in.
- When should a CEO bring on the COO?
You need to completely trust the person as your COO on day one. If you don’t have the trust level built up, you need to keep interviewing and doing reference checks until you can trust them with the keys to your house and password to your bank account.
Try not to get wrapped up in the title, the COO could also be the VP of Operations or General Manager. You can find multiple people to shore up your weaknesses, the point is to find someone with skill sets that you don’t have.
The entrepreneur needs to know what has to happen and the COO needs to know how it has to happen. They are the executors of the business and need to be given free reign to accomplish the entrepreneurs vision.
- Playing out of position
The CEO and the COO work in tandem. Whatever the CEO is good at, that becomes their role in the business Whatever they are not good at, they should hire a COO to fulfill those roles. This means you can outsource the vision if that’s not your strength, as long as it facilitates your end goal of time, money, and freedom.
When you delegate finance you must trust but verify. There are ways that companies can bring on interim financial officers if they can’t afford a full time CFO to manage the finance side.
- Your Unique Ability
Dan Sullivan talks about the idea of Unique Abilities, it’s where you basically categorize everything you do in one of four ways: Incompetent, Competent, Excellent, and Unique Abililty. Incompetent is where you’re not good at something, Competent is where you can do something, Excellent is where you do something well but don’t necessarily enjoy it, and Unique Abilities are the things that you would do for free. The goal of the CEO is to delegate everything that isn’t one of your Unique Abilities.
- How do you find a second in command?
The first step is crafting your vivid vision, where you describe your company in the future in such detail that somebody reading it will get excited about it. Once you’ve done that you create a job description that really polarizes people. Once you put that out you will start to find people who fit that mold.
A tell tale sign that a business needs a COO is the entrepreneur that keeps banging their head against a wall trying to make something work, but they just can’t see the shortcuts that will get them past the obstacle. When you’re ready to learn you have to surround yourself with people who know more than you, get into a mastermind, and find those shortcuts.
Reference: The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs: Elevate Your SELF to Elevate Your BUSINESS, Cameron Herold
- Cameron’s Takeaway
You have to jump and bring with you three things, focus, faith, and effort. You have to stay focused with your time, energy, and marketing. You have to protect your confidence in yourself, your market, your team, and your learning. Work everyday to keep up your level of faith in yourself. Then you have to truly put in the effort, working for yourself is harder than having a job but you have to put in the work. If you do those three things you will be successful.