How To Create A Great Relationship With Your Number Two

Mar 21, 2024 | Blogs

In the race to scale, which can feel pretty brutal at times, the partnership between founder and COO or Integrator is paramount to achieving the desired growth and success. This symbiotic relationship is not just about delegation; it’s about collaboration, trust, and a shared vision and it can be really hard to establish and maintain. 

At Black & Blue, our theory revolves around the idea that when you nail this relationship, all good flows from here. Here’s how you can do that: 

Understanding the Role of Your Number Two 

Your Number Two isn’t just a cog in the machine; they’re the backbone of your organization’s operational efficiency. They’re the ones who translate your strategic vision into actionable plans, navigate complexities, and ensure smooth execution. Their role is multifaceted, encompassing everything from resource allocation to problem-solving and beyond. Recognizing and appreciating the depth of their responsibilities is the first step towards building a strong relationship. Many Integrators and COOs report feeling underappreciated and overworked. Don’t be the founder who does this.  

Communication: The Cornerstone of Success 

Effective communication forms the bedrock of any successful partnership. Foster an environment where radical candour is not just encouraged but celebrated. Regular check-ins, productive meetings, and one-on-one discussions provide avenues for exchanging ideas, addressing concerns, and aligning objectives. Transparency breeds trust and trust is the currency of this relationship in particular. Neither of you can do this without the other.  

Empowerment and Support 

Empowerment goes hand in hand with trust. Delegate authority and empower your Number Two to make decisions within their realm of expertise. Provide them with the necessary resources, tools, and training to excel in their role. Then let them get on with it. Check in to see if they need anything. If they don’t, step out.  

Collaboration, Not Micromanagement 

Resist the urge to micromanage. Trust your Number Two to execute their duties competently until proven otherwise. Instead of dictating every step, collaborate on overarching goals and strategies. Provide guidance and support when needed, but allow room for autonomy and creativity. Provided you’ve hired right, they know what they’re doing, probably much better than you do in this realm.  

Recognize and Celebrate Achievements 

Acknowledgment is absolutely critical. The great COOs and Integrators thrive off the recognition of their problem solving and execution ability. Their biggest fear is boredom or under-appreciation. Fail to see them truly and you will lose them. 

Celebrate milestones, both big and small, and recognize the contributions of their operational team. Whether it’s exceeding targets, implementing a game-changing strategy, or overcoming a significant obstacle, take the time to express gratitude and appreciation in a way that feels genuinely authentic to you and your organisation. 

Bonus tip – find out your COO or Integrator’s ‘love language’ – yes, I know, we’ve said love in a business email!.  

Love Language Test: Figure Out Your Preference In 5 Minutes | mindbodygreen 

This will enable you to know best how your Number 2 most values receiving appreciation. 

Ready to Transform Your Operations? 

Your Number Two is more than just a colleague; they’re a strategic partner on the journey to operational excellence. By fostering open communication, empowering your team, and celebrating achievements, you can forge a relationship built on trust, collaboration, and mutual respect.  

At Black & Blue, we specialize in solving operational problems and driving tangible results. If you’re ready to unlock the full potential of your organization, reach out to us today.  

We provide Fractional COOs, Integrators and Business Development Managers to founders who are scaling and need an interim solution to get them out of the weeds before they make a permanent hire. 

Together, we can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and pave the way for lasting success.