When your business is in its infancy it would be understandable if you wanted to be as hands-on as possible, micro-managing every aspect of the operation including procurement and staffing arrangements, as well as charting your company’s strategy for future growth.
However, there comes a point at which the enterprise will have grown in such a way as to render this approach untenable, that is if you want to continue to demonstrate the same streamlined efficiency that has gotten you to where you are.
An effective growth strategy would have factored in from the earliest stages the need for the efficient delegation of responsibility and for good quality, reliable senior staff to be engaged whose inclusion will enable you to focus on setting the future direction of travel for your growing business.
The Role of the Executive Officer
Staff come on all levels, but none is likely to be more important than the Executive Officer. If there is one appointment which needs to be made carefully and with the utmost consideration this is it. This is the person who will manage your day-to-day operation on every level that you require, leaving you free to focus on matters of planning and strategy.
Once you consider how important this post is, you will appreciate the need to get it right. The Executive Officer occupies an extremely important position in the organization and will be well remunerated for doing so. Competence, loyalty and a positive attitude are all essential traits. Recruit somebody lacking in these qualities and you will not be able to have the confidence you need that your operation is being managed properly, leading you always to be looking back across your shoulder.
So when recruiting to such a senior office it is worth spending some time ensuring that you get the right person for the job. Familiarize yourself with some executive resume samples so that you know what to look for in an applicant before embarking upon the interview process, which should itself be thorough and extensive. Ensure that the person you decide to engage has the necessary experience in people management, as well as an in-depth understanding of your industry and business model.
You Decide How You Wish to Structure Your Business
Precisely how much power and control your Executive Officer has will be solely for you to decide. It simply goes without saying that the more responsibility and decision-making authority you can delegate, the more time you will have available for directional planning. As Investopedia helpfully reminds us, in a large company the Executive might be involved only with high-level operational matters, whilst at a smaller set-up he or she might well be more concerned with matters of day-to-day management. But this is a guide, not an inflexible rule.
The single most important quality you will need in your relationship with your Executive Officer is trust. You have to be able to trust that the person you decide to appoint is competent and capable of carrying out your instructions, acting upon their own initiative whenever required. But equally you need to have confidence in their loyalty, and in their dedication to your cause. An Executive Officer who works against you is going to bring you a whole lot of strife.
So once you have taken the decision that your organization requires the services of an experienced Executive Officer, outline your requirements in great detail from the beginning of the process. Establish where the applicant has worked previously, what they achieved and what they have to offer you. Study their resume and ask all the questions you need answered. And engage the applicant only when and if you are wholly satisfied that you have found the right person for the role.