Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

Appointing a Second-in-Command

Published on Feb 17, 2011

Summary

Read our article, 'Appointing a Second-in-Command' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
When a startup company really begins to take off, it will need to begin delegating tasks once reserved for the owner toward other areas of the business. As this transition from small startup to profitable enterprise proceeds, the owner, in particular, will need to establish a second-in-command. This individual is not so much an assistant who fills in for the owner, as he or she is a lieutenant who is trusted with critical executive or managerial responsibilities. The no. 2 person should also hold strengths in areas of operation that the owner may lack, such as accounting, financing, ongoing business compliance or negotiation. But whatever the strengths of outside prospects, it likely a wise decision to go with an existing employee, Inc. magazine writes. "The research is clear," author and Stanford business professor Bob Sutton told the source. "Unless things are totally screwed up, internal candidates have a strong tendency to outperform external leaders." Once a candidate is chosen, the owner has the responsibility of imparting his or her wisdom to the new hire. "The transition from manager to coach is a gradual evolution where the goal of the coach should be to ask more questions and spend more time listening and less time talking and directing," Sutton added.