What makes a great company? A highly productive partnership at the most senior level, according to Jeffrey Scott, landscape industry consultant.

“You have to unleash your company’s full potential by upgrading your role as owner and CEO by helping your right-hand person develop his or her role as chief operating officer, general manager and division leader,” Scott said on Oct. 17, at the “Effective CEO/COO Partnerships: The Power of Collaborative Leadership” workshop at NALP’s LANDSCAPES 2017 at GIE+EXPO.

After case studies of successful CEO/COO partnerships were shared by Drost Landscape of Petoskey, Michigan; Sun Valley Landscaping of Omaha, Nebraska; and Swazy & Alexander of Newburyport, Massachusetts, Scott reviewed the role of a COO or general manager and how landscape business owners can take their company to the next level and foster better work/life balance by developing this role in their companies.

So, what should a COO do? Here are Scott’s suggestions for the key responsibilities of a COO. Depending on the size or scope of your company, you can tailor the position to meet your needs.

1. Identify issues and priorities. The COO’s job is to be your internal consultant, collecting information and helping to establish priorities.

2. Align the organization’s goals. Make sure everyone on the team understands the company’s vision and mission.

3. Make sure the trains run on time. For example, managing budgets, integrating systems, etc. Look for someone with a systems mindset for this position.

4. Hunt for and train talent.

5. Conduct strategic planning and budgeting.

6. Focus on continuous improvement personally and systematically.

7. Fill leadership gaps.