Your company is growing, you’re getting too busy to do everything yourself, and you’re wondering if it’s time to hire a fractional or full-time COO. How do you determine if your company is ready? What do you need to do to get your organization prepared for this big step? What skills does the owner need to make this new arrangement work, and what skills does the COO require to succeed? What are the disadvantages of hiring a manager on a fractional basis? Is hiring a fractional COO just a way to save money, or are there some hidden organizational benefits, too?
Join Meny and Ben Wolf, the founder of Wolf’s Edge Integrators – the largest Fractional COO firm in the world – as they answer these and many other questions. It’s an episode that might permanently change the way you think about upper-level management and the way you integrate executives into your company.
Listen and enjoy!
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Hiring Management on a Fractional Basis: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly with Ben Wolf
[00:01 – 07:29] Opening Segment
• Ben introduces Wolf’s Edge Integrators, the largest fractional COO firm in the world
- Check out his book Fractional Leadership
• Fractional executive leadership democratizes access to high-caliber talent for companies of all sizes
• How technology and COVID have accelerated the use of fractional COOs
[07:30 – 14:27] The Challenge of Making the Mental Jump From Doer to Leader
• Having a great leadership team requires having great leaders at the top of the organization
• an essential skill for business owners is the readiness to let go and not need to micromanage everything
• When hiring C-level executives, it is vital to have the right people in the right seats
• Leaders need to make the mental jump from doer to leader to be successful.
[14:28 – 21:18] Creating Clarity for Successful Leadership
• Leaders need to create a clear picture of the outcome and provide coaching, metrics, and accountability
- Avoid jumping in and doing tasks for people rather than coaching them
• To decide which role to take, identify which activities give you energy and which ones drain it
• When hiring a COO, take time to define the role and other roles in the organization clearly
[21:19 – 28:43] Understanding When to Hire a Fractional COO vs. Full-Time
• Understanding the need for a COO and determining if it should be fractional or full-time is key
• Fractional CMOs typically give an estimate of how much time their accountabilities will take
• Working with recruiters to find the right person and elevating someone internally are other options
[28:44 – 35:50] How to Find the Right Fit for Your Fractional COO Role
• CEOs should be clear about the role and measure it using behavioral-based questions
- The COO should not be a clone of the CEO but bring in different perspectives
• Fractional roles can work if you set expectations and measurables are clear
• You should avoid helicopter management as it masks people and processes issues
[35:51 – 46:06] Closing Segment
• Fractional roles still provide flexibility and availability for emergencies
• Ben on the rapid-fire questions
“One key skill is the ability is the readiness to let go and not need to micromanage everything. But it’s only a skill that can be implemented when you have the right people in the right seats.” – Ben Wolf
“A good manager leader is able to set up clear measurables and expectations in a meeting cadence with each person or with each team so that they can effectively manage those people or manage those teams on an episodic basis.” – Ben Wolf
About Ben Wolf
Ben Wolf founded Wolf’s Edge Integrators (largest Fractional COO firm in the world) after solving a problem a lot of business owners have. He was stuck in the weeds of a business he’d launched — and didn’t have a quarter of a million dollars to hire a full-time, top-notch COO. Today, Fractional COOs from Wolf’s Edge help business owners all over America create a self-driving business and live life out of the weeds.
Ben also wrote the first book explaining what fractional executive leadership is, how it works, and how to take advantage of the model. That book became the Amazon bestseller: Fractional Leadership: Landing Executive Talent You Thought Was Out of Reach.
This season of the podcast is sponsored by: