The Four Types of COOs

Luis Scott

Luis Scott is the Owner of 8 Figure Firm, which provides consulting services and insider knowledge to national law firms. He has helped hundreds of law firms in the US reach multiple seven figures in revenue in less than two years. As a former lawyer, Luis has received numerous awards and accolades, including Super Lawyers’ “Rising Star,” The National Trial Lawyers Association’s “Top 40 Lawyers Under 40,” and the American Institute of Legal Counsel’s “10 Best Attorneys in 2017” for workers’ compensation. 

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Key considerations for hiring a COO
  • What are the four types of COOs?
  • How to find a COO who can execute your business objectives

In this episode…

A chief operating officer is a founder’s second in command, offering support to grow the business. However, these professionals can’t do everything, and hiring them to perform tasks outside their areas of expertise may result in subpar outcomes. Learn the four types of COOs and how you can leverage their unique skill sets to scale.

Business leader and growth expert Luis Scott observes that COOs either possess marketing, financial, operational, or leadership expertise. Those with strong marketing skills often focus exclusively on generating leads and new clients for the company. Similarly, financially driven COOs oversee payroll, expenses, and budgeting, whereas process-oriented executives create and document workflows for operational efficiency. Leaders like Luis believe in establishing and coaching leadership teams to propel the business forward. When evaluating a COO, consider how their strengths can help achieve your goals for the company.

In this episode of The Guts and Glory Show, Luis Scott returns to discuss the four types of COOs. He also explains what to consider when hiring a COO and how to align their skills with your objectives.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm.

Founded by Luis Scott, 8 Figure Firm helps transform your law firm into a seven-figure or even eight-figure firm. 

After spending years searching for the ideal law firm consulting program, Luis started 8 Figure Firm to use his hands-on experience to help other law firms achieve exponential growth. 

Visit www.8figurefirm.com to receive a consultation call and start scaling your business today.


Episode Transcript

Luis Scott  0:00  

There is a reason why I can run two companies still go to date night every week, still hang out with my kids, still go to the lake in the boat, still take a vacation, still do all my emails, still do all my PowerPoint press, there’s a reason for that. Because when I’m in the zone, I’m in the zone.

Intro  0:19  

Get ready to be amazed. Get ready to be transformed. Get ready to believe it is possible. You’re entering the growth zone, on The Guts and Glory Show with your host, Luis Scott.

Luis Scott  0:38  

Guys, welcome to The Guts and Glory Show. My name is Luis, I’m your host, I’m excited that you’re here to talk about the four types of COOs in a business. And here’s the deal, they’re not all the same. And I know you wish you could just find a COO who could do everything. You want them to do finance and leadership and policies and procedures and marketing and oversee the whole team and make sure that everyone’s accountable and project management. But the reality, it just doesn’t exist. That type of person. That type of person is a unicorn. So if you were to find them, if you’re listening to this right now, and you say, I have that person, they’re great, they’re amazing, they’re growing my business to x every single year, well, congratulations, because that is just not the most common thing that you find. And the reason is, because the skill sets are different. That should be patently obvious. But for some reason for business owners, it’s not that obvious when they’re thinking about their business. And everybody wants that second command, they want to, they want that COO, they want the person who can take the reins of their business. And it is a hard, hard position to find. Now, I’ve been blessed in my life. Because my natural skill set is to be a second and command, a COO, which runs at odds with the fact that I’m the COO, and founder of a consulting company, and I teach other COOs, but I think I teach them for more of the operational side, the practical side, how to see your business, how to look at your business, how to evaluate your business, and then how to make decisions in your business. But there’s four types of COOs. And if you’re struggling right now, to find a CFO to find a second in command to find someone that can take the reins of your business, I hope that this is going to help you understand the different types and then better position yourself to hire the type that you need. So before I go through those positions, I want you to know that finding a COO is a very, very difficult task. And I don’t recommend that you go out there and try to find a COO on your own, I recommend that you use a recruiter now that is very, contrary to the to the belief that I have about most hiring, most hiring could be fulfilled, without a recruiter, it could be fulfilled without the need of someone else. But when it comes to these high level positions, like COO, maybe finding a COO, or CFO or anybody in the C suite, you really want to use a recruiter who can help you identify the talent that’s out there. Because the reality is the person that you want is already employed, they’re not looking for work, they’re not sitting around at home, wishing that somebody would hire them, they are already completely financially employed with someone else, and probably happy somewhere else, you’re gonna have to, you’re gonna have to figure out a way to get that person from where they are, by convincing them that your place is a better opportunity for them professionally and financially. So what are the four types of COOs, there’s no order, there’s no, this is the best one. And this is the worst one, they’re just different. And I’ll tell you which ones I was in a minute, but they’re different positions. And you’re not going to be able to find someone to fill every position. If you ever think about this concept. In big companies, they’ll have a COO, and then they’ll have a VP. And they’ll have the VP of this and the VP of that and the VP of this. The reason is because that CFO is not good at everything. They’re good at managing people who are good as individual spots. So you’ll see the person be the VP of one of these areas, reporting to COO and that’s the reason because the a lot of these areas do fall under operations, but not necessarily. The they’re not necessarily the only thing that operations does, or, and so they can’t be a specialist in everything. So here are the four types. The first type of COO is a COO who has a marketing strength, a marketing bent. This is a person who sees the business from the context of generating business. And I used to think I was that person and when I was the managing partner of a firm many years ago, I was so excited about generating business. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to generate business. I wanted to oversee the marketing department. I wanted to be able to oversee the creative I wanted to be able to oversee bringing in Sales. Now, it doesn’t mean that marketing should fall under the operations, I’m just simply saying that there is a C O type out there that is geared towards the marketing, the marketing bent. The second type of COO in your business is a COO that is much more financially driven. And this is a person who may be an accountant, I fell somewhat in this area, because I was I had an accounting background. But you find this a lot, you find CFO, controller types, who are also good at operations, but their strength is in finance, this is the type of person that’s going to oversee the money of the business, they’re going to oversee the payroll of the business, they’re going to oversee the benefits of the business. Again, not necessarily, there may be a different department for finances, in your organization. But the COO who has a financial bent is a person who understands the financial aspects of the business. And that’s kind of where they, they operate in. And so that’s, I had a little bit of that in me. I loved the financial stuff, I liked spreadsheets, I liked creating a budget, I loved being able to create a payroll budget and keep people in ratios. And so yes, originally, I thought I had that that marketing coos style, but then I didn’t really love the marketing stuff. So I went into the more of the financial side. And then there’s three, this is the part that I hated the most, I did not enjoy this, this part. And that is the COO who is more process based, if you ever hear this term, you know, six sigma, or, you know the they have these black belts, or there’s all these organizations out there that help people in the COO position, they focus on process, that’s what they focus on. It’s how do we go from point A to point B to point C to point D to point E? Etc? How do we create the workflows? How do we have policies and procedures? How do we make things more predictable? How do we make sure people operate efficiently? That’s the process. And I really hated that part of the business. Now I did it. And I felt like I did it with excellence. And I tried to do the best that I could. But it wasn’t the thing for me. So you have the the marketing Summit, some of you are going to be COOs or looking for COOs that are more marketing. And how do you know if you need that person? Well, you’re weak in marketing, some of you may be weak in finances. So you need to see Oh, finances, some of you may be weak in process. So you need to co process I was the fourth time. And I was a kind of COO that I believe that most companies need if they want to scale beyond 100 employees. And that is I was a co leader. I believed in leadership, I wanted to create leadership teams, mid management, mid level managers, I wanted to build the team, educate the team, love on the team, and I was more about leadership and leadership development. And that is where I found myself having the most strength was in teaching the leaders how to be good to the team beneath them. And again, there wasn’t there’s not a hierarchy. It’s not that one’s better than the other. The question is, if you’re a business and you’re looking for a second and Commander COO, ask yourself, what do you need most you need someone who is an operations but knows marketing operation, but knows finance operations, but knows process operations, and is a leader. And that will depend on where you are in your business, that will depend on your individualized skill set. And that will depend on what you’re trying to get out of that SEO. Now, here’s the thing, whatever SEO you pick, will highly determine whether or not you are going to pay 150,000 200,200 50,000 Because compensation is based upon the type of COO that you hire. So don’t try to find a COO that does everything because they don’t. And I wouldn’t have the biggest ego in the world to tell you I could do everything I couldn’t, I could do everything very, very mediocre ly. But I could do one of those things, extremely proficiently and excellently. I could do two of those things really, really good. I could do three of those things, average, and I could do four of those things very poorly, and you don’t want a poorly operating COO, so find what you need the most. And then you’re going to surround that person with the individualized needs that they have at the mid level manager. And then depending on your size, they may rise up to that VP level. But for right now you need to find that first COO, that second command that can fulfill one part of your business, you’re not going to give away your business to a COO at two or $3 million dollars in revenue. That happens when you’re 3040 $50 million in revenue where someone can really take the business away. So until then, find what you need right now. Keep on working. surround that person with the key assets that they need. And you’re going to start developing a greater peace of mind in your business as you start finding true specialists who can help you operate your business in four major categories, marketing, financial process and leadership. You guys have been listening to The Guts and Glory Show

Outro  9:59  

you been listening to The Guts and Glory Show for more. And to learn more about Luis hit the website at LuisScottjr.com for consulting opportunities 8figurefirm.com. That’s the number 8figurefirm.com. We hope you’ve enjoyed the show. Make sure to like rate and review, and we’ll see you next time on The Guts and Glory Show.