WT 604 The Second in Command

This week I thought we’d talk about leadership and what it means to be the Second in Command (2IC).

In a few weeks I’ll be launching my new book called The Loyal Lieutenant: How the Second in Command Brings the CEO’s Vision to Life.

Before we look at the role of the person in your organisation who supports the boss, let’s look at the boss’ role.

The CEO, Managing Director, CVO (Chief Vision Officer) or whatever title the head person goes by, has the responsibility of creating the vision and direction for the organisation.

Being able to see what the majority cannot see is a true gift. That’s what makes them so valuable. They see possibility where the rest of us see darkness.

But – the majority of visionaries lack the ability to clearly articulate their vision in a way that others can see.

This is where the 2IC shines.

The 2IC is an interpreter. The 2IC gets the vision and is able to explain that to the team in a way they can understand.

The 2IC is responsible for bringing the vision to life; for developing the strategy and the plan and the actions that need to be completed by the team.

The 2IC is there to guide and support the team; to provide the resources and to solve problems.

The 2IC is the conduit between the team and the visionary.

The visionary wants to know where the projects are up to and the 2IC is the person who provides the progress updates. Communication is key.

Have a look in your organisation, even if your organisation is your family unit. There will be one person on your team who has the vision. There will be another who interprets and communicates this to the rest of the team, who will get stuff done.

Here’s an example that can be applied at both the workplace and at home.

Visionary decides to take the team to Disneyland. This is the destination.

The 2IC questions and clarifies what the visionary sees and shares this with the team and comes up with the strategy and the plan and then assigns the tasks to the team:

  1. Someone to arrange flights and accommodation
  2. Someone to arrange meals
  3. Someone to arrange insurances
  4. Someone to create an itinerary of activities
  5. Someone to organise transport in America

Every single person on the team contributes to the end goal in some way. Think of it like an orchestra with many different instruments, all led by the conductor. The 2IC is the conductor, guiding and mentoring the team.

Question: if you have a team to complete the tasks, should the 2IC be doing the tasks?

No. The role of the 2IC is coordinate and make it happen.

Who is that person in your organisation or family?

If it’s not you, are you supporting them by doing the tasks or are you standing back and letting them do your job?

The role of the 2IC is to bring the vision to life.

What’s your role?

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