Recently I started an executive level search for an Operations Manager (or COO if you will) to help run a particular construction business. What I’m finding has been a real eye-opener.
The conversation started with a friend of mine, who, in his 50’s has taken a step back to look at how he spends his time and is generally not happy. By most standards, he is quite successful. His business is profitable and affords him a better life than most. Not just work-life balance issues—it’s more than that. He feels stuck. For example, (my friend) has three other irons in the fire that could make him money. One of them he really wants to do, but because he is both the entrepreneur and also the glue that holds his world together he is finding it impossible to conquer anything new because his daily grind is holding him hostage. We decided that he was past due to hire an operations person to run his business and free him to be the visionary that he so needs to be.
Some people in life are Visionaries, and others are meant to carry out those visions. Most of the Implementers I’ve been talking with answered this job post.
What is fascinating to me is the number of folks unhappy in their stations in life. Most are very accomplished executives who just happen to have found themselves in a spot in life that they didn’t plan on: other business owners, former owners, and high-level managers with impressive lists of accomplishments. I believe I am in a unique position to make potentially life-changing introductions.
Are you the guy with the vision, or are you perhaps the unsung hero who is better at actually running the company? Does your company need a #2 person? A yin to your yang? Someone to act as your wingman?
These are all discussions I’d be happy to have. The answer may not happen overnight and I won’t have a solution for every situation. But if we don’t have that first conversation we’ll never know.