The Importance of a Right-Hand Man

The Importance of a Right-Hand Man

There is a leading figure in every company. That person is seen as the figurehead, the boss, the manager, and the decision maker. If this person is forward thinking, he will have a strong right-hand man. Every great leader has one. Each president has a vice president, a school principal has an assistant principal, and most CEOs have one or more individuals directly under them who they can trust completely.

The person chosen for this position is likely has many of the following qualities:

Has Complementing Skills

When considering a right-hand man, the best route for a company leader to take is to find an individual who has different management skills than he does. A person who has the same background and education will have much in common with a leader, but the partnership will be much more effective if there is a healthy balance of abilities and knowledge. A great figurehead will choose a person who has different skills than himself. He will not be concerned that the chosen person might be better or smarter, but rather that their team will consist of well-rounded abilities that will help run the business more efficiently and effectively. He should make a distinctive point of hiring an individual who has all the skills and talents that he does not possess.

Is Loyal and Trustworthy

A second-in-command individual will have to be extremely loyal to his immediate supervisor. He will be trusted with company secrets as well as having access to business funds. He will be privy to passwords, employee information, and future plans for the business. This person will support his immediate supervisor in front of clients, employees, or vendors, whether he agrees with decisions or not. Both individuals should appear to be on the same page at all times when it concerns company policies and procedures.

Has Knowledge of the Business

To be in this distinctive position, a right-hand man will have to have knowledge of the workings of the company. If he is new to the job, he will have to have a background in working at a similar business. He will be expected to work hard to learn all he can about the products, services, employees, and financial aspects of the company. Continued education will also be a great asset to a second-in-command. His superior should make every effort to include him in company training, informational meetings, and important decision making. The more this person knows, the better he will be able to take care of business in the absence of his manager.

Communicates Well

The individual in this position should have the freedom to speak clearly and plainly about the affairs of the company. If he is intimidated by his superior or keeps information from him, the relationship will not work, and the company will suffer. Communication should be on an ongoing basis and should consist of emails, texts, reports, direct meetings, and phone calls. Both individuals should be fully updated and aware of what the other person has knowledge of at all times. There may be some issues that the right-hand man may not be privy to, but this should not affect the overall running of the company.

Shares Goals for the Company

If your company is growing quickly, you probably cannot be everywhere you need to be at once. Having a trusted assistant handle some of the more important affairs for you can make your life both simpler and easier. As a result, it is important that both of you are very clear and in agreement as to what the short-term and long-terms goals of the business are. Both should do everything in their power to keep this vision in front of them and proceed accordingly.

As is clearly illustrated, it is important to have the second-in-command within your company. Small business owners may think this position is not necessary, but in some instances, this type of organizational makeup has saved businesses from being destroyed both when decisions needed to be questioned logically and when the real leader was unable to perform his duties for any number of reasons.

When selecting the individual for this opportunity, a manager should always give him the respect and support he needs. He should always speak highly of him, train him in the manner in which he would be the most effective, and make him feel like a vital part of the business. Both parts of the equation will benefit. The business will too.

About author

Michael Barry
Michael Barry 22 posts

Michael Barry is the Editor-In-Chief at Currently living in Boston, Massachusetts, he received his B.A. in Financial Economics from St. Anselm College and his MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine.

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