I learned from my experience in entrepreneurship and working in non-profits that non-profit has so much to learn from the for-profit world. Every non-profit should have its equivalent of a CEO, and its equivalent of a COO. This is one thing I learned that is very highly over-looked when you hire or promote people inside your organization during expansion or when you organization structure changes with time.
COO’s job is about standardization and improving consistency. It is an analytical job. It’s a mindset focused on consolidation and risk elimination.
While a CEO needs creativity and needs to have a focus that seeks out strategic opportunities for growth and expansion, and they need to engage in intelligent risk-taking sometimes by being willing to invest in risky development projects that fizzle out into nothing.
It is very hard to have both in the same person. It is very hard from a COO to be CEO without much work, and without a strong oversight.