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Posts Tagged ‘XO’

Why Leaders Need an ‘XO’


If you’ve served in the military, you know that an ‘XO’ is an executive officer.  The XO is the second-in-command and reports to the commanding officer (CO).  The XO is typically responsible for the management of day-to-day activities, freeing up the unit commander so they can concentrate on strategic planning and execution. The XO also takes charge in the absence of the CO.

But what makes their role unique?  An XO is the commanding officer’s extra ears and eyes.  The XO proactively works in the organization’s “white space” gathering data from the other officers and troops.  Then the XO provides important intelligence to the commander about stress-producing situations, poor morale, or impending problems that the commander needs to address.  For example, if an officer is abusing his troops but no one feels safe enough to report it, the XO can sniff it out and inform the commander, who then takes appropriate action with the detrimental officer.

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