Second in Commands must obtain information throughout the organization to stay ahead and solve problems. As a result, 2iCs are leveraging existing relationships and building new relationships beyond their immediate team, department, or even division. When conducting interviews of 2iCs for my upcoming book Second in Command, First in Excellence, all the interviewees talked about the importance of relationships and trust. These are vital tools that 2iCs need because they are integral to doing the job well, including obtaining information.
With more remote and hybrid working than ever before, obtaining information from colleagues has changed. For organizations that didn’t have a 100% return to the office, hallway conversations, as well as pre- and post-meeting conversations that took place in person containing golden nuggets of information disappeared.
Everyone needed to develop new communication pathways to obtain the information necessary to do their work. This was especially impactful to 2iCs given their heavy reliance on information, which requires relationships and trust. While virtual interactions are better than nothing, they are no replacement for in-person.
Many workers that were remote before the pandemic feel a greater connection to some of their colleagues because remote workers are no longer outliers. In fast-paced organizations where relationships are the gateway to golden nuggets of information, virtual relationship building is inadequately slow.
However, the combination of in-person and virtual relationship building could be the type of skill differentiator that takes a 2iC to new levels.
Are you a silent problem solver?
As a 2iC, we often don’t think twice about silent problem-solving – it is just one of our MANY tools that we use to achieve phenomenal results.