What I want to do in today’s post is share some of my best Army Company XO Success Tips. These are some helpful tips and lessons I learned during my time as a Company XO. They are listed in no particular order.
# 1 Support Your Company Commander
Without a doubt, your most important job is to support the Company Commander. You don’t have to like them, respect them, or agree with them, but your primary job is to help them be successful and help the unit be successful. Put your ego aside and go the extra mile to help out your boss. Know what they are good at and where they need help and pick up the slack. Remember, you will be a Company Commander one day yourself and you will want your Company XO to support you! At the end of the day, your job is to make your boss look good.
# 2 Support Your Subordinates
Be a servant leader. The best approach you can have is act like YOU work for your subordinates. You work for the 1SG, command team, and staff. Do what you can to actively help them out. Be a team player. Ask your subordinates, what can I do to make your life easier and what can I do to help out? Don’t act better than anyone else. Be an encourager and supporter.
# 3 Know Your Role
Typically speaking, the role of the Company XO is to handle the supply, administration and maintenance within the unit. That being said, the best thing you can do is ask your boss what they see your job as and what they want you to focus on. Each unit is different and each commander is different. Have a heart to heart conversation with your boss as soon as possible. If they don’t give you much guidance, focus on supply, administration and maintenance until told otherwise. Remember, your job is current operations whereas your boss is focused on future operations.
# 4 Don’t Expect Recognition or Glory
As the Company XO, you might not get much glory or recognition. Do a great job anyway! Just know in the back of your mind that you are making a big difference in your unit. Yes, your boss will probably get most of the credit, but do a good job anyway! One day you will be a Company Commander and you will have a Company XO to help make you look good! Being an XO can be a thankless job.
# 5 Help Out the Platoon Leaders
Don’t act like the Platoon Leaders work for you. They don’t. They work for the Company Commander. Do whatever you can to help your Platoon Leaders be successful in their job. Ask if they need your help. Mentor them. Provide them guidance. Don’t boss them around or belittle them. Treat them with respect and do everything in your capacity to help them shine! When you help them succeed it helps the entire unit.
The bottom line is that the Company XO job isn’t always sexy, fun or glamorous, but it is very important. If you’re assigned to this duty position, do the best job that you can and put your Company Commander and unit first. Go the extra mile and strive to be the best that you can! It will be well worth it.
What are your thoughts? What are your best Company XO Success Tips? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.