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Executive Assistant vs Chief Operating Officer (COO) vs Senior Advisor

Primary Role:

Executive Assistant: Administrative and organizational support for executives

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Manages day-to-day operations of the company

Senior Advisor: Provides high-level advice and expertise in specific areas

Reporting Relationship:

Executive Assistant: Reports directly to the executive they support

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Typically reports to CEO or President

Senior Advisor: Reports to senior leadership, often the CEO or board members

Scope of Responsibilities:

Executive Assistant: Focused on day-to-day tasks and administrative duties

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Oversees all operational activities (finance, HR, etc.)

Senior Advisor: Focused on providing expertise and guidance on specific strategic matters

Decision-Making Authority:

Executive Assistant: Limited to administrative decisions

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Significant authority over operations

Senior Advisor: Influential in shaping decisions based on expertise and insights

Strategic Planning:

Executive Assistant: Limited involvement, support capacity

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Involved in the strategic planning process and responsible for implementing the strategy at an operational level

Senior Advisor: Advises on long-term strategy and planning

Team Management:

Executive Assistant: Manages administrative staff

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Manages multiple teams or departments across the organization

Senior Advisor: Works independently or with a small advisory team

Meeting Involvement:

Executive Assistant: Scheduling, preparing materials, taking minutes

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Often leads meetings related to operations and strategy implementation

Senior Advisor: Attends strategic meetings to provide advice and insights

Project Management:

Executive Assistant: Manages small projects within their role

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Oversees large-scale projects that affect multiple areas of the company

Senior Advisor: May lead or advise on specific strategic projects

Communication:

Executive Assistant: Facilitates internal communication

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Responsible for communicating decisions and strategies to the teams they manage and the broader organization

Senior Advisor: Provides expert communication on specialized topics

Professional Development:

Executive Assistant: Focused on improving administrative and organizational skills

Chief Operating Officer (COO): Focuses on the professional development of the teams they manage

Senior Advisor: Deepens expertise in specific fields and strategic advising

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