How to be Second

In this book, we explore the unique identity and qualifications required to be second, the incredible need for someone to fill the role, and the idea that being second is not a stepping stone, it’s a destination.


How To Be Second Book Cover

About The Book

Chief Operating Officer. Chief of Staff. General Manager. Second in Command. The job title can vary. But there is something that unifies these roles when you see them performed well. It’s a particular kind of person with a particular kind of wiring, and a particular kind of person whose strengths are amplified when working in a leadership duo.

Who is this person, you might ask? They’re called Seconds. And this book is dedicated to them.

In How to be Second, Nathan Young and David Hartman explore all sorts of questions about Seconds:

  • Who is a Second?
  • How do you know if you’re a Second?
  • What are some strengths and challenges of Seconds?
  • Why does my organization need a Second (or multiple Seconds)?
  • How do I best work with or for a Second?
  • How do I hire a great Second?

Seconds, at their core, are valuable leaders. But their leadership shows up best and is activated by working for another leader.

If you are a Second, a person who might need a Second, or if you’re neither… leadership won’t look the same to you after reading this book

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I love it – it was probably easy to pick up on because I felt like all the things I’ve been hearing are finally in one handy dandy place. I’m ready to share this with a boatload of people that need to hear it.

Tony Ticknor

Founder of Little Fork Web Design

H2B2 Email List

We use our email list to help accomplish our mission:

To help Seconds know they’re not alone, help them own their identity and value, and connect them to tangible resources to take their next steps. Because Seconds care about the How.

For those who are Second, or want to know more about them.

  • Once a week
  • Readable in 3 minutes
  • Tailored for Seconds

About the Authors

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Nathan Young

Hey there! I’m an Integrator, a problem solver, a Dad, a leader, a marketer…I wear a lot of hats and enjoy wrangling chaos. What I do best is bring order to disorder. I bring a deep love of being “2nd in command” and want to encourage other people just like me that being Second is something to be celebrated.

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David Hartman

I am a designer that specializes in solutions to education and social innovation challenges. A born facilitator and storyteller, I love collaborating with people from diverse educational and employment backgrounds to synthesize viewpoints and to create solutions. I have worked in higher education, training, and program design for over a decade.