"Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler," (Proverbs 6:7)
A lot of responsibility rests on the shoulders of those second-in-command. More than just a title, one must have an eye on the boss and the other on everything else. Never mind that you think you're ready to steer the vessel, the transfer of power will happen in God's time. It's that middle ground—that period of waiting—you tread while the one in charge shifts the balance. Are you ready?
"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour." (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
I find that hierarchy is one of the first things people see--whether they're actively looking for it or not. Title, position, rank. None of it means anything before the Lord. Spiritually speaking, the person who chooses to humble themselves as unto the Lord and "do unto others" is the one God is looking at. I believe God is looking at everyone as if they were the only one. And as they come in and around different people, the opportunity to show a Christlike attitude in action is the thing God prizes and rewards. Because it tells on Him. In this case, titles dissolve and everyone stands at the same height. Jesus, in everything He did and everywhere He went, related the Father's heart. This isn't to say He didn't need help. Everyone in His circle who was faithful to Him will get the same reward as if it were only Him doing it. He can't be everywhere at once and so He appoints us ambassadors for Him. Speaking to the disciples:
"Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:28-29)
The details of rule are exquisitely simple. When executed ethically and correctly, all within flourishes. It's the same in a multinational conglomerate or a mom-and-pop shop. God's kingdom functions in much the same way, albeit spiritually. Case in point:
"Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die: and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." (Ezekiel 3:17-18)
God tasked Ezekiel with observing and reporting as unto Him. Again, with one eye on God and the other on the Body, his position of responsibility carries weight and reward. But it's hard. And if you find yourself in a penultimate position--i.e. almost in charge--be grateful for what you have and also any former statuses in which you were perfectly content. Because when the blessing of rule is handed down, life may well get a lot harder. But if you want it, if it's for you, don't stop now.