Critical hires have the power to make or break your company. They stand as the little point of difference between companies who win the race and companies that get lost somewhere on the journey.
The emerging role of Chief of Staff for CEO is one such position.
To put it in short, COS is the turbocharger that will untie your growth from all possible hurdles, especially when you are looking to scale up.
Why is it crucial to have a Chief of Staff for CEO?
Since the duties of a chief of staff are not too rigid and can change over time and with the organization’s needs. “Why does every CEO need a chief of Staff?” can seem a difficult question to answer.
We have listed down 9 reasons why you need a chief of staff for CEO-
1To gain control over company culture
“Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.”
COS will not just look at the Playbook that already exists and manage your teams accordingly.
They will form processes and systems that will cultivate and retain your company culture. They will dig out what’s not working and make corrections in your present processes.
Chief of Staff for CEO communicates the big-picture vision across the organization on behalf of the CEO. He also takes steps to ensure organizational values are adhered to in the day-to-day workings of the organization.
2To align strategy
Chief of Staff for CEO acts as your strategic partner. while talking about her role as the Chief of Staff of Vacasa Lisa Hovey says, “I manage our Brand Strategy team.
My responsibilities center on managing key priorities and initiatives, to make sure everything’s tracking.”
Strategic Alignment is very necessary for an organization to succeed. As the CEO you should keep it on the top of your priority list.
Projects aligned with the business strategy have a 57% greater chance of succeeding.
But interestingly, 61% of executives feel unprepared for the strategic challenges they had to face while being appointed as senior leadership.
Your COS will help you streamline your strategic alignment driving better and faster results for your organization.
They will maintain the proper communication required to implement the changes that accompany strategic initiatives. They bridge the gap among different layers of the organizational chart.
Poor communication can cause a loss of 5.2% of strategy potential.
“I manage the process of translating our strategic plan into goals, and making sure that each department is aligned with where we need to make the biggest impact.” (Hovey, Vacasa’s Chief of Staff to CEO.)
3To find people that suits your hiring requirements
Your COS will search and hire the complementing skills your company needs to succeed. They work closely with the HR team to monitor the hiring policies, processes, and practices in the organization. Chief of Staff to CEO are also seen outlining interviews and screening candidates.
“You need someone to be your eyes, ears, hands, and feet in terms of developing and hiring the right people. I needed a person to identify rock stars to invest in and uncover mis-hires earlier to get them off the bus faster.” –says Influitive CEO Mark Organ while talking about the need for COS in the executive office.
4To buy you more time
A complaint CEOs often have is that they don’t get enough time to do the work most needed. They have so much on their plate that sometimes it gets difficult to prioritize tasks and focus on what’s most important. And when things continue like this for a long time, they start losing control over time and their work-life balance gets shattered.
“A chief of staff creates accessibility and availability in a CEO’s schedule.”- Mark Organ
If you or someone facing the same situation, COS can come to your rescue.
Your COS will synchronize your schedule, take notes during meetings, draft your emails, company newsletters for you, Do follow-ups, organize events, and even attend meetings on your behalf whenever needed.
So that, you can work on your new ideas and still ensure that your day-to-day things don’t fall on the way.
5To identify and reduce issues
COS sometimes works as the troubleshooter keeps the CEO out of trouble. They will identify the issues that are or can block your progress in the future.
Chief of Staff to CEO are cognizant of what’s really going on in the business, both internally and externally.
As a confidant to the CEO, they identify, mediate and solve disputes before they can reach the Chief Executive Officer.
Chief of Staff for CEO acts as the problem-solver in the organization and assists the CEO with the daily operation.
6To Make better decisions
COS is that square Shooter who will give you a broader outlook on every aspect of the company and make the necessary information available for you. They add new perspectives to make your decision-making process more effective.
“A good CoS is constantly monitoring the health of the organization and making specific recommendations on how to improve it.”- Mark Organ
They look at the organizational problems with a birds-eye view. And become your extra pair of eyes and ears to help you spot what you have missed earlier.
The CEO will assist you to stay accountable for your commitments. And will help you keep your teams accountable for results.
They will give you insights and provide an inside scoop across the departments. So that you can better and faster decisions.
7For an effective information Flow
Imagine a situation where you are heading for an important meeting in half an hour. But the right pieces of metrics and information haven’t reached your desk yet. You are in panic and on the verge of bursting out.
Sounds terrifying right?
Having COS will ensure such a situation doesn’t occur in the first place. COS makes sure that the right information reaches the CEO, the teams, and the senior leaders at the right time so that they can make the right decisions.
They gather information coming in and going out of the office of the CEO (in the form of emails, direct messages, phone calls, and meetings), process it, and direct it to the right route.
8To level up the executive team
“A great CoS enhances and raises the game for the entire leadership of the company. They do that by providing effective feedback on ideas and proposals from team members.”Mark Organ
Your executive team that guides your day-to-day operations will help determine your effectiveness. Your COS can play an essential role in this regard.
The COS in partnership with the executive leaders creates strategies and actionable steps to meet the set goals. The Chief of staff to CEO also does follow-ups with everyone involved in the process and ensures a task’s completion.
“I manage communication and collaboration—ensuring that the right connections are being made across the organization where they matter most. ” —Lisa Hovey, Chief of Staff, Vacasa.
9To amplify your impact
COS makes your time and decision-making more effective. They help you realize the organizational agenda. They will assist you in thinking and making policies. And help you implement those policies across all departments.
Your COS will make sure you don’t attend any meetings unprepared or you don’t make any decisions based on assumptions. They will help you build richer relationships with your teams, senior executives, stakeholders, and other board members to drive better performance.
They will help you cater to the needs of your executive teams and center focus on things that need the most attention.
In short, COS will help you become “the superhuman”, every CEO aspires to become.
To conclude, the Chief of Staff for CEO stands as the thin line of difference between realized strategies and lost opportunity. As an HBR report has mentioned, the Chief of Staff for CEO is like Alexander Hamilton was for George Washington.
COS will help you become the best leader possible for your organization. They focus not only on your success but every aspect of your organization. They change plans into actions.
If you are a CEO and planning to hire a chief of staff read our blog on 16 fantastic Interview questions to ask your chief of staff candidates.