In this unique role, a variety of skills are required to excel. You may not make the right decision 100% of the time. You were selected for the position because they trust that you will make the right decisions most or most of the time. A well-crafted strategy is just words on paper until someone takes the reins and makes it a reality.
The implementer translates a strategic vision into action. They strive to innovate and encourage employees to try what has never been done before. An effective implementer holds teams accountable and moves change forward. They are champions who drive business priorities from conception to completion.
Many cabinet chiefs say that you have to be a generalist expert to be successful. The responsibilities of the chief of staff include collaborating with the CEO and sometimes acting as a delegate. This position began to trend when large technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Uber incorporated new chiefs of staff, but since then it has been adopted by organizations of many other sizes, including tens of thousands of them with between 50 and 500 employees. Depending on the size of the organization, there may be some overlap, but a chief of staff has much more decision-making power than a typical EA.
A chief of staff ensures that the executive focuses on making solid decisions about the elements most important to the team and the organization. The responsibilities of the chief of staff are similar to those of the CEO, but his role is not that of the employees. As chief of staff, you'll work with and report directly to the CEO, conveying messages and ideas from other senior managers to improve the company's internal functions and processes. It's critical that the CEO and his chief of staff clearly communicate with each other and share expectations so that the representative can act with confidence.
If you think that your company needs a chief of staff and that person should be you, you may also have to be the one to mention it. The chief of staff must have excellent personnel management skills, be able to handle a great deal of pressure while making high-level decisions, and must be an advocate for management's strategic vision. The simple definition of chief of staff is the person who acts as the right hand of executives, including presidents, vice-presidents, department heads, and executive directors (CEOs). Being chief of staff is a multifaceted role that requires a lot of experience in managing people and projects.
For more information, see the report on the status of chiefs of staff in the technology sector (202), based on the findings of a survey of 25 chiefs of staff.