Becoming a chief of staff is an attractive career option for many professionals. It requires excellent interpersonal skills, several years of executive-level experience, and often a master's degree in business administration (MBA) or a related field. Working well as part of a team is essential for success in this role, as you will need to collaborate with other executives from all departments to implement the CEO's vision. The position of chief of staff is relatively new in the private sector and qualifications for the position vary from company to company.
Many companies prefer job seekers with an MBA or related degree, and some may require more technical training or even a specialization in a particular subject area. However, many people enter the rotating position of chief of staff with the certainty that they will obtain exceptional training in business and leadership and then move on to another leadership position in the company or move on to a senior management position. Chiefs of staff are in a unique position to see all the functions of an organization and often help in one or more areas. This gives them a chance to identify which areas they have real interest or strength in.
Managers of staff can move on to almost any position, from chief operating officer to vice president of communications, chief financial officer and chief executive officer. Some even start their own companies. You may not make the right decision 100% of the time, but you were selected for the position because they are confident that you will make the right decisions most or most of the time. To become a successful chief of staff, focus on communication, leadership, and project management skills.
A variety of educational backgrounds can be an excellent training ground for a career as chief of staff. Third-level chiefs of staff are often found in large, complex organizations that face the need for drastic strategic, operational and cultural change, especially when the leader is new to the highest position. Talk to Human Resources or a current director of that company about what is the typical career path in that position in that organization. If you work in the government, the military, health care, or the tech industry, the position of chief of staff is probably nothing new to you.
Among the number of start-ups, small businesses, and highly complex global organizations, the need for a strategic business partner, an intellectual partner, an advisor, and a collaborative leader in the form of a chief of staff won't go away anytime soon. Salary information is always a little difficult to find, especially for more nuanced positions such as chief of staff. Greg works closely with the directors of business development and R&D on alliances and acquisition projects, and with the director of human resources in the search for scientific talent. A chief of staff ensures that the executive focuses on making sound decisions on the elements most critical to the team and the organization.
Two final factors will determine if adding a CO to the CEO's office will make things better: working well as part of a team and having excellent interpersonal skills. If you are excellent at these responsibilities and enjoy them, then a career as a Chief of Staff may be right for you. If you're considering becoming a Chief of Staff, it's important to understand what it takes to be successful in this role. You'll need exceptional interpersonal skills, several years' experience at an executive level, and often an MBA or related degree.
Working well as part of a team is essential for success as you'll need to collaborate with other executives from all departments to implement your CEO's vision. You'll also need strong communication skills, leadership abilities, and project management experience. It's also important to understand what kind of career path is typical for this role within your organization - talk to Human Resources or current directors about this before applying.