The role of chief of staff is becoming increasingly important in the corporate world, and it can be a highly rewarding job for those with the right skills and characteristics. It is also a demanding and stressful position, however, and it is essential to understand the challenges that come with it. The chief of staff is usually the closest advisor to the executive, and they are responsible for managing the executive's agenda, communications, and other tasks. This can be a difficult job, as the chief of staff must balance the needs of the executive with those of the organization.
The chief of staff must also be able to handle difficult conversations and manage conflicting demands. The camaraderie that is often found in other positions may be absent in a chief of staff role. Chiefs of staff must be able to communicate effectively with their colleagues and build strong relationships with them. They must also be able to manage expectations and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Chiefs of staff are proving to be invaluable assets for executives in business and non-profit organizations. They are often seen as a stepping stone to higher leadership positions, as they have a deep understanding of how an organization works. This experience can be invaluable when it comes to taking on more senior roles. The fear of losing influence over the CEO or being uncertain about their position in the organization can be a source of stress for chiefs of staff.
They may also feel that others have unrealistic expectations about their job, such as expecting them to book reservations at an upscale restaurant or arrange travel for their executive. Gaining PACE certification is one way for chiefs of staff to demonstrate their knowledge, experience, and commitment to their role. This certification can help them stand out from other candidates when applying for higher leadership positions. Creating a job description for a chief of staff can also be challenging, especially if it is the first time this position has been filled in an organization.
Candidates should have experience in leadership roles and have strong communication skills. They should also have an understanding of how organizations work and how to manage competing demands. Once a chief of staff has established themselves in office, they may find it difficult to distinguish themselves from their colleagues. This can make it difficult to move up into higher leadership roles. Fear can also be projected onto the chief of staff, leading to communication issues within the organization. Chiefs of staff are excellent ambassadors for their executives, organizations, and functions.
Those who have been in this role for several years may find themselves wondering what their next step should be. Gaining PACE certification or taking on more senior roles are two possible paths forward.