Being a Chief of Staff (CoS) requires a unique set of skills that go beyond the traditional job description. To be successful in this role, it is essential to possess emotional intelligence, leadership, information processing and initiative. Emotional intelligence is a must-have for any CoS. They must be able to read people's emotions and respond accordingly.
They should also be able to build strong relationships with their colleagues and create an atmosphere of trust. Leadership is another essential quality for a CoS. They should be able to take initiative and drive business objectives from start to finish. They should also strive to innovate and motivate employees to try new things.
Information processing is another important skill for a CoS. They need to be able to filter information in order to respond appropriately and take proactive measures. They should also have a comprehensive understanding of the entire organization in order to connect the dots between processes. Finally, a CoS should have excellent communication skills in order to facilitate the discussion of difficult topics and ensure that these issues are addressed.
They should also be able to establish personal relationships with the CEO's direct reports. A great CoS should also be an expert in human resources (HR) policies and transactions, a leader whisperer, an air traffic controller for the executive, a head of business development, director of strategy or director of transformation, and a facilitator of difficult topics. In addition, they should be able to turn abstract ideas into smooth operations and connect the dots between processes.