Chief of Staff Job Description

PLEASE NOTEThis post will continue to evolve as we learn more about the Chief of Staff position and its application across various business sectors. The sample job description below is certainly not exhaustive and serves as a jumping-off point for you to craft a job description that encompasses the work you do (or that you want a new Chief of Staff to do).

Things to Consider When Creating a Chief of Staff Job Description

Earlier this week, someone shared a great line with me from the 1980’s television series, Miami Vice: “In this business with me, I do not buy a service. I buy a result.” I think this concept is incredibly fitting for the Chief of Staff role. If you are considering moving down this career path or hiring a Chief of Staff for your organization, keep in mind that the Chief of Staff role is there to provide a result, not a service. Make sure that is reflected in your job description.

The Chief of Staff as a Force Multiplier

While the Chief of Staff role is one of the more difficult roles to define, I like to think of a Chief of Staff as a Force Multiplier; the right hand to a leader; the strategic partner that helps a leader build and run a wildly successful business. While the day to day responsibilities vary greatly across leaders, companies, and industries, I believe the role can be summarized by three key components:

  1. ORGANIZE – organize ideas, projects, people, time, and resources necessary to keep all companies moving forward
  2. COMMUNICATE – communicate the vision, ideas, projects, or the process to the necessary people. This includes creating content, providing context, and helping connect the dots across all organizations to create opportunities and growth
  3. DELEGATE – projects and tasks to the appropriate people, support them, and hold them accountable to the results

Prime Chief of Staff also has a great framework from which to think about the Chief of Staff role. Prime defines the six key functions of a Chief of Staff as follows: The Goalkeeper, The Operator, The Implementer, The Integrator, The Proxy, and The Advisor. You may serve in several of these capacities in your Chief of Staff role, or spend the majority of your time in one. The goal here is to use these examples to better craft a Chief of Staff job description, so that you can hire the right talent or so that you can set expectations for your role as COS.

Sample Chief of Staff Job Description

Summary:

The Chief of Staff is a high-visibility strategic partner that supports the Founder with effective decision-making, project management, and execution of strategic initiatives across all portfolio companies. The Chief of Staff provides the organizational and communication framework for customers, employees, and leadership team members to implement the Founder’s vision and achieve annual goals. The Chief of Staff lives in the future and focuses on long-term planning and projects to ensure the growth of the organization and the success of the Founder.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Build and lead the daily operations of the executive office
  • Build and run cadence for leadership meetings, board meetings, and leadership offsites, including structuring and helping to deliver company-wide communication
  • Lead cross-functional strategic initiatives, facilitate special projects, and ensure action items are executed on behalf of the Founder
  • Operate at a tactical, strategic, and operational level, handling the oversight of projects that do not neatly fit within the organizational chart or that fall between departments or leadership areas of responsibility
  • Acts as an extension of the Founder and information funnel, filter, and facilitator with internal and external stakeholders
  • Assess all inquiries directed to the Founder, determine priority and the proper course of action
  • Act as the point of contact for the Founder’s direct reports. Triage all incoming requests for the executive’s time and work collaboratively with the Founder’s Executive Assistant to ensure his calendar is aligned with the priorities of the organization
  • Proactively follow up with the Founder’s team if and when goals are not being achieved to determine why objectives are not being met. Provide actionable recommendations for improvement
  • Promote team integration as well as cross-functional communication and collaboration
  • Manage key relationships and build a process to track and nurture key stakeholders, investors, and clients
  • Track high priority initiatives for the Founder to identify any/potential obstacles
  • Serve as a thought partner and strategic advisor to Founder, standing in on meetings, challenging ideas and offering a different perspective, and following up on action items with the team accordingly
  • Provide analysis, recommendations, and options to the Founder regarding high impact decisions
  • Manage the Founder’s brand & reputation

Resources for Building Your Career as Chief of Staff or Hiring for this Position

For more information on the Chief of Staff role and to check out the resources I used in writing this post, click on the links below.

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