The role of a Chief of Staff (COS) is so important. I recently reflected on the various types of Chief of Staff roles and how a COS contributes to the success of a team and business. The CEO’s right hand position is absolutely pivotal in any company. Read more about this in my previous blog post. here
A CEO’s success completely hinges on how their Chief of Staff or Executive Assistant helps them tackle their priorities to ultimately help them succeed. A COS is leaned on to make sure things that cross the CEO’s desk are handled the right way. They ensure people are being taken care of, and that the company goals are met.
Are you a CEO looking to fill a COS position?
As you think about what you need, and the daunting task of finding that perfect person to fill this role, here are some quick tips that can help in your search:
1. Often the person you need already exists in your company.
Finding someone who understands the company, what it took to get there, who the players are, and understands the product already is most helpful. There is a long learning curve to overcome if you are asked to be a leader behind a leader without knowing much about the company.
2. Look for people that are confident, business minded, humble – almost egoless, and a great communicator.
You want this person to have zero ego in it. They should just want to help you and the company succeed. Often this is why when I explain the two types of Chief of Staff roles. The Management Consultant never stays in the role longer than two years because they want to become the boss, and their ego gets in the way. More detail from my first post here.
3. Don’t discount a potential candidate.
If you have an incredibly good executive assistant already, but are worried they might not have the right business experience to take on this role, I encourage you to NOT discount their abilities. Sometimes just enough business sense, mixed with good EQ (emotional quotient), and project management skills is all they need to get going as a Chief of Staff.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept of EQ, check out this comprehensive article from the Harvard Business Review, where they define EQ as “the self-awareness of emotions, both others’ and your own.”
The only major differences in the role they have now, and the new role, is being able to hold their own with other business leaders in the company. Can they work alongside your team to execute on a project? Have they earned the respect and trust needed to get shit done?