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Providing Clarity in the Chief of Staff Role
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Providing Clarity in the Chief of Staff Role

For any great strategy and operations leader, there has to be a desire to understand how everything across a business is connected. Unlike leaders in other departments, strategy and operations leaders don’t have the luxury of looking at success through the lens of just one team or department. In the Chief of Staff position particularly, the desire and ability to work across multiple areas of the business is often a non-negotiable. 

But with the responsibility of working across multiple teams, departments, or even projects, also comes the need to manage expectations and provide clarity.

We recently had the opportunity to meet with Céline Felan, Chief of Staff at SugarCRM, who has seen this play out firsthand as Sugar continues evolving as a business. After starting her career as a business analyst with stops along the way in program management, business transformation, and mergers & acquisitions, Céline found herself drawn to opportunities where she was helping leaders bring ideas to life.

On this episode of Aspiring Ops, Céline shares how her willingness to accept opportunities with open arms led to her role as the Chief of Staff at Sugar, and helped her understand the importance of providing clarity and managing expectations across the business. 

Our Takeaway

It’s funny how sometimes something as simple as clear communication and setting proper expectations can be the most overlooked part of a growing company. Far too often companies or leaders get lost in the constant grind or chaos of life at a high growth company, that they lose sight on how powerful something as simple as clarity can be in accomplishing a goal.  

As Céline shares in her interview, “In the end, managing expectations, providing clarity, or being in-sync is really the foundation of my day-to-day and of everything that I do.” She goes on to say, “It’s making sure we’re all clear on what that common goal is. Making sure we’re clear on what everyone’s roles and responsibilities are. What our plan is to accomplish the goal.”

Every company, especially over the past year, has sought to provide clarity for employees. Creating alignment, driving collaboration, and providing transparency are all forms of trying to create clear direction in a business. Yet, companies often fall short of delivering. 

At Elate, we are strong advocates of the Chief of Staff position, and this is just another example of the type of impact the role can have on a company. 

It’s one thing to say, ‘we want to be clear, aligned, and transparent as a company,’ but it’s much harder to actually follow through on that claim. As Céline highlights, the Chief of Staff is tasked with bringing together different teams, departments, and projects to work towards a common goal. These individuals often have a superpower when it comes to building collective buy-in and seeing ideas through to the completion. 

So whether your business is considering hiring for a Chief of Staff position or you’re considering whether it’s the right fit for you, remember that clear communication and building trust are two key components for creating clarity in a way that drives any business forward. 

Interested in learning more about SugarCRM? Check out their site here

Want to learn more about how Elate is working with other strategy and ops leaders? Request a sneak peek today.

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