With the Chief of Staff role quickly becoming an essential role in the growth and development of today’s leading companies, our team is often asked when the right time is to hire someone for the position.
Here at Elate, we have the opportunity to work firsthand with some of the fastest growing companies and best strategy and operations leaders of today. For many of the venture backed companies we work with, we are seeing a common trend in the Chief of Staff hire being made earlier and earlier by these companies.
From founding team members like Chelsey Krisay at Trainual and Mackenzie Regent at Notation Capital who made the transition internally into the Chief of Staff position to leaders like Rajsi Rana at Skyflow who have made the transition from companies like Amazon and Oracle to take on the Chief of Staff position at growth stage companies, hiring for the Chief of Staff position is simply becoming a matter of when.
We had the opportunity to meet with John Quayle, who recently joined Four Growers as the sixth employee and the company’s first Chief of Staff.
On this episode of Aspiring Ops, John shares how his unexpected journey into entrepreneurship led to his role at Four Growers, and why the Chief of Staff position at an early stage startup provided the career development he was looking for at a company. John also gives a glimpse into how the position might look different at earlier stage companies, and the advantages of hiring someone who can ‘duplicate’ the presence and impact of their principal.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard a guest on Aspiring Ops reference the impact a Chief of Staff can have in amplifying the impact of their principal across the business. A former guest, Garr Punnet, shared how he believed the Chief of Staff could serve as a force multiplier across the business.
But John does a great job of outlining exactly what that means, and how to put that into practice, especially at an early stage company.
As he shares, “If you’re looking to hire a Chief of Staff early on, we’re talking 10 employees or less, make sure that you have a person that can essentially duplicate who they’re reporting to and has a keen sense of what they need to work on, how they move the business forward, and how do you aggregate a ton of information but distill it down to anyone that wants to absorb that information.”
For the Chief of Staff position, helping your principal gain more leverage in the impact they can have across the business is essential. Whether it be rolling out an operating framework and cadence or standing up a new department from zero to one, the role will inevitably evolve to the needs of your business. However, as John outlines, one key piece to success in the role, regardless of stage, is an ability to step in and quickly align with the goals and ambitions of your principal.
Interested in learning more about Four Growers? Check out their site here.
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