It’s no secret that over the past few months the Chief of Staff position has increased in popularity in a way that even our team didn’t expect. If you were to do a casual search on LinkedIn, there are over 13,000+ current openings for the role. Additionally, there are almost 100,000 professionals who have been in the role for less than two years.
A large reason for the rise in popularity is the increased investment companies are making in their Strategy and Operations teams. But another reason for the sudden rise is the value the position has in amplifying the impact of leadership team members, especially the CEO, across all areas of the business.
For leaders at high growth companies, there is never enough time or resources to accomplish all that needs to be done. While growth hacking was a phrase popular across sales, marketing, and product teams, the phrase has application in how the Chief of Staff can be the extension of their principal.
Over the course of Season Three on Aspiring Ops, we heard from a number of Chiefs of Staff who have found ways to unlock opportunity and serve as a catalyst for growth by amplifying the impact of their principal.
For those professionals stepping into the role for the first time or even those looking to continue shaping their current position, we wanted to pass along some of our favorite learnings from leaders in the Chief of Staff position and how they think about the impact the role can have at the company.
Giving Your Principal Leverage
Early in Season Three of Aspiring Ops, we had the opportunity to sit down with Mackenzie Regent to hear about her experience as the Chief of Staff at Able, as well as her current role as the Head of Operations at Notation Capital.
For Mackenzie, her success in the position at Able began with the ability to build trust and serve as an advisor to the CEO.
It all starts with trust. Time and time again, the ability to build trust, not only with your principal, but with all members of your team has been a common theme throughout Aspiring Ops. However, it’s what that trust allows you to do that can help drive growth throughout the business.
The trust that is built in the Chief of Staff role can help any leader step out of the day-to-day and move into a more strategic role for the company. For a great Chief of Staff, this ability to unlock a leader’s time can help serve as a force multiplier for the business.
Serving as the Eyes and Ears of Your Executive Team
For Rajsi Rana, the Chief of Staff position can serve as the eyes and ears for leadership across the business. Not in the context of looking over employees shoulders, but in aligning teams and priorities by tearing down silos and driving alignment.
As Rajsi shares, the Chief of Staff has more visibility into the business and inner workings than almost any other position. The responsibility to work across teams, projects, and all aspects of the business means that opportunities for growth or continued investment will regularly be surfaced to you in the Chief of Staff role.
And that level of visibility shouldn’t be wasted. “You're providing (leadership) leverage, so come to them with ideas.”
Serving as a Force Multiplier
In Season Two of Aspiring Ops, Garr Punnett shared how the Chief of Staff can serve as a force multiplier across the business. For Season Three, Rajsi, Mackenzie, and others reiterated the sentiment that the Chief of Staff has a unique opportunity to amplify the voice and impact of leaders.
From providing their own unique perspective in given situations to pulling together moving pieces that help drive alignment in an otherwise chaotic environment, the Chief of Staff can serve as the connective tissue across the organization.
As we head into 2022 and begin rolling out company-wide strategies and priorities, it’s important that Chiefs of Staff are helping to connect long-term vision with execution at every level of the business. A high-degree of communication mixed with intentional trust-building can help any Strategy and Operations leader ensure they are maximizing the impact of their principals and serving as an extension of their efforts across the company.