A chief of staff is a senior executive assistant that assists the chief executive officer. This chief of staff job description template describes the key responsibilities of the position.
It can be used as a template in your own organization, along with additional duties that are specific to your own organization’s needs.
Chief of Staff Job Description
Often referred to as the backbone of any organization, the chief of staff should be a steady and assertive leader with an incredible memory for details.
With an extraordinary ability to motivate and inspire others, this position can be a career-maker if you have what it takes to excel.
A chief of staff job description generally includes goals such as making administrative duties more efficient, enabling better team communications, and providing greater internal support at all levels throughout the organization.
A hallmark of good organizational leaders is their ability to use time wisely; in this case, it’s equally important for a chief of staff to gain visibility while minimizing face time.
What does a chief of staff do?
Keynote: chief of staff job description
As a member of the C-Suite, the chief of staff is a high-level executive. He or she is directly responsible for all aspects of the CEO’s schedule, acting as both manager and gatekeeper.
The chief of staff also functions as an organizer, planner, and strategic thinker for the entire company.
In this role, you are expected to keep an eye on daily activities across departments and divisions in order to foster efficiency and identify best practices that can be shared throughout your organization.
As the CEO’s closest advisor
A chief of staff job description is centered on serving as the CEO’s closest advisor. While the chief of staff role has traditionally been held by someone with a military background, in recent years, it’s become an integral part of modern corporate culture.
A chief of staff is usually responsible for managing day-to-day operations and also acts as a liaison between the senior leadership team and other employees across the company.
In their most basic sense, they’re responsible for making sure that tasks are completed on time and that everyone communicates effectively across teams. If you have experience working with senior management, this could be the right career move for you!
Helping their executive get prepared for meetings or events
- Part of your role as chief of staff will be thoughtfully preparing your executive for the day’s events and meetings. You’ll do this by gathering information, creating agendas, and establishing talking points.
- This starts with you getting a thorough understanding of what your executive needs to accomplish that day, including keeping track of any upcoming customer calls or board meetings. You’ll then work with the rest of the team to gather information, compile statistical or case studies from past efforts to bolster talking points, create an agenda for meetings, and identify how best to use instructional materials in your executive’s favor.
- The chief of staff role is one that requires flexibility. There may come a time when the CEO is unexpectedly unavailable for an important meeting or event. In these times it will be up to you as chief of staff to step in at a moment’s notice and do whatever it takes to keep things running smoothly on their behalf.
One of the chief of staff’s primary roles is to help their executive identify priorities that need to be addressed and communicate them effectively.
This role usually involves frequent, one-on-one communication with the CEO, in addition to the daily interactions that most employees have.
As such, it helps if you’re observant and can observe what your executive’s style is in terms of communication. Do they prefer emails? Phone calls? Meetings?
Using this information, you can then adapt your methods so that you’re always communicating in a way that works for them and makes them comfortable.
Some executives will want you to leave meeting agendas or other important information on their desk for review before meetings start; others may feel more comfortable getting all relevant details during meetings or via email so they can go over the information at a time that works for them best.
Most importantly, remember to be polite and respectful when interacting with your executive – they are your boss!
Developing meeting agendas
The chief of staff will be responsible for developing meeting agendas and preparing necessary background information in support of those meetings.
You’ll need to create a comprehensive agenda for each upcoming meeting, including a list of people who should be in attendance.
The agenda should be sent out in advance of the meeting so that attendees can prepare any materials they may need to bring or any questions they may have for the group.
Any relevant background information should also be included on the agenda, and this needs to be thoroughly researched before it makes its way onto the printed page.
As chief of staff, you’ll ensure that the agenda is followed during the meeting, both by reminding participants when certain items are up for discussion and by ensuring that no digressions occur during any one topic.
Finally, you’ll make sure that any decisions made at the meeting are followed up on via memos or emails after it has concluded
Taking on ad-hoc projects and special assignments
The chief of staff is the CEO’s right-hand man or woman. The role involves taking on ad-hoc projects and special assignments, as needed.
- Take on ad hoc projects: For example, if the chief of staff were working at Google, they would take on a project like redesigning the company logo to make it look more like an ice cream sundae.
- Help out with special assignments: One example is when the CEO has to run off and do errands but doesn’t want to miss work, so they ask their chief of staff to come in and sit at their desk while they’re gone. They can also help out with other important issues that are not part of their normal duties.
A chief of staff is the right hand man of the CEO
As a chief of staff, you will serve as the CEO’s right-hand man or woman. Your responsibilities will include:
- Assisting the CEO with their responsibilities
- Being able to step in and become the acting CEO if they are unavailable. This means that you must be a master of all facets of the job, including but not limited to sales, marketing, product development, and finance
- Advising the CEO on major decisions being made by providing your expertise and insight
- Leading projects across different parts of the company that are critical to the company’s success
To be successful in this position, you must be an effective communicator who can convey ideas clearly and succinctly.
You should also have strong management skills so that you are able to distribute work appropriately among team members.
Finally, one must be an effective strategic thinker who is capable of envisioning both short term and long term plans for the company.
This is the chief of staff job description with it’s responsibilities. Drop your views in the comments below. Thanks.