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The Whistler Report

Every Leader's Must-Have in 2020 -The rise of the chief of staff

Ski Chair lift

Many years ago a leader approached me and said ‘Jen, I think I need you’ and I said ‘You’re right’! The next week I outlined my ideas for the things I would help him with to more effectively run the team and the practice. It included everything from coaching and listening, to questioning when needed, tracking, reporting, facilitating, writing, gate-keeping and making leaders shine. He was in. During the following years we developed a new practice-wide strategy, debated countless ideas, completed all the business planning documents – in triplicate – on time, led effective leadership decision-making meetings, solved many issues and, most importantly, had a lot a fun! 

Since then I have played this role with many leaders and I’ve seen this role – the trusty side kick, the chief of staff, the director of strategy & operations – become a key ingredient in the success of busy leaders. I saw a post recently that someone had organized a ‘chief of staff dinner’, bringing together others who play this vital role to share ideas and celebrate their achievements.  

Have you ever wished you had someone who could help you narrow down all your business priorities before the budget deadline? And facilitate a discussion with your team to agree on them first? Or someone who you could bounce your most disruptive ideas off of before taking them to your colleagues? And someone to draft your communications? And someone to help others craft more fully-baked ideas before they crossed your desk? And…the list goes on. If you said yes, then it’s time to find your Chief/Director/Trusty side kick.

This role can help new leaders get organized, seasoned leaders take on new mandates, and busy leaders prioritize. I have a great role description to share and ideas on who to look for. Contact me and I will send it your way.