A chief of staff helps optimize processes and improve time management for leaders
- A chief of staff helps to:
- Streamline decision-making
- Improve the flow of information
- Strategically manage a leader’s calendar
- Maximize the CEO’s limited time
- Optimize administrative processes
- Make workflows more efficient
- Make the leadership team cohesive
- Enhance perspectives
At a certain point in their business’s growth journeys, many founders get stuck in administrative loops. Their businesses need more support but hiring a full-time person isn’t feasible so they end up juggling a lot of things themselves to keep operations going. This isn’t good for them or the organization.
Drowning in administrative tasks, CEOs lose the ability to focus on long-term, high-level growth goals. Their organizations suffer because while they may be run at a satisfactory level they aren’t living up to their full potential. The founder is wasting their time on administrative tasks, meetings with clients, and following up with employees on a granular level.
Growth stagnates in this environment. Productivity slows down. Poor information flow compromises decision-making. This isn’t sustainable, and building a successful business means creating one that can run without you. The solution – a chief of staff.
A chief of staff liberates a founder from time-consuming administrative tasks so they can focus on high-level goals and decision-making. But they aren’t mere assistants. They work autonomously to multiply the effectiveness of the CEO, align the senior leadership team, shape the organizational culture, and set the beat for planning and projects.
Chiefs of staff play slightly different roles depending on an organization’s needs. In all cases, though, they bring a host of benefits which include the following.
1. They help streamline decision-making due to an improved flow of information
Executives make a lot of decisions, and to make the best decisions possible, they need the right information. A chief of staff ensures that you have the information you need to make the most effective decisions for your organization.
A chief of staff doesn’t filter or finesse information to make it more palatable. That isn’t a wise approach — as the CEO, you need to know what’s going on inside and outside your organization. You don’t need to be weighed down with unnecessary details or questions.
Using an agreed-upon prioritization process, your chief of staff funnels issues to you, and they synthesize research and information from department leaders to ensure you have the most pertinent details. This speeds up the decision-making process and makes it more effective.
2. They strategically manage a leader’s calendar to maximize their time
A CEO has limited time, and their chief of staff helps them make the most of it. Your chief of staff will help you develop a calendar that reflects the priorities of your organization. They will help you maximize your time so that you can focus on areas where you can add the most value – organizational vision, long-term strategy, and leadership development.
A chief of staff minimizes the time you spend on activities that could be handled by someone else. They preserve your time for critical tasks, and they safeguard your calendar. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be unavailable to staff members. Instead, it means that you will have a well-curated calendar that lets you increase your levels of engagement and availability because you’re not losing time on unnecessary tasks.
You will also free up time for solitude and reflection. This “downtime” is critical for insight and action. A chief of staff helps you manage the time demands of internal and external stakeholders in the most effective way possible, but they also guide you toward a sustainable work-life balance.
Beyond organizing the calendar, the chief of staff provides hands-on help with time management. They ensure you are well-prepared for meetings, and when possible, they attend meetings for you. They run drumbeat meetings with staff and leadership to see what has been done and what roadblocks are preventing progress. They also follow up on delegated tasks so that you don’t have to check on everything.
3. They optimize administrative processes to create more efficient workflows
The way your organization operates plays a significant role in its long-term success. Inefficient workflows strain your resources and compromise your growth. A chief of staff observes your administrative processes and looks for bottlenecks. They identify where workflows could be more efficient and where siloed tasks could be integrated.
In a lot of cases, you may need to adjust your administrative approach due to growth or operational shifts. But that can be hard to see when you’re in the trenches. — A chief of staff provides you with an enhanced perspective. They ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly, but at the same time, they make sure these tasks aren’t on your to-do list. Ultimately, they improve processes in a way that protects your bottom line.
4. They help make leadership teams more cohesive
Your chief of staff can also bring your leadership team together. Leadership teams are often hyper-focused on finance, HR, tech, sales and marketing, or administration. In contrast, a chief of staff looks across all of the departments of your organization and ensures they are in alignment with your overall goals and strategy.
Your chief of staff also helps your leadership team collaborate in a way that improves standard operating procedures across the board. Department leaders often don’t understand how their actions affect the rest of the organization. Your chief of staff guides them to a higher level of understanding. They help to ensure that you have a cohesive organization – not just a group of independent departments.
Chiefly Consultants provides fractional chiefs of staff to free up your time
A chief of staff helps leaders become more efficient. They improve operations, manage projects, and help organizations navigate through periods of growth or uncertainty. They provide indispensable oversight, guidance, and perspective to CEOs and founders who want to take their businesses to the next level.
Luckily, you don’t have to hire a full-time chief of staff to get these benefits. At Chiefly Consultants, we provide our clients with all of the benefits of a chief of staff without requiring them to hire anyone. We have a bench of professionals who have extensive experience with this role, not just degrees. Our fractional chief of staff services can help you assess and improve processes across your sales and marketing, human resources, technology, administration, and finance departments.
Our mission is to help our clients get set up for long-term growth and expansion. To learn more, contact us directly.