The Chief of Staff Association, together with one of the world leaders in reputation management, Rupert Younger of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, developed a code of ethics that we encourage all current, former and aspiring chiefs of staff to sign.
The code of ethics is a voluntary pledge that demonstrates your commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards and behavioural norms of the profession. In doing so, you will be establishing and advancing the integrity of this respected and influential vocation.
We encourage anyone interested in demonstrating their commitment to the ethical standards of the profession to sign the pledge.
Signing the pledge is completely free of charge and so too is the certificate that we send.
By signing the pledge you demonstrate a commitment to your peers, employer and other organisational leaders that you will uphold the behavioural norms we have set forth.
You will benefit by establishing trust and confidence among a peer network of like-minded chiefs of staff that you will act in alignment with the code.
Your principal will benefit knowing that, as their plenipotentiary, you have attested to acting in an ethical manner.
The profession benefits by clearly defining accepted ethics and behaviours and, by default, those that are unacceptable. Overall, this leads to recognition of the integrity of the profession and a basis for assessing charges of inappropriate behaviour.
I am trusted to provide insight, make decisions, and to engage with multiple different internal and external stakeholders on behalf of my principal.
I commit to ensuring that I will act in accordance with international, national and local rules wherever they apply.
I commit to behaving with the highest levels of integrity and recognise the need to avoid perceptions of dishonest behaviour or anything that could be perceived as inappropriate or excessive.
I recognise that I hold a position of high trust and that this demands adherence to the highest ethical and moral standards of behaviour.
I commit to deploying my diplomatic skills to the benefit of the organisation and the specific objectives of the principal. Diplomatic skills include the ability to assess and analyse large quantities of information, simplify to manageable questions and decisions, and build consensus.
I will respect, promote and value an inclusive culture and celebrate diversity of all types. I will act to ensure not only that an inclusive culture is upheld, but also that I will actively promote new forms of inclusivity as and where I see it.
I commit to treating everyone with respect and dignity, ensuring where I can that they feel welcomed and safe in their interactions with the office of the chief of staff.
I commit to interacting with everyone on their merit. I will aim to do so in practice, and also understand that I have a responsibility to be seen to interact on the basis of merit, acting at all times with empathy and respecting the dignity of colleagues and counterparties.
I commit to ensuring that my role is delivered not only to a high level of performance but that it also delivers the impact that is required, inside and outside the organisation.
I commit to the highest standards of professional behaviour, recognising that organisational efficiency underpins my performance.
I understand that my position demands a high level of confidentiality and commit at all times to preserving an appropriate level of confidentiality at all times.
I commit to ensuring that my organisation has access to the right connections that are required to make informed decisions and to enact these with impact. This responsibility also extends to creating access to new connections and sources of information.
I will actively use my networks to identify societal themes of relevance to my organisation and I will use my networks to decode developing issues of importance to the societies in which the organisation operates.
Rupert Younger is the founder and director of Oxford University’s Centre for Corporate Reputation and co-founder of The Finsbury Group. He is a recognised expert on how reputations are created, sustained, destroyed and rebuilt and has advised some of the world’s largest organisations over the past 30 years.
He is the co-author of the best-selling book, The Reputation Game (published in October 2017 and now available in six languages), and co-author of The Activist Manifesto, published in 2018.
Mr Younger’s work and views are regularly featured in major news outlets including the BBC, CNN, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and The Times of London. In addition, he chaired The University of Oxford’s Socially Responsible Investment Committee of Council (2012-2017) and is a member of the Senior Common Rooms at Worcester College, Oxford and St Antony’s College, Oxford.