How to be a great chief of staff?

The role of Chief of Staff (COS) is instrumental to the success of an organization. For this reason, many who aspire to the role often ask how success can be achieved in such a versatile, demanding, and complex position. While there may not be one secret ingredient to being a great COS, it is worth distilling some of the wisdom that COSs have offered across the years that may lead one to become a great chief of staff.

Here are four traits that often appear in the memoirs, speeches, or talks given by prominent chiefs of staff:

Attention to Detail
COSs are renowned for their attention to detail. They do their best to organize the tasks systematically, and then proceed to ensure that all aspects are delivered efficiently.

Chiefs of staff are adept at prioritizing competing and sometimes conflicting objectives allowing them to optimize finite resources and capital.

The relationship between the COS and the principal is paramount and requires sincerity. Loyalty is the bedrock of a sustained and meaningful relationship that creates harmony and encourages a long productive career.

The trait that most often quoted by Chiefs of Staff is that they must always adhere to a sense of integrity. By demonstrating integrity in their professional conduct, they build relationships that last a lifetime and can open doors where other people may not have access. Integrity is something that is universally appreciated by everyone.

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