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Updated: Sep 29, 2022

While no two CoS roles are the same, here’s why a Chief of Staff will be your best hire.

Today, the Chief of Staff (CoS) role has become common in corporations and startups — though it dates back centuries and originated in politics, government and military. CEOs and owners of growing companies, whether startups, small businesses, professional service companies, or agencies, are always short on time and resources. Even after hiring an assistant, senior managers and executives, CEOs and owners often find that their focus is still divided among too many different priorities. All too often, a CEO or owner needs more help than they are getting.


A Chief of Staff is very different from a virtual assistant (VA) and is also distinct from an executive assistant (EA). A VA is usually a freelancer who works on remote administrative tasks on demand while an EA manages your calendar, emails and other correspondence, day-to-day schedule, and travel arrangements. In contrast, a CoS thinks strategically and works independently. In addition, a Chief of Staff is often a part of the senior management team.

While no two CoS roles are the same, here’s why a Chief of Staff will be your best hire.

1. A Chief of Staff will save you time.

Most executives I’ve talked to who have hired a Chief of Staff say that doing so gives them a quarter to half of their time back. They also can get more done in the time they have left. This is because not only do Chiefs of Staff take day-to-day tasks off your plate, but they also create and implement systems and processes to help you get more chunks of focused time.

In a startup’s early days, your CoS may help you systematize your marketing plan, then manage your QA automation team, then move on to build a repeatable sales process, and then create an internship program. And that’s all while helping to manage budgets and prepare for board meetings. Your Chief of Staff should be a generalist who can go from one project to the next without missing a beat, allowing you to focus on strategic thinking and planning.

2. A Chief of Staff will improve the flow of information.

An experienced Chief of Staff will significantly improve the flow of information between departments that were previously siloed. Plus, they will also improve communication between you, your senior management team, and the rest of your staff. Your CoS will cultivate relationships throughout your organization, allowing him or her to give you unfiltered and unbiased opinions. Without ties to a particular department, you will also find that your Chief of Staff may become one of your most trusted advisors.

3. A Chief of Staff will help you make better decisions.

An experienced CoS will help guide and implement an objectives and key results (OKRs) process throughout your company. With more time on your hands and better information, you’ll be better equipped to think through important decisions. And with your Chief of Staff knowing your business as well as you do, he or she will be a wise and reliable counsel for difficult decisions.

4. A Chief of Staff will identify and reduce your costs.

A good CoS will identify areas for improvement and take action. For example, if your company is manually paying invoices and onboarding, 1099 workers, your CoS may recommend implementing a contractor management solution (CMS) or vendor management system (VMS). Switching to a VMS or a freelancer management system (such as Liquid) should help reduce person-hours needed for these manual processes, reduce direct costs due to overpayments and late fees and help your team source pre-vetted talent across departments.

An experienced Chief of Staff will always be looking for operational inefficiencies like these, recommend solutions, and then implement them. And then your CoS will move on to the next project or opportunity.

5. A Chief of Staff will help you boost your impact.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to the future of work. Companies are increasingly comfortable with remote work and relying on blended workforces of employees and on-demand workers. In this environment, the CoS role becomes even more essential, not less, helping you to more nimbly adapt and iterate to take advantage of opportunities.

A Chief of Staff will help you maximize your time, improve your decision-making, make the flow of information to you more efficient and help you reduce your costs. A Chief of Staff will have a direct positive impact on your business, particularly in areas that fall outside of scope for your other executives. In short, hiring a Chief of Staff will help you be a more effective executive, allowing you to build your company and focus on your vision.

It’s time to take your company to the next level. Define what you need in a chief of staff, then find that perfect match. The Chief of Staff is a role you won’t regret adding to your management team.


Note, this article was originally published on Forbes and appears here under license by the author (Liquid’s CXO Yolanda Lau).



4 min read

Five Reasons A Chief Of Staff Will Be Your Best Hire

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