A chief of staff is responsible for supporting high-level executives in making decisions and completing projects. These projects could relate to staffing, business, contracts and meeting deadlines. While prospective chiefs of staff generally find employment in the political arena, many businesses are beginning to use their services as well. While there are no specific educational requirements of a chief of staff, having a master's degree in business, political science or public policy can be beneficial. Experience for a prospective chief of staff matters most, and applicants must prove to be trustworthy, decisive and loyal over a period of time.
One of the primary duties of a chief of staff is to ensure that projects and policies get completed in a timely manner. Once an executive makes an order or decision, it is the responsibility of a chief of staff to make sure that all other staff members and employees carry out any new mandates. Chiefs of staff are responsible for calling meetings in relation to personnel issues, company process or projects. These meetings also give a chief of staff an opportunity to lay out analytical and tactical strategies.
The ability to communicate is an extremely important part of this job. A chief of staff must be able to communicate to executives and staff members in both oral and written form. Chiefs of staff may also be the primary negotiator with other business executives or politicians. Professionals in this field must have strong working relationships with politicians, business executives and any other influential decision makers.
Chiefs of staff must provide tremendous leadership and be able to effectively manage all staff and personnel members. During a project, a chief of staff must make sure that all project members are completing tasks diligently and on time. This position calls for strong team-building skills, and a chief of staff ensures that offices and departments are running efficiently.