Why You Should Care About the ‘Chief of Staff’ Position

Every organization out there has a slightly different interpretation of a job title and its description. The importance of most jobs is evident in their titles: You can’t do without a sales team, and managers keep it all together. But one title is a little vague to the average layman. What’s a chief of staff, and why are they essential to a high-growth startup?

Scott Amenta, who is, unsurprisingly, himself a chief of staff at Spring, has weighed in on the question in a detailed Medium post. Though he covers a lot of ground, here’s the one reason why the chief of staff is important at a unicorn.

Time Matters at a Unicorn

Growth is tricky to pull off: 70 percent of failed startups failed due to premature scaling. In a high-growth environment, time is a “critical asset.” As Amenta says:

“CoS fulfills areas of the company that have a direct impact on the business / product but do not always fit the core job descriptions of the rest of the team.”

The chief of staff plugs the leaks that might overwhelm the company as it scales up, but which are easily missed by other teammates. Not even the CEO can do that job.

CEOs Never Have the Time

Amenta again:

“The best CEO’s, in my opinion, are leaders with a whirlwind of ideas, who live in a ceaseless deluge of creativity and never enough time to get it all done. CoS provides coverage to run and explore new areas of opportunity without distracting or diverting resources from the rest of the company.”

The chief of staff can handle the details while keeping up with the CEO’s bigger picture. And, if you’re among the NY-based CoS crowd, you’re in luck: Amenta’s looking to build a support group and you can contact him at scott@scottamenta.com to join his “not-so-secretive group of Chief of Staffs.”

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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