Member Directory

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Yasir Motiwala

Chief of Staff, EMEA Sales at Twilio Inc.

London

Only 1 month in so still trying to figure it out, but having a task list with the following has been extremely helpful for me thus far: 1. item 2. description 3. notes 4. hyperlinks 5. next follow up dates 6. next follow up step

Max Bray

Chief of Staff at Founders Forum

London

You're a catalyst, and should act like one; spread yourself broadly, always ask where you can be adding value, and don't get too bogged down in the operational weeds!

Lily Mintz

Chief of Staff at Bitly

New York

It's a myth that you can read your CEO's mind. (If you really can read minds... let's talk.) But you can learn the right questions to ask your CEO regularly that get you pretty damn close.

David O'Hara

Chief of Staff and Head of Business Operations at brightwheel

San Francisco

Listen first, and ask a lot of questions!

Justin Shore

Chief of Staff at FirstNet Authority

Washington, D.C.

Just keep swimming - some days are better than others, but keep the big picture in mind. I bet you're doing some pretty incredible things day-to-day when you step back for a second! Keep going.

Tyler Young

Senior Director, Business Operations & Chief of Staff to the CFO at Braze

NEW YORK

The To-Do List/Waiting List combination provides me with the security of knowing what I need to do and what I need others to do for me.

Andrew Cornelia

VP, Chief of Staff at Volta Charging

San Francisco

Talk to everyone at your company! No, seriously, everyone. Whether you are just starting out or whether you are 6-12 months in, you should try and carve out at least 30 mins of time with as many people as possible. Ask what they do, listen to how they contribute to the business, and ask a few pointed questions, like "what is the company strategy", "what is the company culture", "where are the headwinds", "who are the inspirational leaders", etc. There is no better way to paint a holistic picture of an organization than by talking to the sum of its parts. Once you have that picture, go to work with your C-Suite team on ways to highlight and foster the good, and systematically course correct the bad.

Stephen Olmstead

Chief of Staff, Office of the CEO at InVision App

Mesa, AZ

Make your company values explicit via canonized principles. Weave those principles into EVERYTHING you do to create a shared framework for how decisions are made based on what you collectively value. Principles alignment can and should be attached to performance reviews, OKR planning, product roadmapping and more. You are what you do, not what you say.

Hannah Ajmani

Chief of Staff at Group Nine Media

New York

Step 1: Find ways to make your boss's life easier (e.g., management reports, calendar audits, performance dashboards) Step 2: Once the format is locked, automate them! This frees up time to focus on the next big idea

Elizabeth Stockton

Chief of Staff at Kinnos

New York

Don't be afraid to speak up with your observations and propose changes / adjustments to your company's strategy or the CEO's tactics, especially early in your tenure.

Alexis Monville

Chief of Staff to the EMEA General Manager at Red Hat

Bordeaux

Be crystal clear on your focus (Principal, Leadership Team, Organization) and get yourself OKRs that will drive your focus and impact :)

Lara Donahue

Chief of Staff at Amper Music

New York

Learn how to shuck oysters. 1) It'll provide perspective on what it means to get your hands dirty. 2) Oysters are delicious.

Nabeel Ali

VP, Chief of Staff to CEO at mParticle

New York

You're a leader of leaders. Trust is everything - with your executive partner and with the broader organization.

Jacques Hörter

Chief of Staff at SumUp

Boulder

Active listening is probably the most underrated yet universally useful concepts I've come across over the years.

Ben Winokur

Chief of Staff at Passport

Charlotte, NC

Every minute you spend communicating context up, down, and across the organization is a minute well spent!

Penny Penati

Chief of Staff at Laka

London

You need to be proactive and find the missing gaps between leadership team and rest of the team

Johannes Olejnik

Business Development & Strategy Lead (about to convert to CoS title) at Afresh Technologies

San Francisco

Spend time with your CEO outside of the work relationship to build a deeper level of trust!

Jacqueline Cutler

Senior Director & Chief of Staff to CEO at Rent the Runway

New York

Nothing is more important than trust: others' trust in you and your own trust in yourself.

layla lyne-winkler

Chief of Staff (to the CEO) at Catch&Release, Inc.

San Francisco

Your principals team is also your team. Stay close to them and make it a point to regularly sync.

Steeve Vakeeswaran

Business Operations at Zapier

New York <> Toronto

Get really, really good at writing — Hemingway will become your best friend.

Ali Rohde

Chief of Staff at Sourceress

San Francisco

Speak up, give your opinion, and become a sounding board for your CEO.

Scott McLeod

Chief Of Staff at Resident Home

New York

Prioritize projects like a portfolio focused on impact and return.

Mike Maseda

Chief of Staff at Prompt

New York

Be as transparent as possible and ruthless in prioritization.

Jay Japra

Director of Operations at ProdPerfect

San Francisco

Learn by/while doing and always leave time for yourself.

Doug Bernard

Chief of Staff & Product Lead at HomeWorks Energy

Boston

Be curious, open minded, and people loving!

Stephen Levin

Special Projects for the CEO at Zapier

Charlottesville, VA

To build trust, find something that an exec (other than one you're supporting) needs done, do it.

Kel Hanna

Chief of Staff at Caktus Consulting Group

Durham

Trust your crazy ideas...then design a plan that inspires others to take the leap with you.

Tim Gilligan

Chief of Staff, Commercial and Small Business Design at Capital One

New York City

The key to an effective partnership with your principal and peers is transparency and for the CoS to be sparring partner and perspective bringer.

Alexis Teixeira

Deputy Chief of Staff at Carta

New York City

Always be considering how you can make your manager not just 2x more effective, but 10x more.

Sara Zabukovec

Chief of Staff to the CEO at A Cloud Guru

Melbourne, Australia (moving to Austin, TX in H1 2021)

When you're working in a high velocity environment like a startup, it's even more important to build networks within your org with leaders and employees who can tell you what's really going on. It can be tempting to only invest your time in building relationships with the exec, but if you want to be a great counsellor to your principle (in my case our CEO) you need to know what's happening at the front line. The insights you can glean from key, high-performing employees and more people leaders shouldn't be underestimated!

Simon Rodrigues

Chief of Staff at Nested

London

Think of yourself as the exec team's ambassador and get the details right. Learn the name of the cleaning staff. Arrive to meetings on time and with energy. Crack jokes. Distill key messages, and repeat them over and over again. You're accountable for getting sh*t done -- and that means taking responsibility for the mood in the room.

Eleazar Orellana

Sr. Director, Strategy, Business Planning and Operations at Visa, Inc

San Francisco

Collaboration and communication is key to everything

John Chiu

Senior Manager at Deloitte

London

Embrace the three pillars of being a COS - i.e. strategy, operations, and administrative - as all three are crucial for any business operation, and as a COS you are likely well placed to be influential in these activities. ALSO - be a force multiplier for your leadership, and a reach extender for your staff!

Joe Ribecchi

Manager - Strategy & Business Planning / Chief Of Staff at American Express

New York

Set expectations up front. For example, I let people know I'm very responsive. I respond to every email I receive in the same day, even if I can't take action immediately and I let the sender know I'm working on it.

Monica Raciti

Chief of Staff at EarnUp

San Francisco

I am still pretty new to the COS world, but as a general rule of thumb, insatiable curiosity made this role very attractive as an avenue to have another period of hyper learning growth as you get to participate in many facets of a company!

Clara Ma

Chief of Staff at Hugging Face

New York

Being a Chief of Staff means no day is ever the same. You can prepare the best you can, but you'll inevitably pick something up that you didn't anticipate for and you'll need to find your way to make sure it doesn't get dropped.

Josh Young

Chief of Staff at New Story

Atlanta

I'm pretty new to the role, but definitely delivering on everything that you say you will do is huge. Developing that trust early is everything for a good relationship with the executive team.

Matt Austin

Chief of Staff at Finix

San Francisco

A quote from Jim Baker "prior preparation prevents poor performance:

Susan Packal

Chief of Staff / Head of Legal Operations at Twilio

San Francisco

Never stop being curious - dig into how every single thing works - in order to build the credibility and knowledge you need to advise.

Ethan Pope

Chief of Staff at Riskalyze

Auburn, CA

5-10 minute "walk and talk" with the CEO at the end of every day when possible

Philip W. Braddock

Chief of Staff to the CFO at Atlassian

San Francisco

Separating the signal from the noise to inform recommendations is as important as the outcome of the final decision.

David Burt

Chief of Staff at Atlantic Media

Washington

Patience... has been useful for me. Observing opportunities and letting them emerge organically.

Chase Klassen

Chief of Staff to COO at Workiva

Nashville (remote)

Make your boss’s life easier. Help the company. Relationships matter. No assholes allowed.

Lorne Magill

Director of Strategy and Business Operations (aka Cos) at City Pantry

London

Rather than always beating yourself up how you could do things better/differently, remember to ask yourself is this "good enough"?

Rita Balogh

Chief of Staff at Google

Washington, D.C.

Be open minded and learn as much as you can from the (most probably) amazing people you are working with.

Eva Marie Costello

Chief of Staff at Springboard

San Francisco

Getting comfortable saying no, is more important than saying yes in the COS role!

Emily Ochoa

Chief of Staff at Eigen Technologies

London

Set up a daily sync with your exec first thing in the morning.

carla zerriny

Chief of Staff at Jopwell

New York

Create, maintain, refine: create a system, maintain your system, refine your system.