Chief of Staff Trends and Resources: Nov 26, 2018

Nov 26, 2018

Chief of Staff Trends and Resources

What Does Leadership Look Like in the CoS Role?
As with so many things, the answer to this question is more questions. What kind of leader do you want to be? A pragmatic one? Inspirational one? Take-charge? Authentic? Strategic? Visionary? And, what kind of leader is required for your organization today? In the future? Are they all the same? Herminia Ibarra offers some great thinking on dealing with situations where the things that got you here won’t get you where you have to go, and it couldn’t be more relevant to your position as chief of staff and future roles you’ll take on. See also today’s Reading List, below.

Managers Can’t Be Great Coaches All By Themselves:
Does your exec see him/herself as a coach for the execs on the leadership team? Not all do, but HBR summarizes some research by Gartner highlighting 4 styles of manager-as-coach and pinpointing one as the most effective style. Which one is your exec? Does he or she need to shift? What’s your role in helping him or her?

There’s a Reason Presidents Have a Chief of Staff
People on any side of the aisle or in the middle should be able to take some tips from Jonathan Bernstein’s opinion piece.

4 Strategies for Organizational Politics
Wharton prof and Co-President of Transition One Associates argues for 4 strategies for handling workplace politics.

The Chief of Staff Reading List | Books

Lately, I’ve been geeking out on Jeffrey Pfeffer’s Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time. I’ve been a Pfeffer fan ever since reading his classic Managing with Power in undergrad polisci more years ago than you’ll get me to admit. In one of his latest works, Pfeffer takes a hard look at the disconnects between 30+ years of content, courses, consultants, and coaches in the leadership industry and the unprecedented level of leadership failures, CEO dismissals, disengaged workforces (perhaps especially in companies that claim cultures of engagement), and offers prescriptions based on what empirically works instead of what we want to believe works. This book is helping me get even clearer about how I add (and measure the) value for my coaching clients, but you should read it because it can help you:

  • See what’s going on with your principal executive’s and leadership team’s deepest dysfunctions
  • Better assess and interview external contributors like consultants and coaches
  • Be more politically savvy in how you conduct yourself
  • Establish YOUR leadership brand from behind the scenes in a CoS role and also in future roles you’ll step into



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