The question I most often get after saying that I am Chief of Staff is “What do you actually do?” and well there is no straight forward answer to that one.
THE PERFECT TIMING
On September 12th, I will be moderating a roundtable on HR Strategy and Company Values at B2B Rocks at Station F in front of 1000 attendees. It was touch and go whether I could do it for a while because 4 days later, I will be in San Francisco overseeing the move of our SF office. The timing coincides with the preparation of our upcoming annual kick off taking place in January during which we gather all of our 190 employees in a secret location for a whole week. It also coincides with Jerome, our CEO and my boss, coming back from a well-deserved few weeks off and him visiting our office in Paris before meeting with our partners in Germany, possibly traveling to London and Spain to meet with clients and joining SF again for a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks during which our leadership team returns from their annual break, energized from their time off, with plenty of ideas in mind which one has to structure somewhat.
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So what do I do?
I like to refer to the Chief of Staff role as a Swiss knife. A knife which always seems to have the tool you need no matter what your need is. That’s the role of a Chief of Staff. You need to be able to catch every single ball thrown at you no matter what color, shape or form it takes. So from scheduling Jerome’s agenda, to coordinating the leadership team, organizing the transfer of a whole office, whilst mentoring the project manager in charge of coordinating our annual kick off, to advising the HR committee, to ensuring accurate communication with board members, following up with individual managers or yet representing the company or its CEO at an international conference… that’s what a day in the life of a Chief of Staff looks like.
On Sept 12th my day will mostly be about HR Strategy and Company Values. In no way am I am an HR expert but as Chief of Staff I was given a pretty big task a little over a year ago: to take over, together with our CFO, Fanny Corpet, all HR and Company Values projects for the company. It was a little daunting at first because by then I had merely recruited a few people in my professional life. As Chief of Staff though you don’t really have the time to think about what you are taking on because you are the last resource before the CEO has to do it himself and well we could write another post on “A day in the life of a CEO”. Eighteen months on, 190 employees worldwide, 5 offices over 4 major time zones, 20 nationalities, a lot of hard work and common sense with a touch of sharing, debating, deciding, doubting, smiling and mostly caring and here I am moderating a roundtable on HR Strategy and Company Values in front of 1000 attendees
As strange as it may sound to some, I love my job and this is exactly why. Not one day resembles the next, the opportunities to learn, test, create, develop, improve are tenfold the 10 minutes you lose each time someone asks that one question: “What do you actually do?” Well, come and see for yourself.
Thursday, 12 of September