What’s the power of a community?

TLDR: I’m launching the Chief of Staff Network.

It’s also live on Product Hunt — thanks for showing your support!

For most of my career I’ve been a generalist, cutting my teeth working at early and growth stage companies on everything from strategy to BD & ops to product & marketing. Looking back, my path was mostly intentional even if at times it didn’t feel so.

I’ve pursued my career with three guiding principles:

1.) Keeping the door open to new things leads to the greatest challenges and learning experiences.

2.) If you don’t actively decide what’s important to you, someone else will.

3.) The people you surround yourself with make all the difference.

Smart, flexible generalists have always been integral to the success of startups, leading key projects and taking on crucial initiatives in the important early days.

When I entered into a Chief of Staff role at ecommerce marketplace, Spring, back in 2016 it reaffirmed my belief that there was indeed a real path for generalists to succeed in tech. Although Chiefs of Staff had existed at later stage tech companies (LinkedIn, Google, etc) in various forms, the role was still not prevalent among early & growth stage companies.

Building the CoS Tech Network after writing about my own experience in the role showed me that the foundation of Principle #3 was community.

Chiefs of Staff in particular come from a variety of backgrounds, enter into a role that’s ambiguous to start with, and have to evolve constantly. What’s more, most Chiefs of Staff are in the role for the first time and have larger ambitions, so their role continues to be an ill-defined, lonely one.

Meeting other Chiefs of Staff in this community has been immensely valuable to me, professionally and personally. From new friendships around the world, to career guidance, the Network has given me incredible opportunities.

It gave me the courage to move to Berlin, knowing I had a strong support system both in Europe and in the US. It also allowed me to meet my co-founders, Tom Guthrie and Emily Pik and start Propel, a community dedicated to builders.

And I know that other Chiefs of Staff will benefit from having a trusted and selective group of peers, whether they’re hiring, looking for a job, investing in each other, starting companies together, or just looking for advice. As Chief of Staff roles have proliferated across industries, the need for a community has never felt so great. 2021 will indeed be the year of the Chief of Staff.

The goal is simple — to accelerate the careers of Chiefs of Staff. I’ll do everything I can to continue championing the role and the extraordinary people that take it on.

If you’re an existing (or former) Chief of Staff, get in touch with me or sign up on our site!

Onwards!

founder of Chief of Staff Network, founder of Propel, former CoS at Spring, producer @WatchRoomMovie

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