The modern executive’s calendar is a deodorant commercial. You can’t help but sweat a little (or a lot) when you see time constraints piling up, even if you have a next-level work ethic. How much more valuable would you be, and how much more would you be able to accomplish, if you had an extra hour or two per day? The search for assistance, as well as the increased efficiency that comes with it, has more and more executives debating whether an executive Chief of Staff is the right fit for them. So, let’s start with one of the most common questions executives have when trying to arrive at that decision: what does a Chief of Staff do that an Executive Assistant does not? In this blog, we will discuss the differences between executive assistant and chief of staff.
Understanding the differences between job titles and their respective duties is critical when it comes to staffing a business. Two job titles that are often used interchangeably are Executive Assistant and Administrative Assistant, but they are not the same. Furthermore, the role of a Chief of Staff is frequently misunderstood. In this article, we will look at the differences between these roles and provide information on potential career paths for each.
Executive Assistant Job Description: What’s In It For You?
An Executive Assistant (EA) is a support role for a senior executive in the organization. An EA’s primary responsibilities include managing calendars, scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, drafting correspondence, and conducting research. They are in charge of ensuring that the executive’s office runs smoothly and efficiently. This role is different from a Virtual Assistant (VA) – VAs are remote administrative professionals who provide support to individuals or businesses. Responsibilities vary, but they typically include tasks such as email management, appointment scheduling, and research.
Executive Assistant vs Administrative Assistant
While many people mix up Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants because both provide support to executives, they are not the same. Administrative Assistants typically provide general support, such as answering phones and filing paperwork, whereas Executive Assistants are responsible for more specific tasks, such as managing calendars and scheduling meetings.
7 FAQs About Chief of Staff vs Executive Assistant
While the role of an Executive Assistant is to provide administrative support to a senior executive, the role of a Chief of Staff is much broader. A Chief of Staff is a senior executive responsible for managing and coordinating the operations of the entire organization. They work closely with the CEO and senior management team, act as trusted advisors, and serve as a bridge between the executive leadership and the rest of the organization. Below are some FAQs to tend to your confusion regarding the role.
- Can an EA become Chief of Staff?
Yes, it is possible for an Executive Assistant to become a Chief of Staff. However, it would require additional education and experience in strategic planning, project management, and leadership.
- What is the next position after Executive Assistant?
The next position after an Executive Assistant could be a Chief of Staff, a department head, or a senior executive in another area of the business.
- What is a better title than Executive Assistant?
Titles that are more senior than Executive Assistant include Chief of Staff, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Operating Officer.
- What’s another title for Chief of Staff?
Other titles for Chief of Staff include Executive Director, Chief of Operations, and Director of Strategy.
- What career path comes after Chief of Staff?
After serving as a Chief of Staff, individuals may go on to become CEOs, department heads, or pursue other high-level leadership positions.
- Is Chief of Staff a senior role?
Yes, Chief of Staff is a senior role that typically reports directly to the CEO.
- Is Chief of Staff considered C-suite?
Yes, Chief of Staff is considered a C-suite position, along with roles such as CEO, CFO, and CMO.
Why Your Business Needs a Chief of Staff
If your business is growing rapidly or undergoing significant changes, a COS can help you manage these changes effectively. A COS can provide strategic guidance and support to the CEO and senior management team, ensuring that the organization is operating efficiently and effectively. Additionally, a COS can help to bridge the gap between the executive leadership and the rest of the organization, improving communication and collaboration.
Why Your Business Needs an Executive Assistant
Every senior executive needs support, and an EA can provide critical assistance in managing their workload. By taking care of administrative tasks, an EA can help the executive to focus on their core responsibilities and make the most of their time. Additionally, an EA can serve as a trusted confidant and advisor to the executive, providing insight and guidance when needed.
EA vs CoS: Deciding Your Business Support Role
You can decide which is a better fit for your organization once you understand and appreciate the differences between a Chief of Staff and an Executive Assistant. And don’t be surprised if both are correct.
Large organizations or those experiencing rapid growth are increasingly led by executives who rely heavily on a Chief of Staff and an Executive Assistant who collaborate, with the Chief of Staff playing a critical role in organizational strategy and managing the Executive Assistant who is focused on logistics execution.
An ROI assessment is the best way to determine where your organization falls on the Chief of Staff spectrum. This executive needs survey is an excellent tool for determining how many hours you could spend with a Chief of Staff based on your current workload.
The choice between an Executive Assistant and a Chief of Staff is entirely dependent on your organization’s specific needs and goals. The demands placed on executives, as well as the level of support required, can vary greatly. While an Executive Assistant may be appropriate for some, the need for a strong, capable Chief of Staff grows as demands increase. Indeed, having a Chief of Staff can make all the difference in allowing executives to focus on what is most important. So, whether you’re looking for an Executive Assistant or a Chief of Staff, pick the role that best fits your organization’s needs and goals.