When you hear of anyone discussing a chief of staff position, your thoughts may automatically turn to the White House chief of staff position. However, there are also chief of staff positions available in public administration and public works administration. While specific job requirements will vary according to the agency, institution, or organization you are part of, there are basic expectations common to any chief of staff position. Three main roles you can expect to play as chief of staff in any organization will involve management, delegation, and advisory abilities.
A chief of staff often preforms numerous roles as part of a public administration position. Most often, you will find yourself in a management role that involves organizing and managing schedules for those within your department as well organizing a schedule of meetings and communications with the people in the top position of your company or organization. You will work closely with a CEO, president of an organization, or other high-level personnel within a public works administration organization and be involved in day-to-day operations. As chief of staff, you must have a clear understanding of the mission and vision of the public works administration organization with which you are involved. You must also understand and be able to work with the public administration style of those to whom you report. A chief of staff position involves overseeing staff management in an effective manner.
Your role as chief of staff will often involve delegating tasks and responsibilities to others while you see that the primary goals and objectives of your public service organization are carried out. To delegate tasks efficiently you must have an understanding of the roles other staff members play as well as personal strengths and talents. Again, this will relate directly to your understanding of the mission and purpose of your organization. Your ability to delegate tasks and effectively communicate progress towards meeting organizational goals is an important part of your role as chief of staff.
Though you may not have considered it, you may also find yourself playing an advisory role in your chief of staff position. The head of your service administration cannot be everywhere at once. Most chiefs of staff are expected to have a broad understanding of the organization and its effect on the community. In addition to your understanding of the mission of the organization, those to whom you report may rely on your connection to other staff members and the surrounding community to advise him of any issues that should be addressed before they become a problem. You may be expected to not only communicate potential problems, but also offer advice concerning possible solutions. With this combination of roles included in a chief staff position, you can understand why a graduate degree is a required part of your preparation. Individual chief of staff job descriptions vary but most have the same basic expectations of the role you play in the organization.
A masters in public administration offers the foundation to develop strong leadership skills needed to excel in the role of chief of staff in a variety of public administration jobs. The techniques and skills you develop during a masters in public administration program will be those you use to implement programs and policies influencing social change, while managing human resources, organizational, and budgeting challenges. The versatility and flexibility in a masters of public administration program allows you to combine your interest in public service, your personal experience, and your unique skills to design a program plan to enhance your strengths. Public administration jobs have the potential to make real changes in society at the national, state, and local levels. There are countless public administration jobs that have a need for strong knowledgeable chiefs of staff to help shape the future.