Announcing: On Deck Chief of Staff Academy

On Deck is launching On Deck Chief of Staff Academy: a 6-week fully remote program for aspiring and new Chiefs of Staff who want to break into and learn to excel in the role, alongside a community of global, diverse peers.

 min read
April 4, 2022
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Note: If you’re an early-stage founder anywhere from pre-idea through pre-seed, consider applying to On Deck Founders

Note: This article is adapted from a live discussion for the On Deck community featuring On Deck alums Ming Lu and Vik Duggal. If you’re an early-stage founder, angel investor, or exec interested in joining our community, consider applying to one of our programs - you’ll be in great company.

Note: If you’re an early-stage founder anywhere from pre-idea through pre-seed, consider applying to On Deck Founders.

Note: This article is adapted from a live discussion for the On Deck community featuring Josefin Graebe. If you’re an early-stage founder, scaling founder, or senior exec interested in joining our community, consider applying to one of our programs.

This article is the first in our annual series Year in Preview.  In the 4 years since we launched the On Deck Founders program, we’ve seen +1000 companies get started and raise over $2B in funding.

The role of Chief of Staff has never been more important and influential, especially among tech startups and corporate companies. 

Tech and corporate organizations have been scaling faster than ever. With scale comes chaos, but also the opportunity to wrangle it and achieve incredible results. Chiefs of Staff can directly influence the organization’s mission and vision — thanks to their proximity to leadership — and can impact all teams through cross functional team management.

Masters of effective communication, leading by example, and personal efficiency, Chiefs of Staff are outstanding problem solvers capable of anticipating problems before they arise, navigating complex operational challenges, and driving valuable strategic projects across the organization. And they do all of this while leading from the shadows.

At On Deck, we are committed to providing talented individuals with opportunities to invest in their career — our Chief of Staff Fellowship has been our first proposition to fulfill our promise for experienced Chiefs of Staff to level up their skills and better empower themselves and their teams.

But the path to become a successful Chief of Staff for the first time is not linear. If you’re not there yet, how do you get started? How do you ensure you get on the right path, learn the right frameworks, and eventually land the role? And even when you land it, how do you set yourself up for success to deliver outstanding value on your first day?

That’s why we’ve decided to create the Chief of Staff Academy — a program for those who aspire to become a Chief of Staff, or have just landed their role. 

<a href="" class="btn purple">Apply today</a>

Or keep reading to learn more about On Deck’s Chief of Staff Academy.

So you want to become Chief of Staff?

Our Chief of Staff Academy is a 6-week intensive program that gives you everything you need to break into a Chief of Staff career — and if you’ve just landed your first role as one, it’ll set you up for success.

When you get accepted into the program, you will learn how to:

  • Decode the entire organization — understand the core components of a company, and how they work together, in order to design compelling strategies so every team operates in harmony with each other.
  • Navigate complex challenges — know what goes into making complex decisions by building consensus and influence, and ultimately become a confident, relevant thinker that is valued not only by your principal, but also across the organization.
  • Learn from seasoned leaders — master proven frameworks in leadership communications to build effective relationships with the CEO, the executive team, and key actors across an organization so you always drive your point across in the most constructive manner.
  • Launch & manage strategic projects — familiarize yourself with OKRs (Objective & Key Results), strategy and execution frameworks ranging across prioritization, progress monitoring, crisis management and more, so to get off the ground projects that pay real business dividends.

Beyond these core outcomes to lay the foundations of your Chief of Staff career, the Academy will:

  • Help you land a Chief of Staff role — get first-hand support cracking your Chief of Staff job interview with career workshops and job search resources, while accessing an exclusive job board where top-tier companies are looking for emerging talent, just like you.
  • Place you in a network of equally ambitious peers — share your journey with a global group of professionals that are navigating your same challenges, give each other feedback, and make lifelong friends that will ultimately outlast the Academy program.

-> Explore the Academy curriculum

What are you going to learn?

So are you keen to become an outstanding Chief of Staff? Our Program Director Clara Ma and our team at On Deck have crafted an immersive, 6-week curriculum to get you up and running as Chief of Staff. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’re going to learn:

  • Week 1 — Know thyself. You’ll analyze your personality and work habits, learn how to articulate your strengths and weaknesses, and build your personal user manual, your essential guide to drive value in the organization.
  • Week 2 — Do a lot while knowing little. We’ll learn how to identify high-impact opportunities in the business and build efficient organizational systems to leverage them, while learning how to communicate effectively and run efficient meetings.
  • Week 3 — Ruthless prioritization & decision making. By the end of the week, you’ll learn how to prioritize competing commitments, analyze complex decisions, and navigate organizational crises.
  • Week 4 — Future planning & strategic frameworks. Become confident on how to translate priorities into objectives & key results, create systems to monitor progress, as well as long-term plans that are aligned on company goals.
  • Week 5 — Cracking the Chief of Staff Interview. No matter if you’ve already landed your Chief of Staff role or you’re thinking of applying soon — we’ll teach you how to showcase your competencies through storytelling & reflection, so you can navigate your Chief of Staff interviews and related challenges.
  • Week 6 — Your first 90 days as Chief of Staff. Now that you’ve learned the ropes on becoming a Chief of Staff, we’ll spend the final week articulating your desired career path, and learning how to build a relationship of trust with your principal, as well as charting your own onboarding journey.

Excited already? Keep reading.

Who should apply?

We’d recommend you applying to our Chief of Staff Academy if:

  • You have 3 to 5 years of work experience — ideally in an operational role — and aspire to become a Chief of Staff. Our Academy is perfect for you to get your foot in the door, learn the right skills and frameworks to kick off your Chief of Staff trajectory, and do so alongside a community of peers.
  • You have just landed your first role as Chief of Staff (0-6 months in the role) and you want to ensure you hit the ground running. The Chief of Staff Academy will give you the frameworks and knowledge to build the right relationships, navigate your way through the organization, and deliver outstanding value in your first 90 days.

Chief of Staff Academy vs. Fellowship

You might ask yourself — how is the Chief of Staff Academy different from our flagship Fellowship program?

If the ODCoS Fellowship is an accelerant for your Chief of Staff of Career, the Academy would be the foundation. The Chief of Staff Academy is here to set you up for success and make sure you lay the groundwork for yourself before stepping on the gas and propelling you forward.

Join us for our inaugural Chief of Staff Academy!

The Chief of Staff role can be intimidating, especially if you’re starting out, but it doesn't have to be, especially when you go through it with a community of like-minded peers.

Here at On Deck, we’re passionate about building a global community of Chiefs of Staff who support each other in their journey, no matter whether you are an already seasoned professional, or you’re just starting out.

So if you're an aspiring Chief of Staff or you’ve just landed the role, and you’re keen to join a community of incredible fellows and instructors from the likes of Box, Zappos, and Ro, just head over to our site, and apply today.

Complete a brief application outlining why you want to join the Chief of Staff Academy, and we’ll get back to you in no time. We look forward to you joining us in building a world-class community!

I look forward to seeing you there!

<a href="" class="btn purple">Apply today</a>

Note: If you’re an experienced professional looking to gain clarity on your next move, check out Execs On Deck

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