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Executive Assistant vs Corporate Chief of Staff vs Program Manager

Primary Role:

Executive Assistant: Administrative and organizational support for executives

Corporate Chief of Staff: Strategic partner within a corporate environment, focusing on alignment and execution of goals

Program Manager: Oversees specific programs, ensuring they align with organizational goals

Reporting Relationship:

Executive Assistant: Reports directly to the executive they support

Corporate Chief of Staff: Reports to a senior corporate executive, often the CEO

Program Manager: Reports to a senior manager or director

Scope of Responsibilities:

Executive Assistant: Focused on day-to-day tasks and administrative duties

Corporate Chief of Staff: Similar to Startup Chief of Staff, but tailored to the corporate context

Program Manager: Manages program objectives, resources, and timelines

Decision-Making Authority:

Executive Assistant: Limited to administrative decisions

Corporate Chief of Staff: Significant in corporate strategy and internal alignment

Program Manager: Decision-making within the scope of program management

Strategic Planning:

Executive Assistant: Limited involvement, support capacity

Corporate Chief of Staff: Involved in developing and implementing corporate strategy

Program Manager: Participates in strategic planning of program objectives

Team Management:

Executive Assistant: Manages administrative staff

Corporate Chief of Staff: Manages or coordinates with corporate teams and departments

Program Manager: Manages program teams and coordinates with other departments

Meeting Involvement:

Executive Assistant: Scheduling, preparing materials, taking minutes

Corporate Chief of Staff: Active in corporate meetings, often representing or preparing the executive

Program Manager: Leads program-related meetings and updates

Project Management:

Executive Assistant: Manages small projects within their role

Corporate Chief of Staff: Leads corporate projects, especially strategic initiatives

Program Manager: Responsible for end-to-end program management

Communication:

Executive Assistant: Facilitates internal communication

Corporate Chief of Staff: Facilitates corporate communication, both internally and externally

Program Manager: Communicates program goals and updates to stakeholders

Professional Development:

Executive Assistant: Focused on improving administrative and organizational skills

Corporate Chief of Staff: Enhances corporate management and strategic skills

Program Manager: Develops in program management and strategic coordination

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