James Baker, former White House chief of staff for Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr.’s administrations, offered this advice on the complicated role: “You can focus on the ‘chief’ or you can focus on the ‘of staff.’ Those who have focused on the ‘of staff’ have done pretty well.”
Baker knew how to advise his leadership and lead his advisors. He understood how to put people in front and keep his ego in the back. It’s a balancing act. And it’s one we all can relate to.
Advise up, lead down, manage forward.