PODCAST: The Role that Finds You


ON This episode…

Ever wonder what the Chief of Staff career path looks like? Honestly, there is no single path for it, and everyone has a very different experience landing a role like this. Most people don’t intentionally seek out a Chief of Staff role. According to Mary Ostafi, it’s a role that finds you. Throughout her career so far, Mary Ostafi has worked her way up, down, and around the ladder. She actually left her job as the founder and CEO of Urban Harvest SLT to becoming the Chief of Staff of Fair Trade USA. But why would she make this seemingly “backward” transition? For Mary, this role is a blend of everything she was looking for. It’s a challenge, provides space for continuous learning on the job, and so much more. Get ready to learn how Mary Ostafi found success in her Chief of Staff position and how she empowers the community around her.

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Describe your background and early career. (0:05)
  • What about the Chief of Staff position that resonated with you? (7:15)
  • Which role feels more comfortable for you: CEO or Chief of Staff? (10:00)
  • Why did you consider a Chief of Staff role? (15:08)
  • How did you plan those early months in the position? (18:33)
  • How do you measure success in your role? (21:17)
  • How do you describe your role to others on the team? (25:44)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How passion helped mold Mary’s career. (3:39)
  • How Mary became Chief of Staff of Fair Trade USA. (5:22)
  • How Mary adjusted from holding the CEO position to the Chief of Staff position after switching organizations. (8:34)
  • How Mary molded the Chief of Staff role at Fair Trade. (16:21)
  • How Mary prepared for her Chief of Staff role. (20:27)
  • How Mary works best practices into her organization. (23:40)

Mary Ostafi — original founder of Urban Harvest, current COS of Fair Trade USA

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