Ramblers Association

Chief of Staff

The Chief of Staff is a critically important role, enabling the Chief Executive to work most effectively with internal and external stakeholders to fulfil their commitments to the organisation.

Job Title: Chief of Staff

Based at: Flexible – hybrid working (Central London and Home)

Contract: Permanent

Hours: 35 hours per week (open to flexible or part time working)

Salary: £63,000 Circa

Department:  Chief Executive’s Office

Responsible to: Chief Executive

Responsible for: Governance Manager, Senior Executive Officer

About us

Since 1935, we’ve been doing everything we can to make sure everyone everywhere can enjoy nature on foot. We lead the way, and the walks, for a community of over 100,000 walkers. And we help thousands more every year find their feet out in the open to boost their wellbeing naturally.

The Ramblers is a charity dedicated to removing barriers so everyone can enjoy walking in green spaces and to preserving and improving hundreds of thousands of miles of well-loved paths, tracks and trails across England, Scotland, and Wales. We're committed to campaigning to keep our countryside open to all and to fighting for the things that matter most to walkers. 

Purpose of Role

The Chief of Staff is a critically important role, enabling the Chief Executive to work most effectively with internal and external stakeholders to fulfil their commitments to the organisation. This is not an administrative role; it is highly strategic and facilitative one that requires a combination of focus and flexibility, as well as a willingness to play an active, behind-the-scenes role. Acting as the Chief Executive’s ‘trusted counsel’, the role requires a highly resourceful individual with strong emotional intelligence, self-motivation and strong analytical skills.

The role

Leadership of Special Projects and Initiatives

-       Scope, plan and present for approval multiple, often quick-turnaround, projects and initiatives under own volition that facilitate the achievement of organisational objectives and/or business as usual activities.

-       Work with appropriate stakeholders, including external, to undertake research and analysis to inform decision making on projects and initiatives.

-       Present research and analysis findings to the Chief Executive, Senior Leadership Team and/or Board as appropriate

-       As necessary, oversee the transfer of projects and/or initiatives to other stakeholders within the organisation.

-       Ensure existing and new projects are embedded taking into account equity, diversity and inclusion.

Portfolio Level Delivery Co-ordination and Change Management

-       Lead activities to develop, maintain and monitor a register of critical path programmes and projects which have strategic importance and/or for projects where the Chief Executive’s awareness and/or involvement is essential.

-       Critically appraise the Chief Executive of the status of programmes and projects and variations from agreed plans (especially timescales, finances and human resources).

-       Design and implement effective change management and adoption strategies and resulting processes to ensure that the culture and behavioural change required to realise the organisation’s strategy is achieved.

Issues Identification and Resolution

-       Develop and report on performance metrics across business-as-usual activities to the Chief Executive and/or Senior Leadership Team.

-       Monitor and highlight any major issues from monthly management accounts.

-       Engage in root cause analysis, often without prompting from the Chief Executive and/or others, on issues and/or opportunities that could impact on the successful achievement of agreed objectives across programmes, projects and business as usual activities.

-       Develop alternative approaches to addressing the identified issues and/or opportunities to ensure the successful achievement of agreed objectives across programmes, projects and business as usual activities.

-       Update the Chief Executive and/or Senior Leadership Team on the issues and/or opportunities, supported with facts, making appropriate recommendations.

-       Engage in building support from key internal stakeholders for the implementation of agreed mitigating approaches.

-       Undertake research and fact finding to inform the accurate preparation of responses.

Key Meeting Preparation and Facilitation

-       Confirm objectives for meetings/events, identify key participants and develop the best approach to achieving the objectives for the meeting/event.

-       Work with the executive support team members to ensure appropriate and timely communication to meeting/event participants.

-       Attend meetings/events, capture key actions and work with appropriate team(s) to ensure achievement of the key actions.

-       Monitor and pursue progress/achievement of resulting key actions from meetings/events.

Other

To undertake such other duties as may be required of the post holder by the Ramblers

The person

Knowledge and Experience

-       Experience and a successful track record in a key support role in a medium-sized, complex organisation.

-       Experience of successfully managing a diverse and varied range of disciplines to ensure that operational objectives and strategic ambitions are delivered.

-       Successful experience of formulating, leading and implementing projects and initiatives that work cross-organisationally in pursuit of achieving organisational objectives.

-       Successful track record of managing and implementing change within a medium-sized, complex organisation leading to positive impact on the outcomes of its beneficiaries.

-       Successful track record in developing budgets and budget reduction strategies, forecasting, monitoring and using financial management systems.

-       Experience of developing and implementing monitoring processes, procedures and performance metrics to provide management information and to inform improvements.

-       Experience of managing senior stakeholders, both internally and externally, and confidence in dealing with, and influencing, senior staff and trustees.

Skills

-       Ability to achieve outcomes through working in collaboration and partnership across a wide range of people at all levels in the organisation.

-       Ability to work under pressure and to respond quickly to changing circumstances and to tight timescales.

-       Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to enable successful influencing, listening and negotiating with others at all levels in the organisation.

-       Highly developed written and oral presentational skills, including the ability to advocate, influence and negotiate effectively.

-       Excellent planning and organisational skills with the ability to manage and deliver a diverse workload and portfolio of programmes/projects whilst ensuring effective prioritisation and balancing of the needs of a range of stakeholders.

-       Ability to lead, manage and inspire a team, managing performance effectively, setting clear expectations and objectives, managing competing priorities and balancing differing needs.

Personal attributes

-       A self-aware, positive and approachable individual with high emotional intelligence.

-       A highly effective self-starter who is assertive, energetic, determined, robust and sufficiently resilient to cope with the demands of the role.

-       An excellent role model who promotes high standards of integrity, and commands trust and confidence from others.

-       Open, confident and collegiate with the ability and willingness to challenge constructively, and to receive challenge, and to work effectively at senior levels internally and externally.

-       Accepting and acts in line with the Ramblers’ values.

The Ramblers promote diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Values and Behaviours

Our values are the core principles that guide us daily in our work and our membership of the Ramblers. We all share the passion that walking is for everyone and by living our shared values we can ensure the Ramblers is an organisation to be proud of. Our values will earn trust for the Ramblers brand which will allow us to open up a world of walking opportunities for even more people.

Inclusive – We make everyone feel welcome and part of the Ramblers community. We make sure we all feel respected and accepted and know our contributions make a difference in achieving our mission.  

Inspiring – We strive to inspire people through the way we act and the things we say. We channel our passion and ambition so others are moved to help us achieve our mission.  

Empowering – We empower and encourage each other to make a positive contribution to our teams and the Ramblers. We do all we can to make sure everyone has the ability, and feels confident, to take action.   

Responsible – We take responsibility for ourselves and those around us seriously, by always acting in a safe and supportive way. We care about the environment and make sure we do what we say we will do.