Aspiring Ops with Emad ElShawa, Chief of Staff at Fundbox
February 9, 2021

The role of Chief of Staff is ambiguous by nature. You could be giving feedback on wireframes one minute, and the next you're putting together a board deck with your leadership team. No two days in the position are the same. There is however, one trait a Chief of Staff must possess in order to be successful. They must be excellent communicators.


When you’re working across every team and ensuring each individual understands how their work fits into a company’s vision for success, communication can be tricky. That’s why we decided to showcase an individual who thrives in this type of environment on episode four of Aspiring Ops. Today, our guest is Emad ElShawa, Chief of Staff of Fundbox. 


Emad joined the team at Fundbox in 2017. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, he quickly found himself in an operations role where he was building out processes that would allow them to scale. As Fundbox continued to grow, Emad’s ability to connect to every individual, no matter their role, made him a perfect fit to take on the Chief of Staff position.


To hear how Emad is driving alignment toward Fundbox’s goals, listen to the full episode below.



If you’d like to replay your favorite moment, use the show notes below:


🔪 0:00-3:52 - Tying the Restaurant Industry into Operations

🕵️ 3:53-6:39 - Identifying Traits that Lean into the Chief of Staff Role

🤝 6:40-8:40 - Acting as the Executive Bridge to Create Alignment and Drive Growth

🧱 8:41-11:32 - Finding the Right Time to Create a Scalable Process for Success

💥 11:33-16:38 - Pivotal Decisions and How They Impacted Fundbox’s Future Growth

🗣️ 16:39-21:23 - Letting Your Customer’s Voice Guide Tough Decisions 

📈 21:24-25:21 - Taking A Strategic Plan and Creating a Step by Step Process for Execution

✅ 25:22-28:17 - Accountability and Alignment as Your Company Grows

🚀 28:18-32:45 - How to Excel in the Chief of Staff Role

🔓 32:46-37:18 - Best Recommendations for How to Unlock Your Career Potential


One particular point of Emad’s conversation felt incredibly important to call-out. His quote, ‘No two Chief of Staff positions are alike,’ is something that has been abundantly clear in our conversations on Aspiring Ops. Our second guest, Sydney Cummings, really highlights this difference in how she uses her experience coming from Customer Success to guide her processes as Chief of Staff at Terminus. 


Both Emad and Sydney still have plenty in common. At the end of the day, their job is to ensure executives and individual contributors are all working toward the company’s strategic plan for growth. Though the steps they’re taking to make sure their companies are executing on a day by day, week by week basis are different, it goes to show that it’s important for every company to create a unique operating rhythm that works for them.


Emad, we can’t thank you enough for joining us on Aspiring Ops and sharing how you found a calling in the Chief of Staff role. Your systematic approach to breaking down and rebuilding processes as a company scales will certainly help our listeners as they embark on their own operational journeys. We truly appreciate your time.


Interested in learning more about what Fundbox has been up to this year? Check out their site here.


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