Originally featured on Harvard Business Review, the needle for an exceptional assistant has evolved from the AMC series “Mad Men secretary” type to being recognized as an instrumental role to all organizations and executives. Having an effective assistant goes beyond scheduling travel and booking meetings, it’s so much more. An exceptional admin completes tasks, of any size, with all details considered, challenges the ordinary to confirm the final is the very best, and has a high level of emotional IQ.
Those that shine in the EA role do so when they pair resourceful thinking with a ‘Get Stuff Done’ attitude. They thrive under pressure and welcome a full to-do list each day. They keep the finer details in the forefront and for even the simplest requests all aspects are considered. Case in point: When asked to make arrangements for an upcoming business trip they immediate look at the assignment as a whole – flight, car, hotel, meals, meetings, and so on. An exceptional admin considers whether a rental car is necessary or does Uber make more sense; considering the location is a big factor (i.e. New York or Los Angeles). Is booking a hotel near the meeting location more ideal or should their executive be near the airport? During the arranging process there’s much dialogue that happens between the assistant and executive but an exceptional admin lays out a rough itinerary for the executive to review, offering all factors and proposing ideal scenarios. When an EA interacts with their executive in this fashion, time is best utilized making workflow more effective.
Challenge the ordinary
It’s common for an exceptional admin to receive a special assignment that supports their executive and ultimately the organization. The special assignment could range from preparing a presentation or organizing a special event. Special projects offer fresh content to a role that can sometimes be redundant and in doing so, your increasing employee retention. Continue reading “Getting the most from your Executive Assistant (“EA”)”