I absolutely love the following blog post by Alan J. Blair on what makes a great executive assistant, because pretty much every word below could have been written by me. For weeks now I've been composing a list (with input from some other fabulous admins) of the differences between paycheck Admins and career admins. I hope you enjoy this read as much as I did.
Hello my feline followers, welcome to another gripping installment of my award winning column. I recently received a letter from a devout follower asking what traits make for the best Executive Assistant.
Well, myself and friend, the gorgeous Anna Wintour, have gone through a few in our time; and let me tell you, a good Executive Assistant is worth their weight in gold (or Bluefin tartar) which ever you preferrrrrr.
We at Alan J. Blair seek out the best of the best candidates for placement at elite firms around the Bay Area so we know the right stuff when we see it. Increasingly, Executive Assistant positions are high paying and very influential roles within a company – for the right person of course.
Here is a short list of what we have found makes an outstanding assistant:
Don’t hide under the desk in terror if your executive’s favorite bagel or kibble is sold out; research and find other, possibly even better, substitutes. Be adaptable. Don’t come to me with a problem if you value your life, come to me with a possible solution.
Be proactive in anticipating needs
I may be an all seeing and powerful cat, but don’t assume I will do something for myself when others can do it for me. For example, when organizing a meeting, one should prepare for every eventuality.
Have you rechecked the presentation materials?
Is the conference room stocked and prepared with everything that is needed?
When travelling to a meeting, will you need to pack my kibble, or will it be provided when I arrive?
A good Executive Assistant answers yes to each of these.
Excellent communication skills
As an Executive Assistant, one communicates with every level of staff from the CEO to the file clerk, working together to make their life easier. The secret to any team work is communication; letting everyone involved know where you are with a project at any given time.
Don’t miss the small things
An excellent Executive Assistant loves the details. Every box should be checked and doubled checked.
Documents and letters should be proofread and proofread again. One should take pride in all that crosses one’s desk. In such an important role you not only represent yourself, but your Executive and the company. That is something to be proud of.
Small Details/Big Picture
While a great Assistant needs to be on top of all of the tiny details, they need to also see the “Big Picture”. Executive Assistants are working directly for leaders of a company that hold the vision for the business and therefore they are asked to know that vision. Executive Assistants need to make sure that their efforts support the boss and the entire organization.
Blog by Alan J. Blair originally posted February 5, 2015
The Audacious Admin is Debbi L. Shaffer, an outgoing, resourceful and highly motivated executive assistant with 20 years of experience specializing in C-Suite Executive Support.