Senior Executive - would your business benefit if you could spend more time focusing on growth opportunities and strategic initiatives? Are you finding that there doesn't seem to be much time in your busy schedule to allow you to focus on them?
Are you spending far too much time every day engaged in activities and conversations that shouldn't fall on you?
Maybe it's time to take a page from John Chambers' playbook (Cisco's CEO) :
“When I was looking for an assistant, what people didn’t understand is that I was not looking for a senior secretary, I was looking for a true business partner, someone who makes it a point to know the business, what my priorities are and who could represent me as well as the organization in the absolute best professional light.”1
Today - that person is the CEA - or Chief Executive Assistant.
How are you using your assistant?
Does your assistant:
- help you get more done every day?
- truly know and understand the business and its goals (and your vision for how you're going to reach them)?
- take care of many of your routine business matters so you can stay focused on growing and nurturing the business?
- know you so well that she actually anticipates your needs and answers questions on your behalf?
- play "quarterback" with your schedule, phone calls and meetings to ensure your time is spent only on the important things - every single day?
- help you get "face time" with the people most important to achieving your goals?
- perform research so you can focus on decision-making?
- meet with you on a regular basis to ensure that both of you are working on what's most important?
- make your business travel less stressful and more effective?
- plan and coordinate the logistics for meetings, conferences, important lunches and business dinners so you can focus on the content?
- proactively gather, assemble and analyze all the information for reports and presentations?
- follow up with your direct reports when action items are coming due (so you don't have to)?
- have great computer skills that allow you to bypass IT department delays for ad hoc data crunching and what-if analysis?
- help you create informative (yet memorable and entertaining) presentations that are far more than bullet lists?
- have the ability to interact professionally with everyone - regardless of position?
- help make your workplace a fun environment?
If not - it's time to ask...
In the U.S., there are more than 2.3 million "Top Executives" (14% of them are "Chief Executives"). Yet, a startling majority of Administrative Assistants and Executive Assistants who support them have received no formal training (or very little). Instead, they have learned on-the-job skills from coworkers or are self-taught - resulting in a haphazard skill set that doesn't support the needs of a busy, organized executive.
That means there are about 2 million executives who are either doing far too many of these routine things for themselves or (worse) - they aren't getting done at all!
Isn't it time to make sure your assistant has the training, knowledge and skills to become the Chief Executive Assistant (i.e. a "business partner") you and your company deserve?
1 NBC Bay Area, "No Longer "Secretary," CEAs Hold Power in Silicon Valley"