A fantastic executive or personal assistant to a CEO, or high-achieving entrepreneur, is a gatekeeper as much as an assistant – someone who needs high-level skills in identifying priorities and resource allocation. It’s not an exaggeration to say that an executive is only as good as the assistant who supports them. Does this kind of role require leadership skills? Without a doubt!
You’d be hard-pushed to find a high-level and successful CEO or business leader who doesn’t have a support person or two in the role of EA or PA, quietly working in the background making sure business runs smoothly. Sound judgment, the ability to multi-task and think on their feet, as well as problem solving and organizational skills are all key strengths for this role. Guess what? They happen to be leadership skills as well.
Whilst the assistant to a high-level person doesn’t have the same responsibility and delegation authority, there are times when they act on behalf of, or speak for, the person they support. Therefore, leadership skills are not only beneficial but essential. They are the eyes and ears, and sometimes the mouth, of the head of the organization or team they represent.
It’s no wonder that successful executive assistants often move onto roles of leadership or are promoted to management themselves. They have a track record of their own success in supporting others. For this reason alone, it makes sense that leadership skills and training are useful for employees in these roles.
‘You don’t need a title to be a leader.’ – Unknown
The ability to engage stakeholders and communicate effectively at all levels, both internal and external and probably most importantly, to manage conflicting and multiple priorities and demands on their executive’s time are high-level leadership skills that require development, encouragement, as well as acknowledgment. When you have an exceptional EA, who not only manages your schedule, but knows your leadership style, it makes good business sense to do everything you can to ensure they stay as current in their skills as possible, and as supported and satisfied in their roles as well. Someone who reads you, can anticipate your needs, and respond at your required pace is indispensable, and in a perfect world, when you are promoted or even move companies, your EA may move with you!
They’re problem solvers, interpreters, IT support, diplomats, human search engines, travel consultants, counselors, and spokespeople to internal and external stakeholders on your behalf, and they deserve to be supported as you are!
Confidence and resilience can be the keys to an EA being the best they can be, and they are key strengths when you consider the challenges that may be faced in managing the busy schedule of a highly sought-after executive.
If you have an exceptional EA who deserves to be supported and rewarded, consider including training and coaching incentives in their next appraisal, and you will both be winners in the performance stakes.
Guess what we have just the programs and coaching to help your amazing EA/PA get the leadership skills they need! Of course, I need to mention our amazing empowHER program and #Leadership is an Attitude program happening in Brisbane with 4 dates to choose from – help your EA Rock!