08 September 2016

The EA- the Secret to Successful Executives

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The role of the Executive Assistant has evolved significantly over the past few decades. Gone are the days of an EA’s core responsibilities being making coffee and answering phones. While these may be included in their duties, they are also project managers, delegators, persuasive communicators, IT experts, time management experts and the list goes on.

The success of the Executive Assistant correlates directly with the success of the executive they support.  To paraphrase the proverb, behind every great executive is a great EA. If you aren’t utilising them as well as you could, you’re in the race with a flat tyre.

Here are some basic ways you can maximise your own personal success and that of your wing-woman:

Project managers

 A growing portion of EAs are managing projects ranging in complexity from moving office to orchestrating large-scale events. EAs (should) have impeccable organisational skills- consider giving them the reigns to one of the projects for which you don’t quite have room on your plate.

A valuable opinion

EAs and PAs are the eyes and ears of your office- they are aware of every event, file and used paperclip. Not only will asking your EA for their opinion on business matters likely garner you a useful opinion, but it will result in their increased understanding of business aims and their overall satisfaction as an employee.

Diary managers

I don’t just mean taking your appointments. Allow your diary to become your EA’s diary. They may opt for digital over paper or colour coding over numbers. Known as planning professionals, EAs are well versed on how your diary can be organised to maximise your productivity and flexibility with appointments.

Your assistant is only powerful as you allow them to be. Give them the keys, let them drive and watch your own success ensue. 

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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