As a visionary or an executive, you may get it in your head sometimes that you’re hiring people for yourself. However, you’re there as a leader for your people. Success depends on the growth of your leadership.
One critical role in an organization is the Executive Assistant. Partnerships fuel transformation. You can't be an Executive Assistant without your executive so you have to understand each other not only as colleagues but as human beings.
The DNA of a Great Executive Assistant
A great Executive Assistant loves to help people and pays attention to details. They take initiative and truly want to help the person they are hired to help. They have to be driven and motivated not only financially and professionally but intrinsically as well.
As an Executive Assistant, you also have to be able to understand the DNA of your executive: how they walk, talk, and think. This will help you relate to and understand him or her better.
How to Gain Momentum with Your Executive Assistant
You’ve got to have an interest in the person you’re standing beside. Take an active interest in what makes them tick. Understand that you are different from them because you’re supposed to be closing the gaps together.
Build trust as a team at the foundational level. Otherwise, you’re going to start braiding dysfunction. While culture is important, having a right-hand person is also key.
Another way to gain momentum with your Executive Assistant is to do a hard reset and put yourself back into a 100-day onboarding. Give this time to start working. Then, you can speed up later on.
What the 100-Day Onboarding Looks Like
Think about what you would like your EA to do and what they need to understand your culture. Provide them with a list of things they need to do. Training should go on their calendar. Then, celebrate what you accomplish every week.
Have daily conversations
Carve out time to have a daily conversation with your EA for at least 15 minutes. Understand you're here for your people; they're not here for you.
As an executive, you have to make your EA feel like they have room to ask questions. Identify the places where your EA can take things off your plate (scheduling, calendar and email management, etc).
If you're going to gain momentum in any area, communication, clarity, respect, and living your values are going to be the things that make the real difference. Be realistic about the transition and manage expectations, especially when you're trying to do big things.
If you want to learn more about how to help your Executive Assistant achieve success and gain momentum, check out Episode 062: Gaining Momentum with Your Executive Assistant.