Characteristics of a Rockstar Executive Assistant
Most office professionals have heard of American leadership guru Michael Hyatt and his catch cry of “Win at work. Succeed at life. Lead with confidence.”
Author, blogger, speaker, trainer, mentor and the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers (now part of Harper Collins Publishing), Michael offers this brilliant “boss’s eye view” of what makes the perfect “rock star” Executive (or Virtual) Assistant.
What every leader needs to know about the most important member of the team.
“A good Executive (or Virtual) Assistant is like an air traffic controller for your life. Not just your business – your whole life. They help manage not only the intricacies of the office, but all the treacherous intersections between work, family, social interactions and more.”
These are the characteristics to watch for:
They have a servant’s heart. This is the foundation for everything else. A Rockstar executive Assistants wants to serve you. Whether the task is big or little, she achieves her own goals by helping you achieve yours.
If potential EA’s don’t have this quality, no problem. But they probably should look for a different opportunity.
They have personalised experience. A Rockstar EA is like a second brain. She knows what you like and don’t like. She knows where you are and where you need to go. She knows when to schedule meetings and when not to.
A Rockstar EA will gather as much of this information as possible as early as possible – and proactively keep learning.
They master the calendar. In business, we live and die by the calendar. Deadlines, appointments, meetings, presentations, calls. The calendar is the flight plan that keeps all of these moving parts from crashing into each other…
If your EA doesn’t have mastery of the calendar, we’re not talking about a Rockstar EA.
They anticipate needs. A Rockstar EA sees in advance what an executive needs and plans accordingly. …Whatever… she’s already seen the need and addressed it.
Anyone can take a direction. But a Rockstar is already moving the way you want to go.
They prioritise the personal. When I said: “an air traffic controller for your whole life”, this is what I meant. If your EA defaults to prioritising the professional at the expense of the personal, s/he is not a Rockstar. At least not yet. Protecting my personal time lets me maximise my professional time.
A Rockstar EA knows that and helps me guard that time.
They are willing to push back. A good EA will keep you from burying yourself. I call mine my “calendar czar” – and that’s exactly what I need. At any given moment, I don’t know the full range of our commitments, obligations and initiatives.
(But), because it’s her job – and she’s a Rockstar – my EA does know and will push back when I start getting overcommitted.
They create and master systems. Whatever line of work you’re in, effective performance depends on a certain number of set preferences and procedures. What works best for you and your team?
A Rockstar EA will document and systematise these things so you’re not always re-inventing the wheel.
They know what’s on your plate. We all have too much on our plates. Your EA should know all that you’re dealing with and what’s critical to your success.
If s/he knows that, s/he can keep you focused on the high-leverage activities and decline or delegate the rest.
There’s plenty of good, sound advice for boss and EA alike, here in this little summary and in the full post. See https://michaelhyatt.com