I’ve labored full-time for 5 completely different organizations in telecommunications, high-tech and academia over twenty-five years. The worker inhabitants in these organizations has ranged from 1500 to nicely over 50,000.
No matter the agency, enterprise unit, or workforce, it’s the govt assistants and help personnel who’re the actual heroes, the unsung makers of order. They are the lifeline to anybody and everybody within the group.
Assistants are available all types. Quiet and unassuming. Bold and boisterous. Some appear meek, whereas others come throughout as overly assured. Do not be fooled. However you understand them, beware as a result of it’s a entice!
The assistant is all-knowing.
Equally vital, they’re the glue that binds all pages collectively.
The assistant is paid to help the manager and by extension the workforce. Ultimately they’re a person contributor. There are not any direct studies to an assistant, ever. But that doesn’t cease the assistant from commanding a military.
From their very first day on the job, they start a pure means of discovering, constructing, and sustaining their tribe. It’s a tribe that does battle each single day, and it wins.
Who is their tribe?
Other assistants scattered throughout the group. What’s extra horrifying than the one assistant who is aware of all the things? A pack of wolves who can slaughter their prey in a matter of seconds with ubiquitous data and wolf-like reflexes to get issues carried out. This is the assistant. They type a pack of wolves like no different.
Not solely does the assistant workforce up with different assistants by some invisible, cement-like bond, however additionally they start the method of sleuthing.
Their potential to memorize an org chart is uncanny. Knowing who the alpha canines/cats are of their second hour on the job is exceptional. From the confines of a desk—and the occasional strolls throughout a ground or constructing—the assistant amasses a community of contacts, intelligence, and superior processes to idiot Napoléon if he have been nonetheless round.
The assistant arrives early and infrequently stays late. They reply emails and texts in any respect hours of the day and weekend. Proactive, collaborative, and intuitive, the assistant has a sixth sense anticipating what may hit the fan earlier than it ever reaches these sharp blades. They sew a wound earlier than the blood ever reaches the bottom.
Too many individuals classify them solely as schedulers, approvers, and organizers. Those that do typically endure the wrath of the assistant’s spell. Be imply or condescending, and also you welcome your self right into a hellhole of nothingness. I’ve seen it many occasions earlier than. The macho workforce member who undermines the uncooked expertise of an assistant is shortly put of their place, typically with a tail between their legs within the company model of a “walk of shame.”
Judge a e-book by its cowl, and you’ll miss out on the sensible data discovered inside. The similar could be stated for assistants.
Apparel firm lululemon offers an instance. In a current job description for an govt assistant, lululemon asks for the next in regards to the “day in the life” of the function:
- Principle scheduler, timekeeper, planner and coordinator to a member of the lululemon Executive Team, the Executive Assistant has a significant function within the success of their division
- Heavy calendaring: You would be the level of contact for inside & exterior requests in addition to being liable for organizing journey itineraries, coordinating conferences, and getting ready briefing notes and minutes of conferences.
- Coordination and execution of occasions.
- Maintaining skilled funds together with all bills, monitoring of funds, paying invoices in a well timed method and conserving all spreadsheets updated.
- Opens, distributes and follows-up on normal incoming mail. Screens and directs incoming calls and a few emails, and helps to file.
- Composes and prepares paperwork for signature. Coordinates the preparation of company paperwork, as requested.
- Delegates and follows up on motion gadgets that fall throughout the realm of duty.
- Maintains a simple to make use of submitting system for archived paperwork and pc recordsdata.
- Provides confidential private help and maintains confidential private data.
Every assistant identified to humankind understands the bullets outlined above. It’s the gig. They carry out every of those actions not solely admirably, however with out hesitation.
I left one bullet out. It’s the ultimate one discovered within the job description:
- Undertakes particular assignments and initiatives as wanted.
It’s the place the assistant shines, the place they exhibit these wolf-like expertise, crafty, networking, sharp as a knife. “Special assignments and projects as needed” is probably a throwaway line, however it’s exactly the place the assistant turns into one of many single most vital folks within the group itself.
I’ve been blessed to work with many assistants through the years. Kim, Wendy, Stephanie, Heather, Michael, Anna, Ryan, Linda, Winnie, Georgia, Mehroon, Kim (once more) are just some of the colleagues I’ve witnessed ship unbelievable management.
They are superheroes with out the cape.