Staying Relevant; Meet the Better Bot

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer
ASSISTANTS TAKING CHARGE LEARNING AND MANAGING NEW TECHNOLOGY.

It is more efficient to have a human being to manage the CEO’s time than a bot that you have to learn and still meddle with. Let’s talk about why CEOs should let the Assistant be responsible for learning and managing the technology.

If you take a moment to observe the people who stand next to business leaders and even famous entertainers or politicians, I can almost guarantee there is an Executive Assistant within earshot of every noteworthy person you see. Focusing on the numerous elements of a thriving organization can only be done effectively if top talent uses his or her time correctly, which starts with allocating certain tasks to a separate individual. This person is so much more than a scheduling robot or productivity application. Executive Assistants support high level professionals physically and mentally. These human beings benefit leaders by equipping them with skills he or she does not have time to utilize.

Administrative Benefits

For a traveling Executive – which we are starting to see more of recently – this means that the Executive Assistant will be managing the workplace in greater capacity from either a remote location (travelling or home) or physically in the office. Apps and new communication technology make this process incredibly more streamlined and manageable. With platforms such as Slack, the Assistant can learn how to fully utilize the app and coach others who don’t have time to learn all the ins and outs (such as the Executive). Leaving it up to the EA to source and learn these technological resources not only takes tasks off of the Executive’s plate, but it creates a whole new trusted delegation process. 

As technology progresses, several office related skills have been added to the administrative role that Executive Assistants play. All sorts of people, and their pets, are on social media these days and while it is necessary to use these, it can also be a rabbit hole that an Executive in particular cannot afford to be distracted by. Instead of distracting the top executive with social media profiles that need updating, many professional assistants take on this task using up to date promotional techniques. These days it is important for an irreplaceable Executive Assistant to keep up with the latest tech, apps, websites, platforms and software that acts as wonderful resources to use, but not to rely on. A good place to start is The Ultimate List of Productivity Tools and Technology. With someone taking that extra administrative task off of his or her plate, top professionals can use their time and talent wisely, but these benefits are only half of the story

Psychological Benefits

Many advantages Executive Assistants bring to top businessmen and women are more psychologically centered. Often times, associates need a sounding board, a support system or some tough love from a trusted colleague who knows the ins and outs of the organization. An Assistant uses his or her knowledge of an Executive’s behavioral nuances to reduce the stress of a situation, putting the Executive back on track. Some Executive Assistants react to subtle cues and unspoken needs of his or her boss. Whether it’s a file to prepare before a meeting or a very specific kind of coffee, it will be there without a spoken request. Knowing every detail, quirky or otherwise, of an Executive also ensures smooth interactions with associates. If anyone can “read the room,” an Executive Assistant can.

In an article entitled “The Case for Executive Assistants” showcased on the website for the Harvard Business Review, Melba J. Duncan writes “Microsoft will never develop software that can calm a hysterical sales manager, avert a crisis by redrafting a poorly worded e-mail, smooth a customer’s ruffled feathers, and solve a looming HR issue—all within a single hour.” This statement encompasses the plethora of benefits Executive Assistants give senior and mid-level Executives across the US.

 

If you enjoyed this read, you’ll like Leveraging Up! Brilliant Points of Wisdom for Administrative Professionals. My new book is written for aspiring Assistants and Executive Assistants and addresses many of the most common issues faced – from working remotely, to difficult Executives, to effectively managing teams.

 

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Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer