Who among us doesn’t remember the perceived crisis of Y2K?
That was more than a decade ago, but it seems like eons since everyone was worried about the changeover from 1999 to 2000. Today it’s the Mayan calendar that has people in an uproar!
We face a new year: 2013 (and I’m sure we will get to see it); what is going to be different during the next decade in the administrative community?
I’m not referring to your work. How will this profession as a community, as a group, as career-minded professionals, make strides of significance for this profession? An Adminologist is an administrative professional who studies their profession. They know the art and the science of their chosen profession. An Adminologist is one of today’s brightest administrative professionals.
Adminology Is Building Strategic Partnerships
For years, executive assistants have been building partnerships with their leaders. Adding the word ‘strategic’ gives a new meaning to what the relationship should be. In the corporate world, strategic is a common term. There are marketing strategy meetings, creative strategy meetings, and financial strategy meetings.
So how does this apply to you, as an assistant?
The word strategic means calculated, planned, and intentional. That means you and your leader have to work together to plan the weeks’ and months’ activities, projects, action steps, and who is involved in what. It means you have intentional dialogue with each other. You intentionally make time to meet and discuss everything from major projects and events to daily processes. As a team, you take calculated risks. Your actions are deliberate.
This means you and your leader have to be future-focused. It’s not just about today or the next two days. You discuss the happenings, events, meetings, and special projects that you either know about or are anticipating to occur in the next three months. You anticipate what might happen, what resources will be needed, who is involved, time expectations and you see how it fits in the big picture; look at the pieces of the puzzles. This gives you an opportunity to be in the lead. You will be able to better plan, anticipate, organize, prioritize, and reduce stress. There will be plenty of days where you will have to react to the current situation. When you work strategically with your leader, you reduce time reacting and are able to be more proactive.
How do you build a strategic partnership with your executive?
Be engaged in the scope of your leader’s work. This is different than knowing what your leader does such as hold weekly meetings with her direct reports. The scope is the big picture of why your leader shows up every day—why he or she is paid to do what they do; what’s makes them tick? For example, you might think the scope of my work is training assistants, writing books, producing educational videos, and conducting workshops for assistants. That is how I achieve my scope.
The scope of my work is to:
improve the quality of work life for administrative professionals worldwide
educate managers and high-level executives on the importance of investing in their assistant’s professional development and career
make every assistant who attends my workshops or annual conference feel like a VIP
have the world view the administrative profession as a career of choice
provide in-depth, worthwhile education for assistants that change their life
challenge assistants to strive for excellence; not settle for mediocrity
Contribute to team objectives.
Align your professional goals with your organization and department goals.
Become more involved in making decisions.
Maintain the flow of information.
There are several ways in which you can accomplish the above.
- Ask ‘why’ more often
- Attend strategic meetings
- Learn the issues your leader faces; gain a true understanding of what is behind what is happening
- Understand the deliverables expected from their staff
- Attend meetings
- Look for ways to help your leader prepare for meetings beyond what you do today
- Thoroughly and completely track action items
- Meet with your leader’s direct reports and learn the scope of their work
- Ask your leader to be your strategic business partner
- Understand the breadth and depth of your organization’s mission and live their values
Building strategic partnerships with managers and leaders is the way of the future. You need to see yourself as a business partner. Adminologists work side-by-side with managers to help lead the organization. Their ideas count and add value. Make sure your contributions and ideas are worthy of your leader’s time and attention.