Who Took My Pen Again book for assistants

5 Must-Have Skills for Progressive Assistants From Joan’s book, Who Took My Pen… Again?

You are a top-performing, high-achieving administrative assistant who has accomplished much. You have the fundamentals down pat and even demonstrate advanced skill sets. So where do you go from here? What might be missing from your bag of skills? Here are 5 areas that are sure to challenge you:


  • Accountability is about being responsible, being present.
  • We are accountable to each other and to ourselves. Even if no one is watching over your shoulder or your executive travels 90% of the time, you have to answer to yourself. When you don’t follow through—not doing your job—the department or group you support falls apart.
  • Being an accountable person means you know this life is no dress rehearsal! This is a one-shot life and you are giving it your all, every day.

Why is accountability important?

  • Credibility—your reputation is on the line.
    • Your executives need to know that even though things shift, change, plummet, switch up or fall apart, you are the glue that will hold it together.
    • Credibility means never cutting corners. No shirking duties.


  • Whatever you talk about, you need to demonstrate.
  • Meet deadlines.
  • Be diligent.
  • Don’t make excuses.

Change Agent

A change agent:

  • Is someone who adds value by strategically thinking about what has always been done.
  • Adds new thought and wisdom to mundane or critical tasks.
  • Solves problems and improves the world, one day at a time.
  • Has the courage to see things that are and know they could be better.


  • Be a peacekeeper.
  • Accept fresh, new ideas.
  • Present new ideas.
  • Teach yourself to think “yes” instead of “no” when listening to others’ ideas.

Creative Thinking

There are numerous applications for using creativity in the workplace:

  • Improve communication.
  • Become more organized.
  • Build stronger teams.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Make a better decision.
  • Conquer the challenge of change.


  • Get comfortable with not thinking status quo.
  • Quit looking for the perfect answer.
  • Put your ego aside and quit worrying that other adults are going to think you are silly or frivolous.
  • Place a picture by your desk that speaks to your creative side.

Decision – Making

  • Decisions are made daily, often without even realizing it.
  • Decision making is key for productivity and growth.


  • Understand the objectives and situation surrounding the issue.
  • Educate yourself on your leader’s decision-making style.
  • Consider potential blind spots and biases you may have. What areas are you ignorant about?
  • Generate possible solutions.
  • Think through and evaluate potential outcomes, possible barriers, and risk vs. advantages.
  • Decide and then evaluate your decision.
  • Avoid making emotional decisions, with only your heart. Use your head.

Future – Focus

  • Think of the future in terms of:
    • new projects
    • outcomes
    • goals
    • your executive’s calendar
    • important upcoming event
    • potential business
  • Consider trends and changes in technology.
  • Read blogs, articles and materials written by trend analysts. Studying the movers and shakers who create the curve, set the trends and define what the future might be in a week, month or year, makes you valuable to your managers and organization.
  • Being a future thinker will decrease your pressure and stress.
  • For seasoned assistants, future thinking helps ensure you do not become obsolete.


  • Pay attention to the present.
  • Read and anticipate the domino effect.
  • Listen.
  • Visualize your desired results.

I hope that these tips will help you become that high-achieving administrative assistant!

Training for Executive and Administrative Assistants

Who Took My Pen…Again?” is the ultimate resource for administrative professionals looking to take their careers to the next level. Written by experienced executive assistants, this Amazon Best Seller offers practical strategies for success and leadership development. Drawing on the diverse experiences of administrative professionals from various industries and businesses, it represents the knowledge and expertise of four generations of executive assistants. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your career and become a leader in your field. Order your copy today.


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