Optimization is like administrative skills and attitudes on steroids (in a good way!). Optimization means to enhance the effectiveness of something; to make something function at its best. When I read the definition of optimization, I immediately think of two things:
- Part of my “job” is being brought into companies by senior leaders to help make their administrative partners function at their best. I have all the tools and answers to help administrative professionals be successful. Whether or not they choose to listen to me, take my advice, trust me and are willing to adopt new behaviors is another story. I can’t make anyone change anything, as is true for me. I attend educational events, read and am exposed to a variety of talented, smart subject matter experts but it is up to me to make changes.
- Part of my “job” is to work with already-successful executives and their executive assistants to enhance their effectiveness. I go to the client’s facility and work with the leader and assistant one-on-one. I watch everything they do, listen to what they say, learn their processes, absorb their environment and dynamics and, basically, get inside their heads. When I do this kind of work, I can best help that team.
What does this mean to you?
You need to embrace the idea of ‘optimization’ to be successful in the future and to illuminate your career. I’m certain you already are a star performer. The idea is . . .
- are you moving yourself to your very best potential?
- are you fully engaged?
- do you push through difficult tasks and assignments that you normally don’t like?
- have you taken classes this year that advance your skills?
Yes, we all need a nudge sometimes. We need an outsider to tell us, “Stop being lazy and get on with it! You know what you need to do; you are just taking the easy way out.”
I know far too many assistants who have been in the administrative profession for 20+ years and have hardly changed. If this is you, it’s time to wake up! You are not being all you are capable of being. We are all here to become better . . . to contribute to the greater good . . . we are not designed to be stagnant, vanilla, boring or lazy.
For those new to the profession . . . great! You are young enough or novice enough to establish ‘success’ behaviors. You are like the seed of a tree that is newly planted. How you grow . . . how tall you grow . . . how strong you grow . . . is up to you. Make sure you stay away from bad soil. Don’t be influenced by people who might be negative about the administrative profession.
When you fully utilize all your talents and capacities, your leader will function at her best because she will be able to focus on the work she does that brings value to the company and impacts the bottom line. And one of the greatest gifts to yourself is that you will be a more joyous and fulfilled individual which will spread to other aspects of your life.
Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. – Malcolm X
What will the future look like for the administrative professional? How will their titles be impacted? What skills will assistants need to thrive? How will administrative roles change? How will assistants support leaders whose roles are changing every day? Should assistants enlist career coaches? How should assistants market their diverse skills? How can administrative assistants help move their profession forward in their organization?
You will find answers to questions like these at the 2020 Conference For Administrative Excellence.