Building the Partnership with Your Executive: Are You a Center of Influence?

High-quality assistants can be a distinct competitive advantage for executives and the organizations they serve. Here at Office Dynamics, we are constantly reminded of this when we help executive and assistant teams develop truly strategic partnerships.

As one Fortune 500 CEO puts it, “Administrative Assistants are the center of influence.” He describes his assistant as a “flow manager,” meaning she helps facilitate progress. She has the power to keep things moving at an optimal pace.

As an assistant, we want to help you position yourself as a center of influence for your executive. A strong strategic partnership between the executive and assistant is built on this idea.

So, what does that mean for you? Well, for most assistants, it means taking on more. As a center of influence, everything should flow through you—calendar appointments, meeting information, phone calls, projects and more.

You should be the buffer or filter for your executive. You are a conduit for collecting information, processing it, and sending it back out in the appropriate fashion. This allows your executive to focus his or her attention where it is most needed, with the peace of mind that you will ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Most assistants agree that this is a tall order! It requires a deep level of trust and constant communication. The executive must be willing to release control of certain items and allow the assistant more authority and responsibility. The assistant must be able to shoulder that responsibility capably.

When exploring this idea, many assistants express fear. After all, being a center of influence is challenging. It forces you into a position where you are, quite literally, at the center of the storm. It’s a powerful and dangerous place to be.

But you are more than capable of stepping up to the challenge! And the rewards are extraordinary. You will experience greater job satisfaction when you contribute more meaningfully. You will experience greater professional growth and financial incentives. You will get to be a true strategic partner for your executive.

If you’re ready to embrace this idea and become a center of influence (or expand your existing influence) you may wonder:

  • How do I develop the kind of trust required?
  • How do I manage all of these things for my executive?
  • How do I get my executive to release control and let me do more?
  • How do I facilitate greater levels of communication?

These are all valid questions! Thankfully, Joan Burge has the answers. In fact, she’ll be addressing these topics and more in her upcoming live workshop “Building a Star Partnership” in Chicago.

Kick off Administrative Professionals Week with Joan on Monday, April 24th where you’ll learn her secret success formula for becoming a center of influence.

Are you ready to become a center of influence? Do you think you already are? Are there areas you’d like to expand your influence? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

We are also holding a FREE WEBINAR on Building A Star Partnership and you can register here.


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