Executive Perspective – sponsored by Novant Health
(featuring Diana L. Best and Jacque Daniels)
The executive perspective is an amazing part of the conference. Joan interviews executives on their perspectives of administrative professionals, and the ensuring discussion is lively and candid. It’s an amazing opporutnity to find out how executives think and what they think about.
In response to Joan’s opening question about what is the “wow factor” on executive assitants, Diana said, “I’m looking at the Wow factor: admins are the “glue” connecting the organization together.” “I’m looking for communication, customer service and the ability and desire to go the second mile.”
Jacque outlined the importance of having three key attributes: 1) the ability to anticipate, 2) utilize good judgment, and 3) having confidence.
Interestingly, the comment was made: “We (the executives) are in the background. You administrative assistants are at the front door, always visible.”
Joan asked them to discuss the ways in which administrators sabotage themselves. The answers were fascinating:
- Just transactional [meaning, only doing what you are asked to do], not being relationship focused, “My little world, my little desk.”
- Speaking negatively about the person they support
- Breaching confidentiality
- Lack of trust
Jacque discussed that she didn’t like the term, “work life balance.” Instead, she believed it was more correctly stated, “work life integration.” A good exectuive assistant meant she didn’t have to go to work on Sundays for two hours to prepare for the coming week’s work and meetings.
They urged administrators to take small, incremental steps in the right direction. Be persistent. “Start with yourself, and “ripple” out to make a difference.”
Joan ended the amazing dialog by stating administrators must play to their audience.
This remarkable conversation by remarkable people provided administrators wtih a valuable, integral tool to leverage on the path forward.