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WEEK 16: I’ve Got What It Takes To Be A Leader
Every administrative assistant can be a leader. It’s a set of characteristics and behaviors that make you a leader. Learn how to embrace an attitude of taking charge from Joan Burge, Administrative Excellence Coach!
Welcome to week 16, I’ve Got What It Takes To Lead. I hope you’ve been enjoying this series, and apply your new skills. Today is a good topic and doesn’t allot a great deal of time because I will be very focused on what I’m going to speak on. Today’s topic is a chapter out of my book, Underneath it All, so for those of you who have the book, you’ll want to discuss this after and read more information.
Do you know what’s different about leaders? Leaders have the attitude of taking charge, which is not the same as the skill of taking charge. That is, leadership is about having an attitude that I want to be a leader, I can be a leader, and I can learn how to be a leader. Then, you develop the skills of leadership that include mentoring, managing, and knowing how to give feed back to others etc…
When you recognize this truth, and fully subscribe to it, your role in the administrative profession is going to blossom. Part of leadership is taking risks, the thing about risks taking and leadership is, you stand out. Sometimes when you stand out, others are not too happy that you’re standing out. In that, what you need to do is stay focused, keep moving on, and keep producing quality work.
There are many ways that you can demonstrate leadership as an administrative professional. As I share them with you, just analyze if they are things you’re already doing or are they things you can add to your plate.
Be a mediator: In the event that two other admin(s) are having some “personality clashes” you can be the leader to step up to the plate and try to resolve the issue at hand.
Mentor new admin(s): There is a real necessity for mentoring in the administrative world. High school students are not being exposed to the business classes that I had to take in my junior and senior years of high school. With that being said, they’re not used to the setting and the mentality required for operating in a business environment. A lot of the younger generations feel as if an admin job is a kind of ‘dead end’ job or the job they need to get some where else. But, we know that being an administrative professional is far more than that! Your roll can be to mentor them not only about the profession, but about your company and the role they can play with other administrative professionals in your department.
Coach seasoned administrative professionals to be their best: Seasoned administrative professionals tend to rest on their ‘laurels’ and have no desire to move on. You can coach and encourage them to see that there is more. You can move on. You can coach and encourage them to see that there is more. You can also learn from their expertise as they teach you and others in the profession.
Create and lead an administrative team or group: As an executive assistant myself, I took the initiative to create two groups of STAR achievers. One was when I worked for a large banking group in Memphis, Tennessee and I wanted to implement a training program for the assistants. Fortunately enough, I worked for a CEO who would allow me to do so; and as you are aware I’m into STAR achievements and am the creator of STAR achievements. With that being said, I named the group, STAR Achievers! I lead that group thru many training sessions and my company was very well pleased. I also did this for no extra money, and on my own time. Another group, that I’m very proud, that got started between 1990-1992, too named the STAR achievers and they still exist today. It was in Virginia Beach, and that organization worked directly with assistants who reported directly to CEO’s and Presidents. Now, this was an association that didn’t have a board because I didn’t want all that formality with my group. We where a more informal, but formal network, we had our policies and procedures etc… When I left that group in 1992 due to my husbands’ job, this group stayed together! So do you see, you can be a leader in any organization you work for, make your mark and be a STAR!
Rally up your department: Try to get them to implement and start new processes. You may have a great idea, and you can display leadership by getting your department together and teaching them a new process, or a way of streamlining a new process.
Just remember, as a leader, you’re not always going to make the right decision. Leaders make mistakes, and fall back every once and a while, but they move forward and they learn from their mistakes.
Activity for the week, I will keep it simple this week, think of some ways you can display leadership in your department. I look forward to talking to you in next weeks seminar!!
Until Next Time…