Executives and Assistants are struggling.
Even if your partnership isn’t headed for imminent disaster, you may still struggle to find alignment. You may feel out-of-sync or just not as productive, efficient, and effective as you could be. You may wonder exactly how to create that amazing synergy other professionals talk about.
We hear these complaints on a daily basis and can assure you: You’re not alone.
Everyone is looking for a simple, straightforward way to resolve the issues that plague Executive and Administrative partnerships. They want clear, definitive processes and guidelines for how they should work together.
Well, we’ve heard you, and we’ve created the solution you’re seeking.
This tool is designed to support the relationship between Executives and Assistants by providing a structured path for managing both the people and processes involved.
As you know, Joan Burge is the CEO of Office Dynamics and has over 25 years of experience both as a top-level assistant herself and as an executive. She has personally coached over 150 executive and assistant teams at some of the world’s most acclaimed organizations.
In this Guide, she reveals some of her most powerful secrets!
Not Just Another “Book”
Books are great…we know you agree. But this Guide is much more than words and concepts on a page. It’s a platform for building and creating. It’s an interactive tool designed to be used, not just read. It’s a resource and a roadmap.
- Here’s just a small portion of what you’ll find inside:
- Best practices consolidated over 25 years of research and experience in the field.
- Comprehensive and flexible solutions for addressing the most pressing and common challenges facing Executives and Assistants.
- Time-tested, proven solutions that work in nearly any professional environment, regardless of industry or business size.
- Specific “conversation points” are designed to facilitate open communication between Executives and Assistants, helping you to create your own unique partnership with clearly defined operating procedures.
- A variety of Joan’s proprietary assessments to help you better understand the nature of the partnership and your key areas for improvement.
Best of all, we’ve made this tool incredibly easy to use—it’s concise, well-organized, and practical. Its design is both elegant and functional. Executives and Assistants use it together collaboratively and interactively. It’s like a self-guided, self-paced coaching program with Joan Burge herself!
Who is this Guide for?
- Both Executives and Assistants: Its purpose is to support the working relationship between the two parties by providing a clear, structured path for managing both the people and the processes involved.
- Professionals of all backgrounds and experience levels: Whether you’re a seasoned executive, entry-level Assistant, or something in between, the pages of this Guide offer a much-needed roadmap to professional success when working in partnership.
- Professionals in any industry or business size: This Guide addresses the most pressing and common challenges facing Executives and Assistants by providing time-tested, proven solutions that work in nearly any professional environment.
How Does It Work?
This guide is based on a simple formula: People + Process = Success. These are the critical elements in any partnership. Whenever there’s a problem, it always boils down to an issue with people or an issue with the process. Likewise, whenever improvements are made, it’s always because something changed within the people involved or the processes they’re using.
Part One is focused on developing the Assistant/Executive relationship, understanding the people side of the equation, and opening the channels of communication to clarify expectations and build alignment.
Part One includes chapters on:
- Understanding the Stages of Growth
- Communication: The Foundation of Trust
- Being in Agreement
- Resolving Partnership Problems
Part Two is devoted to processes—the day-to-day operational and tactical procedures required to get the job done. This is the hardest part of the equation and the most powerful part of this Guide. We offer step-by-step “how to” directions for implementing consistent, standardized processes that actually WORK. This isn’t just theory; it’s real-world solutions to your everyday challenges.
Part Two includes chapters on:
- Regularly Scheduled Meetings
- Calendar Management and Meeting Preparation
- E-mail Management
- Project Management
- Telephone Calls
- Follow-up Systems
The Appendix of the Guide also includes a variety of assessments and templates to spark conversation, organize ideas, and provide powerful insight. The Guide also features ample space for customization, allowing each user to create a completely unique working document unlike any other tool on the market. It’s designed to be modified and molded to meet your needs. We walk you through the process—you do the work. It’s simple, flexible, and comprehensive.
How Will You Benefit?
After working with this Guide, Executives and Assistants will achieve a new level of synergy in their relationship. What does that mean? In short, it means, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
To be more specific, both the Executive and Assistant will experience:
- Less stress
- Improved communication and collaboration
- Better time management
- Greater ability to focus and get things done
- Increased efficiency and effectiveness
This Guide offers specific, step-by-step tools for creating a dynamic, productive, and powerful working relationship. It helps create consistency in how things are done. When an Assistant is out of the office, another one can easily step in and simply follow the established procedure. This means greater peace of mind for everyone involved and minimal disruption to business.
For Executives, this Guide will help you:
- Leverage the time and talents of your Assistant.
- Delegate more projects and responsibilities, giving you the freedom to focus on other priorities.
- Feel more comfortable providing feedback to your Assistant.
- Maximize utilization of support staff.
For Assistants, this Guide will help you:
- Think more strategically and make better decisions on behalf of your Executive.
- Become a liaison for your Executive with direct reports, customers, and stakeholders.
- Gain more independence.
- Feel confident that you’re meeting expectations and providing the highest level of support.
- Having a clear roadmap for leveraging your talents as an Assistant.
- Knowing exactly what questions to ask your Executive to better understand and support his/her needs.
- Using specific, time-tested strategies for creating that ideal working partnership—where both you and your Executive are performing at peak levels.
- Having your own customized “operations manual” that defines exactly what your Executive expects and how you deliver it.
About the Authors
Joan Burge, the primary author of this Guide, is widely considered the pioneer of administrative training and development. Joan launched Office Dynamics in 1990, an internationally recognized training organization focused on bridging the education gap for administrative professionals and executives. Since 1990, Joan has served this audience as CEO of Office Dynamics, providing training, coaching, and mentorship to professionals in some of the world’s most respected organizations. Her clients include Cisco, Humana, Procter & Gamble, AT&T, Nationwide Insurance, Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, Novant Health, Sandals Resorts International, and Fifth Third Bank.
With over four decades of experience on both sides of the desk, Joan possesses a uniquely balanced point of view. She knows the challenges facing Executives and Assistants because she helps solve them each and every day. She has personally coached more than 150 teams, helping them increase productivity by 25% or more. It’s not surprising that she’s noticed some recurring trends along the way. This guide is designed to help readers address the common issues Joan sees time and time again working in the field.
In writing this Guide, Joan collaborated with fellow trainer and career coach Chrissy Scivicque. Also a former Executive Assistant, Chrissy offers a complementary perspective and her own real-world experience. She possesses expertise in a broad range of professional development, employee effectiveness, and performance improvement strategies. Like Joan, Chrissy has developed and delivered comprehensive training programs for top organizations, including Capital One, Northrop Grumman, W.W. Grainger, Skadden, GlaxoSmithKline, and more. She is particularly skilled at taking complex business activities and turning them into simple, actionable, step-by-step processes.
Special Bonus Materials
When you invest in your Assistant/Executive partnership, you’ll also receive these special bonus materials designed to support your growth and deepen your learning in key functional areas.
The Gatekeeper’s Guide (Downloadable PDF)
Even with all of our modern-day technology, the telephone is still a key mode of business communication. In a busy working environment, it’s also a continuous source of interruption and a landmine for partnership frustrations. This Guide offers Assistants a comprehensive set of “rules” to ensure you are properly screening calls, protecting corporate and personal information, accurately recording messages, and utilizing appropriate professional etiquette in the process.
Comprehensive Travel Planning Guide (Downloadable PDF)
Travel has become a stressful chore for both Executives and Assistants. This 25-page comprehensive planning document with checklists helps minimize stress in the pre-travel process, allowing Assistants, Business Travelers, and Planners to better organize the many details involved. Nothing will fall through the cracks with the help of this handy work aide.