Take Your Seat … At The Executive Table

<Guest Post by Debbie Gross>

Take Your Seat…At the Executive Table
Administrative Professionals leading in the 21st-century

Business today is changing so rapidly that it is hard to keep up or keep track! With new technologies (apps, devices, office environments) and globalization, restructuring, downsizing and flattening of top heavy organizations, as administrative professionals, if we are not careful, we could literally get run-over!

It’s time to reinvent ourselves and the roles we play.

I feel strongly that the administrative profession must evolve to continue to be seen as relevant to our organizations in this changing business environment. In a profession that is challenging for even the best of them, to be valued, recognized and indispensable to the organizations we support and to the companies we work for, we have to show our worth. When we walk in to the conference room, there should be a seat reserved for us at the executive table!

It is an exciting time and an opportunity for us to grab hold and embrace the strategies that will elevate our profession.


I would like to share with you what I think will be some of those key strategies we will need to have to be a 21st Century Administrative Professional. It is a unique role that only we can play, and requires bold moves.

To gain a seat we will want to embrace qualities like critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation. We will need to be entrepreneurs, risk takers, more importantly results driven.

What are the new skills admired and soon to be required of administrative professionals:

  1. Digital Savvy: learning semi-tech and self-publishing skills
  2. Data Analysis: learning how to collect, analyze and synthesizing information to create solutions
  3. Virtual Engagement: learning how to be an effective virtual partner
  4. Leadership: stepping up and out of comfort zones
  5. Critical Thinking: using information to innovate and create win/wins
  6. Collaboration: going global
  7. Communication: embracing and encouraging change
  8. Adaptability and Resiliency: constantly reinventing ourselves
  9. Innovation: harnessing creativity
  10. Global Citizenship: identifying ourselves as part of a global community
  11. Entrepreneurship: running with new ideas

Some of us are doing these things already. Are You?

If not, are you making plans to develop yourself in some of these areas? This might involve making yourself visible or mentoring with others who are already subject matter experts. It could mean that you gain the experience by asking for a project that takes you out of your comfort zone. Maybe there are training programs or webinars that can give you the educational edge?

What a wonderful opportunity we have ahead of us! Just imagine the new fundamental growth opportunities we can embrace as students of the future!

The administrative professional should be considered one of a company’s most valued assets.

In the 21st Century let us change the view others have of our roles and the perception of the Administrative Profession – let’s gain our seat at the executive table and be welcomed there!

Debbie Gross, CEA, has over 20 years of experience in the administrative field. She joined Cisco Systems in March, 1991 as the executive assistant to John Chambers, then Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. As the company has grown from $1.2 billion in annual revenues to $46 billion, her responsibilities have grown together with Chambers’. In 1995, when Chambers became President and CEO, Debbie Gross assumed the lead role leading Cisco’s broad 1000+- person administrative team. Learn more about Debbie Gross.

See Debbie at The Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence this October. Learn more at The Resilient Assistant.


Like this article? Share it!

Scroll to Top

Join Our Administrative Community

Join a community of administrative professionals who have taken advantage of our free career development tools. You will receive FREE ACCESS to Webinars, Monday Motivators, Special Discounts, Email Announcements, and much more!
By filling out this form and clicking submit, I agree to receive emails from Office Dynamics International. You may unsubscribe at any time from the bottom of our emails.