Things Assistants Do That Executives Appreciate

I am very fortunate in that I get to read fabulous letters from executives touting the behavior changes they see in their executive or administrative assistants after attending our Star Achievement Series® course. I love reading these letters as 1) I see the training we provided truly worked, but more importantly, 2) I learn what executives appreciate—what executives look for in an assistant—and what executives value and observe.


Recently I have read more than 40 executive letters. These executive letters are one of the requirements for a Star Achievement Series® participant to receive their CEAP (Certified Executive Administrative Professional) designation.




(Watch Joan present the top 12 during her Facebook Friday video, 12/7/2018)

Ask yourself the following questions then compare it to the bulleted list below:

  1. Do I do this for my executive?
  2. If you answered “yes” to #1, ask yourself, “How often do I do this?” (This is an important question.)
  3. If you answered “no” to #1, then you might want to incorporate this behavior or habit into your routine.
  • Very aware of organizational priorities
  • Asks me key questions so I can better prepare for my meetings
  • More confidence when addressing conflict in a way that leverages relationships
  • Cultivates professional networks that help us accomplish our goals
  • Speaks up in my team meetings and has brought additional insights into our group forums that are highly valued
  • Open to feedback—productive and enjoyable
  • Takes the initiative and has the comfort level to proactively review documents in preparation for my meetings
  • Reviews my inbox for information that is timely and necessary
  • Truly wants to understand the business for her own learning to better engage and to help me get in front of things
  • More actively takes on a leadership role
  • Ensures we have clarity on meeting objectives, participating actively to ensure we make decisions, and leaving the door open for all participants to weigh in
  • More focus on prompting leaders to ensure critical team meetings occur
  • Increased confidence: more vocal, more influential, and exudes a stronger presence with those she works with
  • Has become more inquisitive on my expectations, allowing both of us to think more strategically on where I spend my time and how we approach projects
  • Seeks me out to make sure we are on the same page regarding topics ranging from scheduling to organizational strategy
  • 100% accountable for his (the assistant) actions
  • Chooses the right medium of communication for impact
  • Actively prioritizes around critical deliverables and is always available and flexible
  • Communicates effectively while resolving problems with little to no direction from me
  • Proactive in selecting work that was better suited for her and me, so that both of us were more successful
  • Stands up for herself more often so that others do not take advantage of her accommodating personality
  • Always proactively planning for me thus reducing my set up and pre-coordination time of events
  • Ability to roll with the punches
  • Big picture thinker, looking for opportunities for us to gain efficiency and share best practices
  • Addresses his workload with a greater degree of proficiency and efficiency
  • My assistant looks at my calendar weeks away and helps me think about the time needed to complete projects or get ready for presentations
  • After meetings, my assistant follows up with me to see what “to do” I have from the meeting, if I need a follow-up meeting or if I need to send a recap of the meeting to attendees. This proactive thinking helps me stay ahead.
  • Leverages technology to help me stay organized
  • Relentless enthusiasm and truly wants to make a difference
  • Taken on the task of creating presentations for me or the team
  • Consciously adjusts communication style when addressing various leaders
  • Motivates and encourages peers
  • Manages peace and harmony; dealing with constant distractions daily
  • Takes networking skills very seriously, encouraging teamwork and collaboration throughout our organization
  • Completes assignments quickly and accurately
  • Takes the initiative to converse with me about the expectations and objectives and (she) will give regular feedback on how she is progressing
  • Helps me more with my exchanges of information with my peers
  • Leans in to better understand the whys behind decisions
  • Shows an eagerness to take on stretch assignments
  • Proactively solves problems
  • Appropriately assertive
  • Enables my success by staying two steps ahead
  • Proactively puts together documents for upcoming meetings
  • Takes swift action when given a deliverable
  • Effectively manages my calendar with efficiency in mind
  • Collaborates and communicates with the team without specific direction from me
  • Solution-oriented in gathering information or data for an upcoming deliverable
  • (more) Strategic: developing more long-term and process planning to better support the overall operations, team and his actual role

The Star Achievement Series® is the most comprehensive live training course for administrative and executive assistants. This course is only taught onsite. We offer several options ranging from our trainers coming onsite to having your staff certified to teach the program. If you are interested in learning more about this robust program, you can all 800-STAR-139 or visit

Training for Executive and Administrative Assistants

Learn the secrets to being an amazing assistant who “Wows!” executives. Six Sessions, 72 minutes total. INCLUDES worksheets for each session.


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