Behind every successful executive is a talented and hardworking executive assistant. These professionals perform some of the most comprehensive functions of a company, and finding an executive assistant recruiter who understands the needs and qualities needed can be invaluable. We recently interviewed Kelli Brandl, who has 25 years of experience as an EA and has worked with a large number of business owners and high-level executives with diverse personalities. Most importantly, personal assistants must develop positive relationships with their executives.
The best executive assistants are nice but tough. They know when to challenge the boss and when to accept. They know when to lighten their spirits and when to be serious. They are friendly with the boss without crossing borders.
Executives like these people and respect them. A star EA sees in advance what an executive needs and plans accordingly. Whether it's eating before a meeting, reports emailed to a client, whatever, you've seen the need and addressed it. But a rock star is already moving where you want to go. When I said an air traffic controller for your whole life, this is what I meant.
If your EA prioritizes the professional at the expense of the personal, it's not a rock star, at least not yet. Protecting my personal time allows me to maximize my professional time. An EA rock star knows that and helps me protect that time. First of all, what does an executive assistant do? That often depends on who the assistant works with, since no two executives have the same needs. However, whoever they work for, executive assistants provide high-level administrative and other support.
This can include communicating with customers, conducting research, providing receptionist services, and even carrying out personal due diligence. The key to good communication, in addition to success in many other aspects of the position, is emotional intelligence. An executive assistant who has good emotional intelligence knows how other people feel about paying attention to nonverbal cues. The assistant uses this information to adapt a message appropriately. Organizational skills are only useful when executive assistants also know how to manage their time. Your executive assistant should know how much time each task requires and quickly learn to adapt if your work style is different from what you're used to.
In addition, executive assistants must be disciplined when it comes to meeting their schedules, which means knowing how to avoid distractions and procrastination. Executives often rely on the help of assistants to address challenges that they don't have the time or bandwidth to solve. The work of an executive assistant is extremely dynamic; the best EAs tend to work in a fast-paced environment and are responsible for organizing numerous company operations, as well as supporting tasks for company leaders. The greatest quality of an executive assistant is her ability to speak and write in a clear, concise and positive way that creates a good image of the company and the executive it represents. You also have the opportunity to go one step further and hire a virtual executive assistant from MYVA360. A commitment to acquiring new skills and refining current ones will allow your executive assistant to keep up with your changing needs and support you in the long term. Although your executive assistant will mostly handle routine tasks, there will always be a few surprises.
Executive assistants who stay calm can make a big difference when there are serious problems to solve or tight deadlines to meet. When it comes to oral communication, the executive assistant must be confident in speaking and listening well, especially when listening to customer concerns or complaints. One of the men I advise recently hired an executive assistant and asked me if he could get help bringing his new team member on board. In addition, great executive assistants establish relationships with the executive's inner circle, including the boss's family and closest colleagues.
An executive assistant must also be able to decide priorities and change things as soon as something new comes up. An executive assistant who doesn't have the ability to prioritize tasks or who has a cluttered workspace isn't considered an efficient professional. Executive assistants handle sensitive information and sensitive situations, and discretion is a must.