Executive Assistant: The Gatekeeper And The Right-Hand Man
August 13, 2022
Who is an Executive Assistant?
Executive assistants provide high-level administrative assistance to the individual they are working for. Like administrative assistants or personal assistants, they also conduct clerical work. Although, they have higher levels of responsibilities to perform. Executive assistants are experts at knowing the top strategies for improving business efficiency and can quickly execute strategies that make a huge impact. By handling tasks like calendar and email management they can annihilate most of the immediate distractions that pull one away from more strategic work.
What does an Executive Assistant do?
An executive assistant is often called the ‘right hand’ of the person they work for because they handle everything from personal schedules to executive board meetings. They perform clerical tasks, like accepting and making phone calls, maintaining files, scheduling meetings, sending memos, reviewing incoming reports, and setting the executive’s daily schedule. They are also familiar with advanced computer software programs because they have to create and edit spreadsheets and keep track of expenditures. Another reason an executive assistant is known as the right-hand man is that they have the most extensive understanding of the needs of the executive and the operation of the clerical staff and also provide training to the new administrative assistants.
An executive assistant is also called a ‘gatekeeper.’
It is because they control what phone calls go through to the executive, and the status of the meetings, meaning which meeting is scheduled, rescheduled or cancelled. Sometimes, an executive assistant may have one or more assistants working for them to help them with the workload.
An Executive Assistant works as a crucial strategic partner and forehandedly seek ways to improve the organization. They are closely involved with many day-to-day details, which makes them peculiarly equipped to know where the sore points are and where the opportunities for improvement lie.
Executive Assistants discover what is going on in an organization before anyone else. They are usually present in every key meeting of the organization, offer consultation on critical decisions, and collaborate with multiple teams and even partner companies.
Most Executive Assistants are ready and willing to help out when duty calls. However, learning never stops for an executive assistant as they learn continually from the boss, from other teams they collab with, or by solving problems and handling projects. Since executive assistants usually engage with people, they frequently find themselves in positions where they have to boost the morale of people across the organization and also assist their subordinates to solve a problem that is holding them back.
Executive assistants also have a knack for anticipating their executive’s wants. They usually perform obligatory duties and tasks without having to be asked. The high-level executives do not have the required time to handle all the details of a given situation, and this is precisely the area where the executive assistant takes action.
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