The following is an excerpt from Who Took My Pen ... Again? written by administrative expert, speaker and coach Joan Burge along with Nancy Fraze, CEAP, CWCA and Jasmine Freeman, CEAP, CWCA, chief executive assistant to Burge at Office Dynamics. The book started as a project at the Office Dynamics conference last September where 240 administrative assistants contributed ideas and created the title of the book. It is excerpted from the chapter on leadership.
Administrative professionals and executive assistants often see themselves in their support roles as being "nonleaders.”
Nothing, however, could be further from the truth! You may not be the CEO or VP, but you are a leader. A senior-level human resources associate once said something profound: She said it was the administrator's job to make the job important.
Each administrator in your organization needs to raise her sights to elevate the career so that she, and others who follow, can grow and become better in their skills.
Start here with The Advanced Admin: Professional Skills Workshop
Leading is investing; you can lead others by investing in them. Help them learn to do better by having the skills and confidence to do better. If everyone waits for someone else to lead, no one will dance! So, rather than wait for someone in your organization to form that committee, write that newsletter, research a new training course, lead by example and begin to do just that.
You can develop your lead by reading books, blogs and training your mind to think strategically; look for initiatives you care about, learn to develop solutions for them, and then implement them.
1. Problem solve. Leaders bring solutions to the table; everyone else brings problems, hoping a leader will develop a solution.
2. Create calm out of chaos. Keeping calm and carrying on means you will not succumb to the chaos and confusion around you.
3. Be results-driven. Successful leaders do not think, "What are the tasks I have to do today?” They think, "What are the results I have to achieve?” Their tasks then become the vehicles for arriving at their destination.
The Advanced Admin: Professional Skills Workshop is designed to assist you, the advanced administrative professional, with perfecting your skills so you continue to excel. Even if you weren't able to attend last month's event, don't worry, we've reserved a recording of the webinar for you. Claim yours here.
4. Inspire creativity in others. Leaders inspire others around them to be creative. They make safe environments for people to unleash their potential, unleash their creativity and take their problem-solving skills completely off the hook.
Leaders promote brainstorming without judgment, creative environments, and latitude to look at problems as opportunities. Leaders embrace the creativity in others.
5. Have the courage to be the best. Leaders develop courage so they can have the stamina to go the distance and continue to be leaders, day after day. It is not a title; leadership is a way of life. Be your authentic self and live within your means. Be open to learn. Stay mentally nimble at all times. Seek knowledge. Look for the "raft experience.” Fans of river rafting love the thrills and chills! So look for the raft experience today.
Paddle your own canoe. Don't let life "happen” to you. Get out your oar and paddle your canoe toward excitement and the goals you dream about. Don't just float in the boat of life. Paddle!
6. Encourage excellence (not perfection). Perfection is a lovely ideal—and certainly helps us determine how high to raise the bar. But it's often not attainable, and that can rob an individual of enthusiasm. By contrast, excellence is a healthy goal—one that can be worked toward every day.
With The Advanced Admin: Professional Skills Workshop, you'll better understand why learning, practicing and perfecting the following skills can propel you forward in the profession:
The Advanced Admin: Professional Skills Workshop will leave you equipped to be a leader in your company and a partner with your supervisors. We'll also give you a valuable list of resources for administrative professionals to use as you strive to become an expert in your field.
- Managing up effectively
- Overcoming the five dysfunctions of a team
- Understanding interpersonal relationships
- Being assertive rather than aggressive
- Identifying and managing work styles and behaviors
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