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Supporting an acting President

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Question: I am an Executive Assistant who works for a small non-for profit organization (65 employees). We had a CEO who was recently asked to resign (November). We have six Directors and one was asked to be Interim President & CEO while a search firm conducts a search for a new president.

The Acting President, whom I am supposed to be an assistant to, will not include me in any information. It appears that everything is a secret. I can't help if I don't know what is going on. I spend my days doing research for her department and not any Executive Assistant duties. My concern is: When they hire a permanent President, I will not be able to support and help him because I won't know what has happened in the past six months.

Please give me some advice on how to address this issue.  -- Anonymous


Communication, communication, communication. Tell the interim president what you wrote here. Be polite but firm. Explain it again if necessary. Let her know of your legitimate concerns, and that you are sincerely wanting to be of help to her, as well as the incoming CEO. Let her know you support her. Could this lady be wanting the new CEO position herself? That could explain her actions and the secretiveness.

I agree with Diana. Be open and address the issues and your needs. Very often the person in the acting role is the one who is hired so make those changes now when you are more free to do so. Good luck.

Me. too. Talk to your boss first. Your boss may be a schemer, or she may be insecure & afraid that you aren't loyal to her. If that doesn't work, talk to your personnel department Not knowing anything about your boss could lead to negative performance review for you & hinder your chances for promotion. Also, administrative professionals tend to know everything that is going on in the organization. Can you tap this resource & make it work for you?

First don't jump to conclusions. I was in a similiar situation when my company went through a merger. I was completely out of the loop. Policies and procedures were changing and I knew nothing about it. It was as if my boss was intentionally keeping me in the dark. It turned out he just didn't realize what he was or rather was not doing. It never occured to him that I would take his lack of communication the way that I did. I do believe that you should speak to the interim President. There could be a number of reasons why you aren't informed. For instance, this is a new position with alot of weighty responsibilities. She probably has a lot on her plate and simply doesn't know how to handle them. Don't assume she's being secretive. Speak to her and let her know that you're available to assist her in anyway possible.

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