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Turbocharge your partnership with the boss

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in Admins,Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Management Training,Office Management

Admin Brooke Wiseman knew that administrative professionals in her company weren’t being used in the most productive ways. For example, some shared the same title but had wide variations in duties.

So Wiseman, executive associate to the CEO of Daiichi Sankyo, spent a year crafting an idea that became a two-part training program, called the Power of Partnerships Program and Monthly Roundtables. The first is a team-based training program; the second, structured cross-functionally.
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“It was no small task,” she says.

Her goal was to bring more value to the company by turbocharging the partnerships between executives and their assistants. Here’s how she did it:

Start with a clear, explainable vision. “I had a vision for administrative professionals and how they could add value to each other, their managers and the organization,” Wiseman says.

“At the time, I didn’t know what the return on investment would be. But I did have to meet before the executive committee twice to tell them what my vision would bring the company.”

Be relentless in gathering facts. Wiseman met with fellow admins, saying, “Tell me about the partnership between you and your manager, about how you add value.” She says, “People didn’t even know how to answer.”
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Next she met with two staff-placement agencies to find out how other companies develop administrative professionals. Finally, she asked management how they partnered with their assistants.

“Most executives don’t know how to have a partnership. They’re busy, and it’s simply not at the top of their priority list,” she says. “Management really needs to be taught and trained.”

Make use of mentors. Example: One of Wiseman’s mentors was the head of corporate affairs. “A big part of what I did was communication,” she says, “so you can see how her help would be a benefit to me.”

Model best-leadership practices. “We have a mission, meeting protocols, agendas and rotating leadership” at monthly roundtable meetings, Wiseman says. “You’ve heard how assistants can get a bad name from getting together and complaining a lot, right? That’s never happened at our meetings.

"Why? Because we work it out in a productive way. Everyone can think, look how admins are making a difference in the workplace.”
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