• Assistants as Leaders

    I have recently been thinking about the attributes I admire in people as leaders.  For me the leaders that come to mind display a a self-awareness and open-mindedness to new ideas and opportunities.  They also care about the people around them.

    Dale Carnegie Training lists the following as the top 10 qualities of an outstanding leader:

    1. Leadership by Example – serving as an example for others.
    2. Visionary – providing a sense of direction for others.
    3. Strong Communicator – listening and considering as well as speaking.
    4. Trustworthy- behaving in a consistent, highly ethical, and fair manner.
    5. Calm – staying cool under pressure, especially when things go wrong.
    6. Open Minded – inviting constructive dissent or disagreements.
    7. Professional – being respectable both at work and in their private lives.
    8. Clear Thinking – simplifying things to maximize understanding and minimize confusion.
    9. Nurturing – showing respect for all people, their opinions, and their capacity to achieve important results.
    10. Supportive- helping others build on their strengths and showing appreciation.

    I’d add an 11th quality of integrity to this list also.

    But then I think about the qualities of an effective high level assistant and guess what interestingly, but I guess on many levels not surprising, so many of these are the same as the qualities of an outstanding leader.

    As an assistant you need to be professional, open-minded, calm, a strong communicator, display clear thinking, and definitely stay clam, be trustworthy, nurturing and supportive.   So many senior roles explicitly list leadership as a key part of that role, be it with or without staff management responsibilities.

    Richard Arnott, Director of Business Management Training Group, in Executive Secretary talks about assistants understanding the business strategy, the wider business issues, effectiveness and efficiency, problem solver, rigorous planner and an influencer.

    My challenge to you in administrative roles is to be a leader in your organisation, understand your business, innovate and provide a supportive environment for all people you encounter in your day.

    Leadership is something you assume, not something you wait for someone to give you…

    I will be running a one day training event on this topic in October – email me to register your interest.

    July 18, 2016 / Sherie Pointon / 1

    Categories: Admin Musings

    One thought on “Assistants as Leaders

    • Robyn says:

      Leadership by example I think is the most important of those qualities. I’ve worked for a number of managers who talked too much about leading by example but never did it. Credibility as a leader is so important. I like to sit back and watch how managers quietly go about being great leaders.

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