Executive Assistants in a modern organisation will work with and support high-level and C-level executives. This means that they need to influence varying levels of stakeholders around them. Influencing these stakeholders may include delegating tasks to individuals, which requires Leadership. The role often requires a strong presence when dealing with often difficult people, which again will need Leadership.
This means that Executive Assistants will require Leadership skills to succeed in their jobs. Leadership is something which is often misunderstood. Therefore, we need to review what exactly Leadership is.
What is Leadership?
Leadership is not the same as management. Managers possess power, provided when they gain the job title of manager. People working for them will do tasks because they must do things for their managers. They often use the organisational chart and their power through this hierarchical system to get things done. They can rely on authority to ensure that they can delegate to the team and that the team delivers the tasks.
A leader can influence people to change their views and potentially get them to do things for them. This could mean delegation or convincing them to change their opinions. If you are using Leadership skills, you will achieve your goals without relying on authority. This is because they have strong influencing and communication skills.
Leadership is an important skill for an Executive Assistant
For Executive Assistants, your leadership skills often mean you can get things done daily only by entering leadership. People who could tell you no and push back will likely be easier to overcome with your leadership skills. You sometimes delegate on behalf of a powerful manager, but at times, you have to get things done with your own influencing skills. This is why Executive Assistants aspiring to the highest level roles must consider their soft skills and gain one of the most challenging leadership skills.
Another time when you walk, you often find yourself using leadership skills is when you are forced to say no or push back. Managing upwards is one of the most difficult things for an executive assistant.
We offer some advanced executive assistant training focusing on advanced executive courses in personal effectiveness, communication negotiation, and managing a team for executive assistants who may supervise administrators and have similar roles. These skills are difficult to master, and it’s important that when you learn them, you put them into practice to make them particularly compelling.
Do not underestimate the value of good leadership skills. If you cast your mind back through the various jobs that you may have had, you may have noticed that some of your managers lack them. You will commonly find people in management positions lacking leadership skills. Often, managers lacking leadership skills can be the most out of place and uncomfortable in management. Leadership is an important skill for an executive assistant just as much as for managers. Managers can rely on power, but Executive Assistants cannot always rely on this. This is a skill not be underestimated, it is very difficult to develop.