What Executive Assistants Know About Managing Up

Lauren Krause
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Executive assistants have specific, vital and tricky roles within a company. An employee in this position anticipates an executive's work, helps run day-to-day operations and tends to the boss's every need at work. However, the role of an assistant also means managing up to collaborate with other departments, become knowledgeable about vital employees and use your expertise to make the company an overall success.

Nicole Torres, writing of Harvard Business Review, inspects several ways executive assistants master managing up through constant communication, creating business relationships and driving to continuously improve. An executive-level assistant does more than manage a CEO's life at the office. This person helps manage the people who enter the office, achieves goals set forth by the boss and learns how and when to take the initiative.

Managing up refers to the ability of someone to go above and beyond basic assigned tasks to enhance an executive's work. The concept involves making a CEO's job productive and more efficient by ensuring day-to-day work is easier to handle. Managing up simply means to edify an executive to make that person the best possible CEO or president for your company.

The best assistants rely on collaboration to get things done. If a report is due to the executive's desk in two weeks, the assistant gently reminds managers and bosses lower down the chain to have documentation ready. If the big boss schedules a meeting, an assistant ensures everyone attends. The key to this collaboration comes from effective communication, both with the executive and with personnel in many departments.

Assistants have a dual, and more complicated, role as someone who takes care of another person's life while managing up at the same time. Non-assistants may simply worry about enhancing work for their own possible promotion, but an executive's right-hand assistant cannot let personal ambitions get in the way of running the day-to-day operations of the office. This type of role includes strategic management and creating relationships vital to the executive. Such a specialized role needs careful judgment, anticipation and assessment of one person's needs while noting the priorities of other departments at the same time. Personal ambitions offer great motivational tools for promotions, but they may stifle an assistant's ability to do an effective job if someone is more worried about getting a promotion to another department. The work should be its own reward that leads to better positions down the road.

A CEO's assistant has the enviable task of administering to a group of people who want to have the executive's time and attention versus simply focusing on a sole person. The first person someone sees when entering a CEO's office is his or her assistant, which makes this a vital role at any large company.

Managing up for high-level assistants becomes second nature after hard work, dedication and drive to accomplish specific goals. Becoming a CEO's go-to person is as fulfilling as the salary that comes with the job. When you learn the intricacies of this position, you become indispensable to your company.


Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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