What separates a satisfactory PA from an amazing one? An acceptable PA carries out their tasks to a high degree of competency, sure, but what gives a brilliant and successful PA that edge? If you want to ensure you are giving your all and really set the bar high for yourself and your profession, consider these points and see how you measure up.
A successful PA doesn’t wait to be told what to do, they predict what their executive will need or might need before they know themselves and gets on it. They will even think of things that their executive won’t. They basically become a second brain to that person, a second brain that is a step or two ahead of the main brain! If they run out of tasks (it happens occasionally) they will work on housekeeping, streamlining systems, getting head on projects, they are never idle. Of course, this synchronicity doesn’t happen overnight, in a new role it will take at least a few months to get to know the executive, the job and company, but a successful PA is proactive from day 1.
Of course, all human beings get sick occasionally, but a successful PA is nothing if not reliable. They will endeavor to get to work, on time, in rain, hail or snow and not let minor ailments get in their way. Reliability also means that their executive can trust them to do their job and they don’t have to worry or double-check they have everything they need because they know their PA won’t let them down. There is no question of confidentiality, it goes without saying that their PA is trustworthy.
The effective PA is comfortable with communicating with all stakeholders without a problem and knows which communication channels to use when and how to use them. They are not intimidated by the VIPs and treat all visitors and callers to the c-suite offices with the same respect and deference, regardless of their title or post.
The valuable PA knows everything about the executive, their goals, the company goals, strategy and values and even everything there is to know about the industry they are in. They can’t support their executive quite as efficiently without this knowledge. This means that the PA is one of the most valuable people in any organisation as they have the power to influence and impact the running of the company. Rather than just a support to their executive, they are, in their own right, a thought leader.
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