The executive assistant is a key person for the success of a business leader. But what is her mission exactly? And what qualities are required to carry out this function effectively?
A facilitator with leadership
The primary task of the executive assistant is to facilitate the daily work of the president. She saves him valuable time by managing his schedule and performing his administrative tasks.
More importantly, “she has to be fully involved in the work of her manager,” says Valérie Puglisi, assistant to the president of FXinnovation.
A true right hand person, she has full knowledge and understanding of his files, and is proactive to prevent emergencies. “I see myself as a facilitator, with lots of leadership,” says Valérie.
A communicator with good interpersonal relationship skills
A president has to be able to concentrate on his high-added-value tasks. That is why the assistant filters communication intended for him. She must quickly identify the levels of urgency, and relay the information to him in a timely manner.
The point of contact for the business executive, she must offer excellent customer service, because the human aspect of the job is important, according to Valérie. This includes strong interpersonal skills, impeccable presentation and a very good level of language, in French and English.
The executive assistant also is very familiar with the workings of the organization and the people who make it up. She is the voice of the president to managers and employees, and makes sure that his messages are correctly transmitted.
A trustworthy person who can be relied upon
The executive assistant is also distinguished by her discretion. She often has knowledge of confidential files and must deal with the president’s private life. She is also a loyal person, who takes on the decisions made by her manager.
Diligent and reliable, the assistant does not allow herself to be overwhelmed by her tasks and knows how to manage her stress. This position also involves being readily available in the face of unexpected events that punctuate the agenda of a company executive.
Endowed with emotional intelligence, she identifies the way of functioning and thinking of the president she supports. “For an effective working relationship, it is essential that the personalities of the assistant and the executive are compatible,” Valérie concludes.
The executive assistant therefore combines many skills and personal qualities. In short, she is a real rare find seeking a president anxious to carry out his affairs serenely!