Today’s office manager is tasked with the provision of high level administrative support. While today’s CEO is busy out of office, his or her eff ectiveness is determined by the level of those running the office, the key player being the Executive Assistant.
Managing Director of ABM University College, Daisy Molefhi says that competent Executive Assistants (EAs) are people who pull things together in organisations, they keep things moving and make things happen. Molefhi said this addressing a Business Botswana Office Managers Convention last week. “They are the backbone of their organizations. They are often most trusted confidante to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer). Indeed they are often the CEOs first line of offense and last line of defense,” she said. She said with its fast pace, today’s business environment places great pressure on the EA’s office. “This is so because while it would seem the pressure is on the CEO, in reality both the CEO and the Executive Assistant are co-pilots of the plane, being the business enterprise. It is within this background that today’s Executive Assistant must be more equipped, more versatile, even more confident than those of yester years whose task was more clerical,” she advised.
Molefhi pointed out that EAs therefore have to continuously engage in personal development to keep pace with the highly competitive work environment, noting that failure to do so could be disastrous. She said; “Today’s office manager is tasked with the provision of high level administrative support. While today’s CEO is busy out of office, his or her effectiveness is determined by the level of those running the office, the key player being the Executive Assistant; The collective efforts resulting in a very dynamic highly successful organization.”
The businesswoman highlighted that the role of the EA adjusts with every new innovation in technology, shift in business strategy or even change in the global economy, “Thus today’s Executive Assistant must be very adaptable. Thus, the need to continuously connect through such platforms as this convention to network and to be up-to-date with trends.”
She reiterated the importance of EAs having the desire to learn, emphasizing the importance of maintaining one’s self esteem, which she said is an important attribute. “While this job of scheduling and gate keeping might seem thankless as you are not seen out there, this role highly impacts the corporate world,” Molefhi said.