A great executive assistant can do all kinds of things, including fielding calls, taking notes, and managing your calendar like a pro Tetris player lines up blocks. But, to really ensure your time and attention is optimally managed, it helps if your EA is privy to parts of your life outside of work.
You must empower them to take up the role of your personal assistant and feel comfortable asking for tasks that may fall outside the bounds of the EA’s traditional responsibilities and be of a more personal nature.
Those “things” include researching how many airline points an executive needs to fly their father from Toronto to Cabo, first class, and then transfer the points into their father’s account. That twenty-minute exercise just gave you twenty minutes to talk to a client.
If you need new tires on your classic car, you could spend the time researching who can get that specific brand in stock, when, and then schedule a day and time around your workday to have them installed. Or you could provide the make, model, and year to your EA and let them handle it, knowing they will respect your calendar—or coordinate with your spouse to take the car in when it is convenient for them.
In these and so many other ways, your EA as personal assistant can save you plenty of time and potentially prevent you from dealing with aggravation. Below we explain how to make the most of your EA’s personal assistant superpowers.
Empower Your EA with Communication
The list of what your EA can do for you as a personal assistant is endless, but the benefits are often the same as they are in the more strictly professional realm: your assistant can save you time, energy, and aggravation. In essence, this role helps you live your best life! However, you do need to trust your EA quite a bit to empower them to take this role on.
Likewise, your EA must be on board with doing the personal work. Buy-in is necessary on both ends of the relationship, with clear appreciation from the principal for the EA’s willingness to take the reins and be that go-to person.
Outside of the tactical ways to empower your EA as a personal assistant, your best tool will be excellent, respectful communication. It is a matter of creating a rapport with your EA and making sure they feel appreciated for taking on what you’re asking them to do.
For more advice on partnering with your EA you can find The 29-Hour Work Day on Amazon.
Ethan Bull is a co-founder of ProAssisting, a next-generation remote executive assistance firm for business owners and C-suite executives. With a background in hospitality and expertise in the EA space, Ethan has held a variety of senior positions, including Director of Administrative Services and senior EA to the president and CEO at Rochester Regional Health.
Stephanie Bull is ProAssisting’s co-founder and the former EA for J. Crew’s CEO and the CEOs of two multibillion-dollar hedge funds. Before developing ProAssisting, Stephanie proved herself an expert in the field and a vital addition to the C-suite by fulfilling a variety of roles, including chief of staff, estate manager, and investment liaison.