To Chiefs of Staff and Executive Assistants
AN UNPARALLELED OPPORTUNITY FOR THOSE WHO EMBRACE CHANGE
Management consultant Peter Drucker writes that, "we have entered an age in which the jobs on the horizon will require continuous learning and willingness to change."
In such an environment, you no longer "hold on to" a job, you relentlessly prepare yourself for an ever-wider range of opportunities. Significant rewards await those with the courage to live their career vision.
Critically-positioned Chiefs of Staff and Executive Assistants will play a central role in shepherding key players through the pains and opportunities of the ongoing business information revolution. And in a lean budget era when training funds are often minimal (or even nonexistent), we will become a vital resource for top executives who will be expected to accomplish more with smaller staffs.
As a result of our own willingness to constantly ask ourselves how we can better adapt to new situations, we will find that "executive decisions" are often, at least in part, "administrative decisions" as well.
But that opportunity will come at a cost. In today's business environment, we will have to take charge of our own development if we want to expand or keep up. It is not enough simply to deepen the skills we currently have. We must keep a watchful eye on our ability to adapt and make contributions in new areas, areas we may not yet know much about. If we commit to becoming part of that group, we will find that we are able to help key team members during both crisis and opportunity. Make these the best of times!
To shape public perception and dismiss the fundamental disconnect that exists in defining the role of Chief of Staff/Executive Assistant, we must have the courage of our conviction to support expansion in the role.
Building a culture of competence requires clearly articulating expected standards of performance.
This is an intellectual adventure.
Dag Hammarskjold tells us, "Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.” Are you ready for higher levels of responsibility? The choice is yours."
-Melba J. Duncan