Posted: Thursday 3 December 2009
If you serve as any type of administrative assistant, you may not realize how important it is to develop your leadership skills. After all, most of your best work is likely done partially or entirely behind the scenes. However, in reality, your leadership abilities are vital to your success - even if you work in a virtual capacity and enter the office seldom or never. Leadership is more than inspiring people. It is also all about getting things done effectively. As a result, good leadership skills will make your role as an administrative assistant far more rewarding and fulfilling.
When it comes to admin positions, much of your role probably involves negotiations. Just because you are not on the front lines "duking it out" with competitors and vendors does not mean you are not critical to the success of these meetings. You must take a firm but helpful tone when it comes to setting up meeting times and making sure that people are where they need to be. This not only means getting your boss in place, but it also means setting the tone when you set meetings with other people. If they have had a positive experience working with your company through you before they ever encounter your superiors, then the meetings are certain to progress more smoothly. You might want to work with your boss to establish the tone that they would like you to set when you are making appointments so that the two of you are working together from the start to accomplish business goals.
In addition to being the first point of contact for clients and potential clients, you will also likely be involved in a fair amount of supervision and delegation - even if those words are nowhere in your job description. Strong leadership skills will help you get people where they need to be on time and enable you to get results when you request information or assistance from other people in your business network. Being able to elicit aid in a way that actually gets the response that you need is a key leadership skill for any admin position.
Finally, whether you realize it or not, your involvement in the basic organization of the business sets you up as a mentor and role model to other members of your office. You probably know that you know more about running the business and how things work than a lot of other employees. Using this information in a helpful fashion to enable others to succeed with you is one of the best ways to use your leadership skills to benefit the entire business.