The Assistant as a Leadership Ambassador
Over the last decade, leadership styles and strategic approaches are moving beyond authoritative direction to a more collaborative approach that empowers and engages employees.
Company cultures are turning towards a softer approach to influence team engagement, wellbeing, and align corporate vision, whilst sustaining the delivery of commercial results. An assistant’s pivotal role between staff and executives offers the opportunity for them to act as an intermediary to deliver company success through the leadership of their executive; a leadership ambassador.
Throughout their careers, leaders cultivate expertise in leadership as a fundamental skill. And although these styles are evolving with the workforce, the core nature of leadership remains the same; team management, engagement, direction, and ownership over the final result.
In these workplace changes, an effective assistant now acquires the ability to deliver purposeful internal influence, alongside administrative and secretarial elements of the role. The assistant’s position has grown into a forward-thinking intermediary between the executive and changing company culture. This means that the assistant can integrate their executive’s needs with company culture through maintaining an approachable, relevant, and diplomatic position when delivering leadership initiatives.
As the workplace adapts to the influence of a new generation, management styles are increasingly favoured to influence over instruction to drive commercial success. To obtain these core fundamentals of professional practice, leaders must place emphasis on teamwork, which is now attributed to the inspirational ability to drive innovation and company-wide agility through collaboration. This change brings new challenges to executives including capacity, capability, and new modes of communication to ensure that accountability is not diluted, and individuals still hold authority within their projects. A leadership dynamic like this requires a strategic assistant that understands the emotional intelligence now associated with the position to achieve overarching business goals.
By nature, the role of an assistant is to complement the capabilities of an executive.
Fundamentally, an assistant should be an intuitive orator with a natural aptitude for versatile communication styles, which are enhanced through steadfast administrative capabilities, which provides strong foundations for the executive to thrive.
In these new modes of working, the combination of the leader’s intent and the assistant’s pragmatic skill set offers an organic platform to satisfy the universal needs of a business, including sustaining a positive modern culture, whilst achieving commercial success. Executives are empowered to take deliberate action on utilising their assistant’s existing talents, such as acting as their ambassador within a corporate environment. In doing so, effective communication across the company becomes attainable through honing top-level intention with adaptable delivery that can be tailored to recipients, without draining on the executive’s resource, but utilising their assistant’s skill set.
The assistant becomes an executive’s secondary representation of values and if encouraged, has the aptitude to energise work forces through investigative skills, and ultimately act as a leadership ambassador. An example opportunity for executives to involve their assistant in practising influence over instruction would be through managing the company’s internal audit. Traditionally, this task is aligned with HR, however the assistant is usually the closest to both the executive, the decision maker, and the team. Due to the natural relationship that Assistants have with each department, an Assistant can leverage their position as a communicator between each party. This method retains hierarchy, authority, and discretion, whilst integrating an alternative leadership style reliant on emotional intelligence and overall delivery of success to a more efficient means.
First and foremost, the foundation of this is the trusted representation of executives by assistants. assistants organically obtain emotional intelligence, that can then be developed to facilitate and encourage a collective approach within the work environment, once aligned to the executive’s needs. The communication style of an Assistant not only endorses growth-mindset culture but opens the channel for company transparency providing a progressive leadership approach for executives. Whether executives are seeking to explore company culture or identify beneficial improvements within company processes, that require increased communication, an effective Assistant can deliver intrigue and awareness of internal processes and can help assimilate these to company vision and values.
If executives strive for a workforce that can boast company ambassadors at all levels, facilitating communication through an assistant creates a personable sense of belonging beyond employment and can improve company culture by encouraging co-creation.