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Building Leadership Qualities in an EA: Being Passionate about the business

Very Often, I come across EAs who share a specific concern of being under-utilized or being in a workplace that does not recognize their contribution to the business. Well, there are always two sides to the story and if one side is hurting, demotivating and non-appreciative, the other side is basically about your qualities not being visible for the respective leader to utilize or channelize them towards a productive output. Yes , as strange as it sounds, it is important that we need to demonstrate the capabilities in order for people to see them and recognize the value that you can contribute. Now, this is not a theatrical performance where you need to work hard on show-casing the skills but you also need one such component that will eventually help you grow as a leader in the organization and that would be Passion. The silver lining between those who work very hard and those who are passionate is the amount of dedication, accountability and tuning oneself to the organization’s goal strategy. Now, passion is not something that can be taught in a classroom or practiced on a field but is acquired though cultivating and nurturing it. Firstly, let us understand the role of passion in an EA’s Career. When your Executive gives you a few tasks, you are not only expected to complete them but also to perform value-driven delivery. Every Executive notices your delivery style which is the first key input that you are showcasing about yourself. Your college certificates or extra-curricular activities do not compliment your executive’s impression about your capabilities but your way of work certainly does. Hence, be very devout towards your work and daily responsibilities. Some Key observations for an EA to cultivate and nurture passion for their journey of being passionate for the business as below-

Avoid unproductive and irrelevant Chatter – Please use and spend your time wisely during your hours of work. Don’t give yourself to vain chatter but use the time to build yourself and equip yourself about the organization or learn more about the people. This is help you create a fair perspective of the business framework of the organization

Pay Attention to the deliverables: Do not just do the job given to you, but understand why it was given to you and what you learn from that particular task. Always question yourself as to what is the particle that you can add or delete to optimize that task. Most of the times you will notice that you can actually make a difference. Hence always be keen towards the expectation of the deliverables.

Understand the Big picture: When your executive gives you a task, for example to make a report, don’t just jump in and throw some Excel tips and tricks on the report. Firstly, the report has two things – the Input, which are the resources like Data, meeting notes, calls or other reference materials and then the Output – the message, perspective or conclusion of the report. Every Report says something that drives the business to make a conclusion based on the analysis made on it. Hence, it is good to understand the background, people of the respective domain, and the entire picture to be able to deliver the quality out of the reports.

Language of the Executive: A Thriving business always has a highly passionate leadership team who constantly review and align themselves to the requirement of the market. You, as an EA, have an access door to this realm since you are part of the meetings or other forms of communication. Hence, spend quality time in observing how they deal in situations, what is the energy they invest towards the product/s of the company and how seriously do they take customer complaints. The easiest place to learn a leader’s passion level is their response to a customer’s feedback and how serious is it taken into consideration. Learn this from them and understand their approach towards each and every feedback point.

Its all about Love: Yes, that’s true indeed! Passion is about loving what we do and what we have. A Passionate EA who loves the job and does anything given to him/her with a happy attitude is the best investment vehicle for any Executive. This is delivering a message that you are ready for the next level and you can perform under proper care and mentoring. You will notice that your executive keeps guiding you gradually and giving you inputs which you should learn to implement. This part of your career is the starting point of your journey to business leadership. You have to love what you are doing and give yourself completely to it and then you see exponential results.

Invest all the time and resources during your work hours in building yourself and aligning your goals to the organizational goals. Let me give you an example – Lets assume you are an EA reporting to the CEO of a manufacturing company, if you have the option of doing a ‘Nine to Five’ regular job or become into something meaningful for the business. You can do things like –

  1. What are the product/s that your company manufactures?

  2. Who are the competitors?

  3. Be updated with the Industry News from relevant news sources

  4. Listen carefully to your Executive during business reviews and understand. If you don’t write them down and google them and learn about them.

  5. Understand the Market and target audience and learn how a certain product reaches the customers?

You don’t have to worry a lot to move to a different business unit to do big things in your life. You can be an EA and still be doing all this and grow in your career. Always love your work and be very energetic towards your goals and above all, be highly passionate because it will accelerate your growth in the organization.

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