Business Articles

Executive Assistants For A CEO

Jason Hreha
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January 31, 2023
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As a CEO, it’s important to understand that you can’t do everything yourself. Delegating tasks to an assistant can free up time for important responsibilities. An executive assistant can keep their CEO organized and help them to prioritize time effectively.

Executive Assistants For A CEO

The Easiest Way For CEOs to Save Time And Become More Productive

Being a successful CEO requires a balancing act between taking charge and knowing when to delegate. Recognizing the importance of delegation and avoiding the tendency to take on too much is crucial. This is where Executive Assistants can play a significant role in ensuring a CEO’s success.

Executive Assistants can provide invaluable support by keeping the CEO organized, prioritizing their time, and managing their resources efficiently. By delegating tasks to a trusted assistant, CEOs can free up their time to focus on high-level responsibilities and strategic decision-making. This can not only lead to increased productivity, but also allow the CEO to be more proactive and effective in their role.

The Real Cost of Time for an Executive Team

Take the example of a CEO on a salary of $400,000 working 60 hours per week. A minute of their time is worth about $2. Take, for instance, they spend three hours per day on tasks that do not need direct CEO oversight; over a year this costs the organization $93,600.

Running a company is demanding. When faced with competing pressures, it’s common for executives to get caught up in a teeming inbox or administrative support tasks. This constant state of firefighting can distract a leader’s attention away from bigger issues. Leaders should master their time and prioritize the most important things for company growth: strategic planning, innovation and setting direction.  

How do CEOs manage time?

There are several strategies that CEOs use to save time and increase their productivity:

1. Work with an executive assistant

The Chief Executive Officer of every company always has something “more important to do,” so there are an endless number of tasks an executive assistant can take off their plate.

2. Automate tasks

There are many tools and technologies available that can help to automate routine tasks, such as scheduling meetings and managing emails.

3. Set clear goals and priorities

It’s important for CEOs to have a clear understanding of what they want to accomplish to grow their company. Prioritizing these goals will help to ensure that they are using their time efficiently and effectively.

4. Set boundaries

It’s important to set limits for time spent on work-related tasks. This can help to prevent burnout and reserve time for other important aspects of life, such as family and personal hobbies.

5. Time management tools

There are many tools available, such as calendars, meeting scheduling apps and project management software, that can help you keep track of tasks and deadlines.

What Is An Executive Assistant?

An executive assistant is a high-level administrative professional responsible for providing comprehensive support to executives, such as the CEO of an organization. In addition to the general responsibilities of an executive assistant, the assistant to a CEO plays a crucial role in managing the CEO’s time, serving as a gatekeeper, and handling a wide range of sensitive and confidential information.

The assistant to a CEO must be able to anticipate the CEO’s needs and priorities, proactively manage their calendar, and ensure that their time is used effectively. They may also be responsible for coordinating meetings and travel arrangements, drafting and editing reports and correspondence, managing communication with other executives, and handling other administrative tasks as needed.

In addition to administrative support, the assistant to a CEO may also serve as a sounding board for the CEO, offering advice and feedback on various business issues. They may also act as a liaison between the CEO and other executives, employees, clients, and external stakeholders, representing the CEO’s interests and communicating their decisions and directives.

A good executive assistant is a critical member of the CEO’s team, helping to manage their workload and ensure that they are able to focus on their core responsibilities.

What Does An Executive Assistant Do?

An executive assistant plays a crucial role in providing support to high-level executives in an organization. They manage calendars, handle all forms of communication, maintain records, conduct research, handle administrative tasks, coordinate events, and serve as a liaison between their executive and other stakeholders. By taking care of many of the administrative tasks that might otherwise distract from primary responsibilities, executive assistants help an executive team be as productive and efficient as possible.

1. Business operations

Executive assistants can organize and improve internal business processes and standard operating procedures. They can also manage administrative tasks such as data entry, analysis and expense reporting.

2. Marketing and social media management

An executive assistant can create and schedule social media posts on top platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, monitor engagement metrics, respond to comments, help grow overall digital marketing presence.

3. Calendar management 

An assistant to the CEO can schedule meetings, send and receive invitations, coordinate with other parties and manage diary conflicts.

4. Communications

A great assistant will filter unnecessary messages, take phone calls, send documents and routine correspondence.

5. Administrative tasks

An executive assistant can order office supplies, process invoices, take meeting minutes, prepare documents and reports. This can also include personal tasks for the director, such as arranging travel or buying gifts.

6. Project management and research 

Project assistants can track project progress, carry out research and follow-up on deliverables.

7. Team support

An administrative assistant to the CEO can also support other executives, board members and office staff across the organization, contributing to the whole team’s performance.

How can executive assistants make CEOs more productive?

Unlike money, you can’t make more time by attracting investors or taking out a loan. That said, we can optimize what we already have. Working with an executive assistant is a good way to reallocate time for the most important things. A great administrative assistant filters out the noise, so the executive can focus on higher-level responsibilities. Top executive assistants actively seek to improve processes and streamline workflows, which can save time and money for the whole company.

Additionally, an executive assistant can help to reduce stress and improve overall productivity by enabling executives to divide and conquer projects, rather than trying to do everything themselves. By sharing the workload, a CEO is prepared for the most important tasks and has headspace for strategic thinking.

Working with an assistant is an important partnership. For the CEO, it means learning the art of delegation. For executive assistants, it is about having a deep understanding of the company culture, industry and preferences of their manager. Overtime, they become a liaison between the CEO and the wider organization.

What skills make an outstanding executive assistant?

Good administrative assistants get the job done. Outstanding assistants go above and beyond what is expected; they actively seek ways to free-up time for the CEO and become their strategic partner.

The best executive assistants should be proactive and ready to assume responsibilities outside their job description; they should be open to learning new skills or starting new projects. In addition to being organized, an exceptional executive assistant should be great at problem solving, critical thinking and have excellent communication skills. Furthermore, they can read into complex situations and act with sureness.

However, these skills are not easy to find. It’s challenging to assess a candidate’s ability from their resume or high school diploma. Besides, previous career experience does not guarantee future performance. What matters more is aptitude and potential.

Typically, people misunderstand how to find great candidates when recruiting for an assistant position. A lot of companies recruit based off job history and educational requirements, such as bachelor’s degree or master’s degree. This approach doesn’t evaluate personality or soft skills, which are essential for the collaborative relationship between a CEO and their assistant.

We take a different approach to hiring executive assistants. At Persona, we believe that you need to understand a person and what makes them tick. We look at a multitude of different factors to find well-rounded, talented people to become superb executive assistants. Our meticulous vetting process utilizes many different tools to assess personality traits and skills, allowing us to understand our applicants on a deeper level. Since we began as a startup, we’ve helped companies fill numerous jobs with talented people.

How Our Virtual Executive Assistant Service Works

We provide world-class executive assistant support for all types of companies, including tech startups, non-profits, real estate, professional services, financial services, and more. We serve executives and CEOs across the U.S.—in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Austin, Miami and New York—and internationally.

If you’re a startup founder, entrepreneur, business owner, or senior management executive of any kind, you can try one for a month or two and see how you like it (no matter what time zone you’re in!). 

Here’s how to get started with us: 

Step 1: Complete our form to let us know your needs. 

Step 2: If you’re a good fit, we’ll set up a call to discuss our service with you.

Step 3: Our team will hand pick your own assistants who we think will be a great fit for you based on your needs and business hours.

Step 4: Our talent team will guide you through the onboarding process over 2-3 weeks.

Step 5: For a flat rate monthly subscription, you get a full-time, world-class assistant.

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