In fact, they’re the unsung heroes of numerous companies.
However, a lot of people don’t actually understand the value of an executive assistant, often assuming that they’re too expensive or that they’re not competent enough.
But first, you need to debunk these myths about executive assistants so you can fully understand just how important an EA position is and ultimately see them as a valuable partner in growing your business.
Myth #1: An executive assistant is like a glorified secretary.
A glorified secretary implies a separation between the leader and the EA. But the relationship between an EA and the executive is a lot like a marriage. It is highly personal and it requires tremendous trust and transparency.
Myth #2: The executive and the assistant operate as a supervisor and a subordinate.
No, they are your partner. Instead of using the term supervisor and subordinate in any company culture, use leader and team member. Regardless though, it is less about what each person is called and more about the relationship between the executive and their EA.
Myth #3: They have no specialized skills or training.
You do not technically need a degree to serve as an EA. But that doesn’t mean EAs lack specialized skills or formal training. Many actually do possess specializations.
Myth #4: An EA is a luxury you can’t afford.
You can not afford not to have an EA. Sure, there are tasks that only you can do. But there are also responsibilities on your plate that can be outsourced.
Myth #5: A VA and an EA are the same.
Not all VAs and EAs are the same. Basically, a virtual assistant is a self-employed person. They typically work from home to serve various clients and their areas of expertise. Many virtual assistants do work as executive assistants. However, executive assistants do not have to be virtual. They can work in your office alongside you or wherever. This really comes down to your personal preference. Virtual or in-person means nothing if you don’t have the systems and the processes to support your person.
Myth #6: Being an EA is a thankless job.
For an EA to find fulfillment in their role, they have to feel empowered and confident. You have to be able to delegate to them the task, take your hands off the outcome, and give them the freedom to do the work. If they mess up, that means you weren’t clear enough.
Everyone is worthy of help to feel more stable, focused, and energized. And you can help change this stigma towards EAs from being glorified secretaries to your most trusted business partner.
If you want to learn more about hiring an EA, check out the Diary of a Doer Podcast.