"I tell executives and I tell assistants — anything and everything of a business nature involves your assistant. They need to be able to see what's happening. If they don't know what's coming in your email and they don't know what's going on, they're not going to be able to assist you. They have to be in the loop. You have to be communicating with them constantly." - Jan Jones
Jan Jones: Master Executive Assistant
Jan Jones is the author of the internationally-acclaimed book “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness.” She is President of Jan Jones Worldwide, a bespoke speakers bureau that sends leading business experts and celebrities to speak at events around the world. Jan is a former executive assistant to world-renowned business/life strategist Tony Robbins. She spent 10 years as exclusive representative for business guru Michael Gerber, author of “The E-Myth Revisited.”
In this interview, Jan shares with us the traits of a great executive assistant and gives us an insight into what the dynamics of a CEO-assistant relationship looks like. She explains that the relationship between the executive and assistant should be viewed as a partnership — “We are in this together.” Jan says that when it comes to saving their executive’s time, an assistant will step in to take on tasks that may not routinely be a part of the assistant’s job description. The assistant’s focus is always on creating more hours in their executive’s day in order to expand their productivity.
Minutiae is Destroying Your Productivity
Checking emails, scheduling meetings, chasing up managers about progress, finding the documents you need...these are things many executives deal with daily, but they should not. Jan explains that the role of the assistant is to “give back time” to their executive, so the executive can focus on the high-value activities that create the most impact for the business.
We discuss how finding the right assistant can be daunting, particularly if you are hiring an assistant for the first time. But by laying out your expectations as a CEO (and their expectations as an assistant), you can find someone who is the right fit and who will complement your working habits to help you increase your productivity and effectiveness.
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