The role of the EA continues to evolve. Today, we can rightfully claim our space as strategic partners. Goodbye office worker—hello master of everything! I often think about the changes around me, and how I have had to adapt to ensure that my team and I can provide the right level of support and service to the people I work with.
The most important thing is syncing in with your boss. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person—so it’s in your interest to make this partnership work in a fully cohesive and collaborative way. Here are some tips I’ve found useful to make that connection hum.
- Get to know each other: when starting out, sit down together and talk, not only work but also about your personal lives.
- Be open and honest and show them you have their back—you are their eyes and ears in the organisation.
- Stay informed and up to date: I try to keep track of everything in my boss’ world, saving time, questions and making sure she knows what’s next.
- Be reliable: the more your boss knows they can rely on you, the more they will.
- Get to know their priorities: knowing who and what really matters in their world is key.
- Agree on how to work together: establish who handles what to avoid duplication and build a preferred way of communicating.
- Read everything: time and confidentiality permitting, of course!
- Be efficient and flexible with your catch-ups: try a walk and talk meeting.
- Pick your moment: I’m a big fan of punch-line placement, so state what you need most upfront.
- Develop acronyms to save time
In my experience, the more you work together, rely on and are open with one another the better it gets.
Anthony Carthew is our 2018 EA of the Year Australasia. He is EA to Sydney Opera House CEO, Louse Herron. Among his many responsibilities he is also Protocol Officer, a team leader and more.