Developing tactical skills and strategic insight

In the corporate world, the role of an Assistant has evolved significantly. Assistants are no longer solely administrative support; they have become strategic partners to Executives, contributing to the organisation’s overall success. To excel in this role, Assistants must be tactical in their approach, understand the business and strategy, and implement effective tactics. In this article, we’ll explore how to start developing tactical skills and strategic insight.

Immersion in the business

Being tactical means immersing yourself in the business. By joining important meetings and being a fly on the wall, you can gain a 360-degree view of the organisation’s internal and external priorities. This approach will allow you to manage key stakeholder relationships and be a step ahead in understanding where your Executive needs to focus. By deliberately attending meetings outside their scope, Assistants can gain valuable insights and contribute to a bigger picture, helping Executives make informed decisions.

Getting your ducks in a row

Being tactical involves getting all your ducks in a row and aligning your actions with strategic goals. Assistants play a crucial role in ensuring that everything is accounted for, both in terms of information and deliverables. By being present in meetings and paying attention to details, you can catch things that Executives may have missed, thereby contributing to the successful execution of strategic initiatives.

Becoming an extension of your Executive

As a trusted partner, you must ensure that your Executive is where they need to be, talking to the right people, and adequately prepared for engagements. This involves tasks like creating materials, prepping others, and handling administrative matters. By being intimately involved in your Executive’s daily activities, you can provide the necessary support and ensure smooth operations.

Meeting Agenda for Assistants and Executives

1:1 Meeting Template for Assistants

The template you need to maximise the time spent with your Executive.

Questions to Ask a New Executive

Use this guide to work in sync with your Executive from day one.

Building trust and nurturing relationships

Building trust is fundamental when developing tactical skills and strategic insight in the Assistant role. Developing the level of trust necessary for a successful partnership takes time and patience. Open communication, asking thoughtful questions, and taking the time to understand the Executive’s needs and preferences are key to nurturing relationships. You have to balance being proactive and respectful, avoiding invasive behaviour while offering valuable insights and suggestions.

Evolution and growth

Building trust and understanding can be more complex in a remote setting, but it also forces Assistants to develop their soft skills and adaptability. Continuous communication, innovation, and a willingness to try new approaches are crucial for remote Assistants to succeed.

Best practices: Communication and questioning

It is also worth emphasising the importance of effective communication and questioning skills. Give yourself grace and be patient when developing relationships with Executives. Building trust takes time, and avoiding being overzealous or invasive is essential. Find the right communication style with your Executive, and use tools like WhatsApp for quick, non-intrusive exchanges. Regular and open communication will help you stay aligned with your Executives’ needs and goals.

Assistants have an increasingly vital role to play in the corporate world. They are no longer only responsible for providing administrative support but instead strategic partners that add value to the organisation and help it succeed. To excel in this position, Assistants must employ a tactical approach and understand the business and its strategy.

By following these tips, you will be better equipped to build the skills needed to assume such an important role. Unleash your inner Assistant and step up your game by joining our exclusive Strategic Business Partner Online Course. With all the resources available, understanding what it takes to be a successful Assistant is now within arm’s reach. This knowledge can go a long way in helping you become the most efficient, effective and valuable asset in any organisation.