Understand the goals and strategies of the organisation
When it comes to gaining recognition as a leader, it is imperative that Assistants understand the organisation’s mission and where you and your Executive fit into the strategies pushing the mission forward. Assistants are excellent at anticipating the needs of their Executives, but Assistants should also think broadly and anticipate the needs of the mission and the organisation’s strategies. Assistants who take the time to understand their business goals and passionately support those goals being achieved find that they are recognised as leaders.
Present a positive attitude
I know that is easier said than done! But, positivity is contagious and can go a long way to gaining recognition as a leader. Having a positive, can-do attitude, conducting your work with a smile and creating the impression that you can be trusted will ensure those around you can rely on you when times are tough.
Offer your skills and expertise
Assistants have to speak up for the value they bring and the skills and expertise they possess. It isn’t wise to be ‘seen and not heard’ or hope that your hard work is appreciated without ever drawing attention to your contribution. I know that can be hard for Assistants to do, but it is essential when gaining recognition as a leader that you offer your skills and expertise when the need arises.
Ask for responsibility in areas where you can add value
These could be challenging tasks that no one else wants to tackle or projects where you will stretch your skills and expertise. It could be solving problems and changing practices within your organisation to showcase your value. If you are entirely responsible for that task, so much the better, all of the skills you have will be highlighted and recognised once the project is concluded.
If you are part of a project team, make the most of the meetings you attend. Make sure you are present and vocal, ask good questions and share your thoughts and opinions.
Attend company-wide initiatives and build your network
Networking and connecting with people will help you be seen as a leader. Attending company-wide events also allows you to be seen. It can be hard at the moment to demonstrate your value as a leader when there are so many channels of communication. It is easy to feel like you are out of the loop and your value is not recognised. When the case to network face to face is presented, ensure you attend. Outside of events and meetings, consistently think about how you can connect people and help other people with their projects and goals.
As Assistants, we must foster our capacity to lead and influence those around us despite not typically being in the most visible positions within an organisation. It requires continual practice and dedication to bring your mark as a leader. So keep pushing forward – try new tactics to further your capabilities, take positive feedback on board, hone in on your strengths and always be open to learning more! To start your development journey as a strategic business partner, why not look at The Strategic Business Partner Online Course? Start putting yourself out there as the leader you know you are!