Shifting your mindset from a traditional Assistants to a Strategic Business Partner

In today’s fast-paced business environment, the role of Assistants has evolved beyond the traditional aspects asociated with the job. Many organisations have recognised the value of Assistants as strategic business partners who can contribute significantly to their success. This shift in mindset has resulted in Assistants taking on more strategic work, adding value to the business in new and innovative ways.

For some Assistants, this change in mindset and role has been a conscious decision to move away from the traditional Assistant role.

They have proactively sought ways to contribute more to their organisations and have taken steps to develop new skills and capabilities to better align with the strategic goals of their businesses.

In the 2020 Future Assistant Global Summit, Amanda Vinci, CEO of The EA Institute, shared her experience of sitting down with one of her former Executive and asking how she could do more to help him succeed. When her Executive couldn’t come up with additional tasks, she decided to find a new role that would value her abilities and contribute to the success of the business. This proactive mindset and willingness to take on new challenges led her to a strategic partnership role where she helped recruit every staff member and became an integral part of the organisation’s growth.

For others, the shift from a traditional Assistant role to a strategic business partner has been sparked by a mentor or an inspirational moment. Shirwyn Weber, in the same Masterclass, shared how having a phenomenal mentor early in his career helped him see his role in a new light and gave him the confidence to start making a difference. With the support and guidance of his mentor, he began to develop his skills, go above and beyond, and contribute in ways that were different from the traditional Assistant role. This shift in mindset eventually led to a collective recognition within his organisation that he was providing value beyond the traditional Assistant role, and he was given the opportunity to take on a strategic business partner role.

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Regardless of how the shift in mindset occurs, the impact of Assistants moving into strategic business roles can be significant. As strategic business partners, Assistants can contribute in several ways to the success of their organisations. They can take on responsibilities such as project management, data analysis, supplier management, and strategic planning. They can also provide valuable insights, ideas, and perspectives based on their unique vantage point within the organisation. By leveraging their skills, knowledge, and relationships, Assistants can help drive business growth, improve operational efficiency, and enhance decision-making processes.

However, the transition from a traditional Assistant role to a strategic business partner role may not always be easy.

It requires effort, determination, and continuous learning. Assistants need to develop new skills, broaden their knowledge base, and expand their networks to be effective in their new roles. They may face challenges such as resistance from colleagues or a lack of clarity about their new responsibilities. Overcoming these challenges requires perseverance, adaptability, and a growth mindset.

The shift from traditional Assistants to strategic business partners is a positive development that is gaining momentum in today’s business world. Assistants who proactively seek ways to add value to their organisations, develop new skills, and contribute to strategic initiatives are well-positioned to thrive in this changing landscape.

As Assistants strive to become more strategic  and business partners, it’s imperative they develop new and innovative ways of contributing value to their organisations. Taking the time to gain insight into what being a strategic business partner involves, as well as acquiring the necessary skillset and understanding of how best to operate within an organisation will ensure Assistants are taking full advantage of the shift in thinking around their role. There is no doubt that this shift has provided immense opportunities for those looking to take a proactive approach to their career progression. Those wishing to undertake further study in becoming a strategic business partner can enrol on the Strategic Business Partner Online Course which is designed specifically for individuals considering taking on a more strategic role in the workplace. The course provides comprehensive content, covering core topics such as leadership, communication, teamwork and decision making – all essential aspects for those looking to transition from traditional Assistant roles into becoming effective Business Partners.