The article selected presents an analysis of the changing role of administrative assistants and follows with a discussion of successful leadership skills. The author discusses how the 2008 recession contributed to the changing role of administrative assistants (Beckham, 2016). The leadership skills identified by the author are supported by interviews with two current business administrative assistants, Osborne and Little. This article was selected because it provides strategies for improving management and leadership skills and identified specific strategies that can be employed by the individual.
The key points of this article are types of leadership, the changing role of administrative assistants, and tips for improving leadership skills. The two types of leadership that the author identifies are assumed leadership and practical leadership (Beckham, 2016). Assumed leadership is leadership that is associated with a job title or job description; the individual was hired into a leadership position and so this duty is expected to be fulfilled. Practical leadership is leadership that comes from the demonstration of knowledge, authority, and attitude in the work place, independent of any job description. Beckham discusses how leadership qualities are not normally associated with the executive assistant (EA) position, and yet the EA is often the person who knows how everything at the office works and is the ‘go-to’ person at the office (Beckham, 2016). Furthermore, Beckham argues that after the 2008 recession, EA’s were expected to take on more roles like project management and budgeting due to layoffs. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.] This delegation of tasks to EA’s and administration, because of the 2008 recession, has led to a changing perception about the leadership role of administration and EA’s (Beckham, 2016). However, the author says the extent to which a company will recognize the leadership role that an EA or administration plays will depend upon the culture of that company. Some business will be more open to offering flexibility, respect, and composition for leadership skills whereas others still believe that administration roles are strictly administrative and do not recognize leadership initiatives. The tips that Beckham presents for improving leadership skills are know your team, guide your executive, take initiative, learn constantly, grow your network, communicate your value, stand up for yourself, and assess your office (Beckham, 2016). Beckham discusses how administration is often the bridge between executives or managers and the rest of the office staff. Therefore, if administration takes time to understand the different responsibilities of their staff and challenges staff members face, then this will help the overall productivity of the office as informed decision can be made that will help overall operations. This concept will help administration guide executives because an understanding of office staff challenges will allow administration to inform executives of the inner workings of the company and can help them make informed decisions (Beckham, 2016). To take initiative means to be proactive to find ways to create positive change within the workplace. This means going beyond the job description to show leadership among office peers and superiors. One great way to take initiative is to complete tasks before they are assigned by an executive or manager. In the article, Osborne discusses how, at her workplace, she took on jobs outside of her job description and this saved the company money (Beckham, 2016). [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]Little describes a job she had opportunities to demonstrate leadership skills. It was the first week of her new job and Little found she had extra time at the office. However, her boss was on vacation and so she had no direction on extra tasks that needed to be completed. So, Little took it upon herself to learn about the company and find extra duties. Little discovered that the company needed to find a new way to handle invoices and that they were paying for a service that they were no longer using; in this way, she could add a lot of value to the company by taking initiative (Beckham, 2016). Beckham claims that learning constantly is another key leadership skill. Little and Osborne both agree that it is important to be proactive about building leadership skills through training and workshop opportunities (Beckham, 2016). Also, it is important to grow one’s network. Osborne says that this does not just mean networking at workshops and business events, but also means looking for business opportunities in everyday interactions. The author points out that communicating your personal value is also important for leadership positions (Beckham, 2016). One must ensure that their boss knows what they are capable of, one way to do this is to create and seize opportunities to demonstrate skills and knowledge that managers may not be aware of. The act of demonstrating leadership skills and going beyond the job description can take a personal toll on the individual (Beckham, 2016). Therefore, Little points out that it is important to ask for raises or benefits for extra work, otherwise it will be taken for granted. One strategy is to make sure to get written confirmation of the deal; for example, if a person is trading extra work for bonuses, benefits or flexibility get this agreement in writing (Beckham, 2016). The final strategy is to assess the office; strategies and skills needed to be a successful leader or administrative professional will change depending on the specific workplace setting. Also, it is important to be aware that leadership skills take time to develop, and will not happen overnight. Overall, it is important to meet the growing needs of the company by engaging in proactive education of leadership skills and to take every opportunity to demonstrate how leaderships skills are important for administrative roles (Beckham, 2016). [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
This assignment has provided me with a lot of practical strategies for improving my leadership skills in the workplace. I was most interested in the discussions surrounding how an individual can take initiative, and about how important it is to be firm about receiving appropriate compensation. The tips and stories provided in the article about individuals not receiving proper compensation because they were afraid to ask for it right away spoke to me on a personal level as I am often afraid to ask for raises. The discussions from individuals in these positions has helped me feel more confident about asking for compensation when I feel it is due to me and will help me in my workplace negotiations.
Beckham, Sarah. OfficePro. Nov/Dec2016, Vol. 76 Issue 7, p12-14. 3p. ,Database: Business Source Alumni Edition
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Beckham, S. (2016, December). Leadership Demonstrated: Leave Your Mark. OfficePro, 12-14.