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I am a M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology. Most of my experience has been in human resources and change management. My passion lies in employee assessment, organizational development and employee opinions. Website: www.IanMondrow.com LinkedIn Profile: http://linkd.in/drBYoC

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Most Powerful Person in a Corporation

Here is a question to ponder about: Who do you think is the most powerful person in your company? Who controls most of the resources?

Did you answer the CEO? HR? Stockholders? WRONG!

Believe it or not, the most powerful individual in your organization is the administrative assistant or executive assistant to the CEO. Whenever someone joins a company, this is the individual that he/she to get to know. Have this person on your good side has major advantages. Why? He/she knows everyone in the organization and is often the "go-to" person for every employee. If you need an introduction, this individual will most likely be able to help you.

Furthermore, the CEO's administrative assistant controls the CEO's schedule. If you are on this person's bad side, there is a good chance the CEO will not have any openings for you. However, if you have a strong relationship with the CEO's secretary, your probability of obtaining an appointment increase.

The administrative assistant also has dramatic influence on every employee in the organization and very few people are likely to be resistant to him/her. Therefore, having this bond can help you get appointments with influential people and help you grow in the organization.

HOWEVER.... It is important to differentiate between "sucking up" and building a relationship. No one likes a suck up because it is generally not sincere. Building relationships involves establishing a connection and getting to know one another. Here are some suggestions of how to develop a relationship:
  • Invite him/her to lunch.
  • Ask him/her for her feedback.
  • Stop by and say "hello" and ask how his/her day is.
  • Send a thank you note when he/she helps you.
Some things you should avoid doing include:
  • Sending gifts.
  • Only providing compliments when never having a conversation.
  • Being insincere or fake.

Make friends with the CEO's administrative assistant and I guarantee that your experiences in the organization will improve!

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