How to Create a Strategic Partnership with Your Executive Assistant – 2021 Edition

NOTE: This post first appeared on the Herg Life blog by Adam Hergenrother on April 28, 2016 and again on October 22, 2020 on The Founder & The Force Multiplier blog.

It’s funny to look back now on how far Adam, and I, and Adam Hergenrother Companies have come since this blog was originally written in April 2016. We have certainly learned a lot in the past five years – about how to be stronger strategic business partners and how to be better leaders and humans.

This article is also a testament to the fact that having a distinct viewpoint, sharing your thoughts, and just doing the work, regardless of the outcome, actually pays off. This little article on Adam’s blog has led to some amazing opportunities over the years, from speaking events and coaching clients, to writing a book and building a new company – The Founder & The Force Multiplier.

While this was the blog that started it all, I couldn’t help but ponder, “Five years later, are these still the five best ways to build a strategic partnership?” And the answer is a resounding “yes!” While our methods may have changed a bit and our approach matured over the years, the foundational principles remain the same.

Here are the 5 Ways to Create a Strategic Partnership with Your Executive Assistant:

  1. Give up control
  2. Bring your Executive Assistant into your inner circle
  3. Meet/communicate regularly
  4. Set clear goals, expectations, and wins
  5. Make building trust a priority

If you are new to the Executive Assistant role or new to working with an Executive Assistant, start working on the above. And if you have been working with an Executive or EA for years, but still feel like you are butting heads, it’s not too late! Revisit these five key points and see how you are doing. Which ones have you implemented well? Which one could use a little time and attention? When all five of these practices are working together, the real magic happens between strategic business partners!

One other point I might add is that these 5 ways to create a strategic business partnership are also the same ways to KEEP and maintain a strategic business partnership. Building a strong partnership is an ongoing practice. When you each invest in the other, the partnership will continue to grow, evolve, and strengthen. Not to mention, goals, expectations, communication structures, and even the inner circle may change over the years or when different projects or priorities happen. Anyone who has ever gone through a company merger or acquisition understands! Adam and I have continued to work on these five practices for over ten years, and I know we will continue to work on them for many years to come.

To read the original post and learn more about how to build a strategic partnership with your executive, click here.

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