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Management Skills Vital For Executives

ISAAC PINIELO
Executive assistants have been encouraged to enhance their skills in order to perform their duties with decisiveness and accuracy for businesses to perform well.

The call was made at the 27th Business Botswana office managers convention that was held at the Maharaja Conference Centre last week. 

Speaking at the event, ABM University College executive director, Daisy Mmabatho Molefhi said today's business environment with its fast-pace places great pressure on the executive assistant's office.  “While it would seem that the pressure is on the chief executive officer (CEO), in reality both the CEO and the executive assistant are ‘co-pilots of the plane’ being the business enterprise,” she said. 

Executive assistants’ work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication, or organisational skills.  Also known as office managers, executive assistants also perform duties that can have an effect on the success or profitability of a business, such as helping with marketing research, training staff and scheduling important meetings.  Molefhi explained today's executive assistant must be more equipped, more versatile, even more confident than that of yesteryears whose task was more clerical.   She added that an executive assistant has to continuously engage in personal development not only to keep pace with the co-pilot being the CEO, but also the highly competitive business or work environment.  

“Failure to do so could be disastrous.  Having looked at the profiles of the professionals who will be conducting this training I have no doubt that the participants will be equipped with requisite skills,” Molefhi said.  She said over the years

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the name of this course has evolved to ensure it captures the reality of this office, noting that in the past it was referred to as secretaries convention, now it is the office managers convention.   “Today's (executive assistant) officer is more than a secretary, but indeed an office manager. Today's office manager is tasked with the provision of high level administrative support,” she said.  She added that while today's CEO is busy out of the office his or her effectiveness is determined by the level of those running the office, the key player being the executive assistant.  On the key attributes demanded of today's executive assistant, Molefhi said they must be reliable and trustworthy, noting that trust is key to every relationship.  “This important attribute of trust must be sincere and routed in integrity. 

Once trust is lost it becomes difficult to function in the CEO and (executive assistant) relationship,” she said.  She added that competent executive assistants are invaluable assets to their organisations since they are the backbone of their organisations.  The convention was designed to meet the needs of front line staff, receptionists, personal assistants and administrators who often manage the lives of important people in the workplace.  Local experts presented on various topics including management skills for the administrative professional, the art of confidence, career planning, mastering presentation skills as well as protocol and etiquette protocol essentials.



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