Remember the people who are instrumental in your and your organization’s success. A sincere and timely appreciation goes a long way.
POINT TO PONDER
Arnold Bennett, the British novelist, had a publisher who boasted about the extraordinary efficiency of his secretary. One day while visiting the publisher's office, Bennett asked her: "Your boss claims you're extremely efficient. What's your secret?"
"It's not my secret," said the secretary, "it's his." Each time she did something for him, no matter how insignificant, she explained, he never failed to acknowledge and appreciate it. Because of this, she took infinite pains with her work.
STORY LINE: I MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
In the early 1990s, while looking for a source of supply for our new design, I visited a potential supplier in Mountain View, California. As I entered the lobby and went to the receptionist to announce my arrival and register for entry inside the building, something on her desk caught my eye. It was a plaque that stated, “I make the difference.”
Soon after, when our host escorted us into the building, I noticed again that the secretary of a CEO also had the plaque on her desk stating, “I make the difference.” Somehow, I could not get those images out of my mind and spent the drive back thinking, “Do they really make the difference?”
Secretaries, receptionists and many other administrative employees are the first line of defense or offense, whichever way one wants to call it, when external people call or visit your company. In many cases, they create the first impression about your company, your organization and your team.
Administrative assistants keep office logistics in order and keep things organized. This allows other people to focus on their core jobs without interruptions.
I remembered what one great leader had told me in my early age, “They are the backbones of your organization. Having a good administrative assistant is having a big asset in your portfolio.”
So remember these people behind the scene. What they do makes the big difference.
In the first year in Industry in 1983, during one emergency need, my boss asked me to hand carry a purchase order all the way through management ranks for signatures. That was my first exposure to the hierarchy of organizations.
My curious nature caught on to two interesting learnings through that expedition…. The higher up I went in the chain, I noticed that the offices looked very organized. Further research revealed that the higher-ups had very good administrative assistants and they relied, or in other words, depended, heavily on them to manage daily office logistics. Yes, they do make the difference.