Unlocking strategic success: how to impact KPIs as a top-level executive assistant

01 March 2024

Executive Assistant Kpi

In today's fast-paced business world, executives are constantly juggling multiple responsibilities and competing priorities. As an executive assistant, your role is crucial in helping your leader achieve their key performance indicators (KPIs) and strategic goals. But what exactly do you need to be doing and thinking about, to be high-performing in this facet of your role? 

In this article, I’ll explore the various ways you can aid your leader in reaching their performance targets, and why your role is essential for the overall success of the company.

Understanding the business

One of your key responsibilities is having a deep understanding of the business and its goals. This means developing a strong insight into the company's mission, vision, and values, and how these link to your daily actions and decisions. 

You’ll then know what’s important to the business, and therefore what’s important to your leader. For example, should you be focusing on market trends for a new direction, or is the business currently concentrating on securing its position in the sector? 

Through aligning your key efforts and mindset to that of the business, you’ll have a directly positive impact for your leader. 

Treating the KPIs as your own 

While it’s ultimately the responsibility of your leader to make sure you’re equipped to support them in reaching their KPIs, you have an equal responsibility to communicate your needs to do so. You may find yourself in need of additional people resources, software tools, or allocated time for related tasks. 

Being clear on these requirements with your leader, and how they relate to achieving their goals, will remove blockers to success. 

Owning your role and its importance to the business

To truly make a meaningful impact to the organisation, and its performance, you’ll need to take ownership of your role and responsibilities. Understanding you’re an extension of your leader, and acting as a representative of their interests and priorities, is key. Taking pride in your work, being proactive, and resourceful are all hallmarks of a stand out executive assistant.

Additionally, I often suggest to ambitious EAs to consider undertaking an MBA or other relevant business qualification to increase their knowledge, skills base and professional standing. Making this investment in your career is a statement about your value and what you bring to the organisation, while of course deepening your business savvy.

Managing time and priorities - for you and your executive

Time management is crucial for any executive, and a top-tier executive assistant is an expert in this area. Through helping your leader prioritise their own tasks, and managing their schedule effectively, they’re enabled to focus on the most important strategic activities. 

Adopting this deliberate approach results in minimising distractions and optimising time. Day-to-day this might mean looking for opportunities to group meeting attendees, locations and themes together, allowing your executive to stay on task, capitalise on available colleagues, and reduce travel time. For example, perhaps an interstate Board member is in town for a few days. Thinking about how you can structure your executive’s schedule around that of the Board member, can make a real impact on your leader’s productivity that week. 

For yourself, applying a strategic mindset to your tasks means getting into the habit of quickly weighing each of your tasks against organisational goals. This method of time management will give you a consistently clearer view of those activities that take priority. For instance, the sales performance report for the Board due next week, should obviously take precedence over reviewing supplier contracts that expire in six months’ time. 

Collaborating with senior team members to achieve outcomes

A top executive assistant is not just a support system for their leader, but also a valuable member of the wider leadership team. They can collaborate with other members of the executive to ensure everyone is working towards the same goals and objectives.

For example, you can work closely with the senior marketing team to ensure your leader’s strategic goals are aligned with the company’s overall marketing strategy. You can also coordinate with the Chair, members of the Board and other executives to build relationships and share information, ultimately contributing to the success of the organisation as a whole.

Staying ahead of the curve

In order to support their leader in achieving success, a top-tier executive assistant must stay ahead of the curve. This means being proactive and anticipating the needs of your executive. 

Day-to-day, this could look like staying up-to-date with relevant news, attending industry conferences, and networking with other professionals in the field. Bringing this knowledge back to your leader, provides insights that may inform decision-making and help achieve strategic goals. 

By staying across industry trends, market changes, and potential challenges, you can help your leader stay one step ahead.

KPI Tracking and Reporting

While I’ve spoken about some more indirect methods for helping your leader achieve their KPIs, actively contributing towards tracking and reporting is essential for success. Here, you can step in and provide valuable support in this time-consuming, but vital, activity.

You can help your leader track and report on KPIs by creating regular reports, analysing data, and presenting the information in a clear and concise manner. This not only saves time for your entire leadership team, but also ensures that KPIs are being closely monitored and addressed regularly.

Unlocking your own success by supporting that of your executive 

In conclusion, as a high-performing executive assistant, your role in helping your leader achieve their performance targets, simply can’t be underestimated. 

By adopting a commitment to understanding the business and its KPIs, deeply caring about your role and its impact, applying practical time management practices, and always watching for opportunities and potential challenges, you can provide invaluable support to your leader. 

Are you a top-tier executive assistant looking for your next career opportunity? Contact Anastasia on 0421 16 55 96 or register your interest today.