It is a critical question because efficient, smart and well-organized assistants can often mean succcess or failure for chief executives. The boss man or woman may be a creative visionary or an incredible leader but without someone by his or her side making sure that things go on time and well, a lot of that talent can be wasted.
Here are a few attributes:
- Efficiency. Keeping people, paper, meetings, travel and emails in order and on time helps the boss do the job.
- Professional attitude. Maintaining an even strain between pleasant civilities and not becoming too familiar is a hard thing to pull off.
- Discretion. Any office is a hive of gossip. The best source possible is the one closest to the boss. So, don't be a source.
- Intelligence. Having a sophisticated worldview and being able to anticipate and solve problems helps.
- Avoid personal entanglements with the boss. They can be toxic, even if they only give the appearance of scandal.