I wanted to share how the Effective Assistant cast helped me. First off, the info in the cast was exactly what I needed! I had had several ideas rolling around regarding what I wanted my next assistant to take care of for me and this cast put an action plan with it.
I have been without an assistant for about 2 months and have been looking for a new one since she took a different job (within the company on our content acquisition team). I was looking for someone who displayed very aggresive initiative and finally found her. I hired her on a Friday and we decided to have her start on the next Wednesday. In the meantime, I asked her to listen to the entire assistant cast, read Good to Great and Getting Things Done. By Wednesday she had completed each of those tasks and we began to review the things I needed her to take over. The first few days were filled with training and orientation as I began teaching her what we did as a company and what I did as an executive. Over the weekend she listened to the cast again.
On Monday she came in and the first thing she said was 'I had an epiphany this weekend, after listening to the cast and thinking about it, I realized that when it comes to priorities, email, scheduling and networking you are not supposed to manage me, which I had been waiting for, I am supposed to manage you'.
Now, that's not in the cast verbatim, it's definately implied - but once she realized that's what it meant she took a whole new approach to her job. Over the next two days she proceeded to fill up my mostly empty schedule, began replying to several emails and initiating even more, began identifying my weaknesses to me and how she could strengthen them and started pointing out things I was doing that were not within the four priorities I had given her.
I believe the key for her was her realization from the cast, coupled with me emphatically telling her that she needn't worry about messing up - that we would just deal with it if she did and she wouldn't be in trouble. Those two things gave her the confidence and freedom to take over all of my administrative tasks.
Without the cast we may have eventually gotten where we are now, but I told her the cast was an exact roadmap to how I wanted her to perform her job and the cast has provided her with the confidence to jump right in. Thanks so much you guys! By creating such an awesome tool for her, I believe you have eliminated weeks of stress and frustration for both of us! You have my endless gratitude! :)