Do you think of your Executive Assistant as a Gateway, or a Gatekeeper? This small distinction changes how your EA serves you and others.
A Gatekeeper is someone who keeps others out. They guard the Executive from their team and clients.
In this scenario, the EA turns people away and only grants access to people who they deem appropriate. This makes the Leader appear untouchable, or above others on a pedestal.
Many Executives want their EAs to operate as a Gatekeeper. They want total separation.
In our experience, there is a better way.
Inviting your EA to serve as a Gateway likens them to Grand Central Station. They are a single point of entry to many avenues for help.
Instead of keeping others out, they are a pleasant doorway through which fans, buyers, clients, team members and students can get what they need in the most efficient way possible.
Most of the time, an EA can answer or direct people’s requests without having to put them through to the Leader.
However, the Leader is never off-limits. They are accessible, if they are indeed the best person to resolve a conflict or respond to an inquiry.
The result of having an EA serve as a Gateway is satisfaction. The EA is empowered to speak on the Executive’s behalf and to help people with their requests as quickly as possible.
Having an EA who serves as a Gateway, rather than a Gatekeeper, allows customers to be the focus, rather than you as the Leader.
It shows you care about helping them in an efficient manner, and are not “too busy” or “too important” to take a meeting.
The distinction between Gateway and Gatekeeper may seem like semantics, but it actually illustrates your culture and values as a Leader and organization.
With a Gateway as an Executive Assistant, you are protected, but approachable. Your EA will be empowered to speak on your behalf to resolve matters quickly. This serves the customer, but protects your time and your focus.
An EA serving as a Gatekeeper might reply to an email by saying, “Trivinia is not available to meet with you.” But if answering as a Gateway, they would reply, “Hi, I’m Kate and I’d be happy to get you connected with our team that handles hiring.”
Deciding how you want your EA to serve you as a Leader is a personal preference, but so important to the culture of your organization. It affects how your EA serves you and clients, and how you are perceived by others.
If you’re interested in learning about what an Executive Assistant can do for your business, schedule a strategy call with us.
Our virtual team experts will help you determine how your business can benefit from our Priority Executive Assistants.