With thanks to all who participated, here are your responses to my question … Have you ever worked with a rookie executive?
Almost half have worked with their principal for three years or less
46.5% of respondents reported that they’ve worked with their current principal for anywhere from one to three years. We also have one reader who works with two executives – one of whom became a colleague the day the admin. professional participated in the poll.
At the other end of the spectrum, 13% of respondents have worked with their principals for 15 years or longer.
The majority of you also have more experience in the C-suite or Executive offices than do your principals
That’s right. More than 53% of respondents said they’d worked in such an environment longer than their bosses, while the tables were turned for just over 33% of respondents.
However, the situation is reversed when it comes to experience levels within one’s current organisation
Interesting, yes? 57% of respondents identified their bosses as having more experience within their current organisations. 36% of respondents have been at their organisations longer than their executives.
More than half of you have supported rookie executives
… and 56% of you saw that as an opportunity, while 44% found the experience to be a challenge.
Insights on working with a “green” executive
You’ll find fellow readers’ comments in the data below. My own experience is that helping a green executive is energy intensive, yet it also accelerates accrual of mutual trust. Rookie or not, it’s common sense for a newcomer to tap into and filter the insights of a more seasoned colleague.
However, I’ve witnessed the downside of working with a green executive in times of corporate turmoil. Depending on your principal’s degree of political savvy and extent of opportunities to build internal networks, s/he may find it difficult to navigate tough times and corporate cuts … which may be detrimental to an assistant and perhaps others among her/his direct reports.
How long have you worked with your current principal/executive(s)?
- 2- 3 years: 27% of respondents
- 3 – 5 years: 20% of respondents
- Less than a year: 13% of respondents
- 1 – 2 years: 6.75% of respondents
- 5 – 8 years: 6.75% of respondents
- 9 – 10 years: 6.75% of respondents
- 15 – 20 years: 6.75% of respondents
- Longer than 20 years: 6.5% of respondents
- 6.5% of respondents selected “Other”. One comment: “One 3 years; the other one started today”
Who has more experience working in the C-Suite or executive offices, you or your boss?
- “Me”: 53.33% of respondents
- “My boss”: 33.33% of respondents
- 13.33% of respondents selected “Other”. Comments included, “My new boss has more experience; the other boss has less than me” and “law firm – doesn’t apply”.
Who has more experience in your current organisation, you or your boss?
- “My boss”: 57% of respondents
- “Me”: 36% of respondents
- “It varies, because I support more than one executive”: 7% of respondents
Have you ever supported a “green”/rookie executive?
- Yes: 54% of respondents
- No: 39% of respondents
- 7% of respondents selected “Other”. One commented, “Not that I know of”.
If you have supported a rookie executive, did you see it as more of an opportunity or a challenge?
- Opportunity: 56% of respondents
- Challenge: 44% of respondents
What insights would you share with a fellow admin. professional who supports a rookie executive?
- Be patient and use the opportunity to shape the exec.
- Being flexible and open to discussion.
- Be prepared to be an adviser.
- lots of communication and face time
- Make sure that there’s flexibility for you both to learn & there’s a mentor
- Share your knowledge and insight with your executive, to help them be effective.