Weekend Poll Results: Guess Who Has More Experience in the C-Suite?

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.


“Not a rookie”

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.

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