8 Things to Delegate to Your EA in 2022

Practical delegation recommendations to give you more time to do what you do best and optimize the untapped power of your trusted executive assistant.

It’s Monday. You check the clock and realize it’s 2:30 pm. You haven’t had lunch, you’ve had way too much coffee, and the list of to-dos is growing longer by the minute. 

Then, your phone rings… 

“Hi, John. This is Dr. Smith’s office calling about your 2 pm appointment today. Are you still planning to come?” 

You have officially stood up the dentist…again. As you begin racking your brain to troubleshoot how you could’ve missed your dental appointment for the second time in six weeks, your mind wanders to the basketball game you missed after you promised you wouldn’t, the 65 emails sitting in your inbox needing your response, and the half-written announcement sitting on your desk.

Sound familiar?

It’s time to rethink how you’re leading your organization (and your life) by optimizing the untapped power of your trusted and loyal executive assistant.

As we kick-start 2022 with goals, initiatives, dreams, and plans, I encourage you to consider how these big pursuits can be more realistically reached by empowering your executive assistant to handle the many details, logistics, and yes, dental appointments that occur in your week. 

Now, you may be thinking… 

“I’m not sure I’m ready to give up all these items.” 

“I am organized.”

“I am successful.”

“I have clean teeth and no cavities (wink).” 

Well, you’ve come to the right place, and I welcome you into this discussion as we unpack… 

“The 8 Things to Delegate to your EA in 2022”

1. Calendar

Yes, I said calendar. The only involvement you should have with your calendar is confirming where your attention is needed next. Delegating your schedule to your EA is one of the most productive ways to instantly get time back. “Why,” you may ask? Your EA is a gatekeeper. They can discern, based on your priorities, how best to schedule your time for meetings, for working mode, and most importantly, for the things that matter most to you personally. 

2. Inbox Zero 

I speak to executives daily who lament over the recurring strain their email inbox has on their mental health. They are replaying a movie reel in their minds of unopened or forgotten emails that have slipped through the cracks, and for many, that equates to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue and business. Your EA will be stoked about the success of your business just like you are. They can create systems that capture all emails, big and small, ensuring a timely and engaged response is sent without the undertones of the loathe you truly feel surrounding this electronic communication.

3. Travel 

Yes, I know. You are very particular when it comes to travel preferences. The flight from ATL>LAX by the lavatory has scarred you. I understand. Let me invite you into dreaming of giving this to your EA, a person who now knows and understands your preferences…a person who will prioritize ensuring travel plans are seamless, smooth, and hassle-free. (Well, let’s be realistic. I’ve never met a person who says “no” more than the gate agent!) 

4. Company-Wide Communication 

Oh, good! The Quarterly Luncheon is back again! Are you sweating yet? As your EA learns your organization and your leadership style, they will complement and prepare a wide variety of company-facing presentations and reports. You will find yourself going from 10-12 hours of preparation to 1-2 hours of final edits and tweaks. 

5. Client Communication 

Some clients are really needy, am I right? Your EA can run interference, build rapport with VIP clients, and even respond on your behalf. This helps your key clients stay more connected to you and gives them another connection point in your organization. This connection point comes in very handy when you are unavailable and your VIP customer wants to talk directly with someone in your organization. As your EA becomes recognized as an extension of you, the pressure of these situations can be minimized, freeing up your time and energy.

6. Hiring Initiatives

Hiring new employees is such an involved process. You start with identifying a need, creating a job description, screening candidates, and most importantly, ensuring the qualified candidates align with your organization's values and personality. I am exhausted just thinking about it. Your EA is the perfect first line of defense to not only partner with you on identifying staffing needs and creating cohesive job descriptions, but also to ensure the candidates you spend your time with are a valuable addition to the culture of your organization.

7. Strategize

You’ve read Don’s words about your EA being your most important hire. This is what we mean. You are leading an organization and trying to scale each quarter. You have a long list of goals and revenue targets that are staring you down, and oftentimes, it’s hard to know how to best plan the attack. Your EA is a thought partner. They are an extension of you. If you collaborate on your strategy to reach your goals, your EA can clear the path for you to lead. 

8. People Development

One of the most important aspects of a good leader is the investment they are making in developing the people they’re leading. This is often a leadership quality that falls to the wayside as time constraints prevent a leader’s intentional investment. By delegating aspects of this critical area to your EA, you won’t delegate the actual development, but your EA can ensure that such development actually happens this year. Your EA can research, plan, protect, and organize intentional development time for the teams you lead that will not discount or dismiss the importance of your leadership in this area. 

Have I convinced you yet? If you’re still on the fence as to whether or not to delegate more to your EA this year… I urge you to just give this a try. As we look to a new year, it is the perfect time to focus on revamping the way you lead and leveraging the power of your EA.

Don’s Comments

Don HarmsI can’t agree more with Anna on this.  I’ll be honest. When I first thought about delegating these items to my executive assistant, I thought,  “My calendar…my email…my travel?  No way!” I planned to delegate some areas of my responsibilities but certainly not the ones Anna listed above. 

When I first hired Sarah, Anna convinced me, begrudgingly, to begin delegating these things to her. I was pretty convinced I’d be taking them all back in short order. I didn’t think an EA could ever fully take on everything that needed to be done with my calendar, prioritizing and helping draft emails for me, or screening candidates for key roles in the company. However, one by one, I gave it a try, and one by one, Sarah took on more than I thought possible. I started to truly understand the value of having an Executive Assistant. I was continuously surprised by how much I could delegate. 

As Sarah took on each new task, I would invest time in explaining to her what I wanted and I even explained what was making me nervous about delegating each new item. But with every hour I gained back in my day and with every commitment I fulfilled, I was more and more thankful for the advice Anna gave me some six years ago.  

If you are a leader with an assistant, please begin delegating more to your executive assistant. It will feel uncomfortable. It is a risk, but I guarantee if you invest the time, you’ll be thankful you did. And if you don’t have an assistant, hire one (read more about that here).  

If you are an executive assistant desiring to take on more, start small, and ask to take on a task that your leader is currently unsure about delegating to you. Impress them with your quality of work and maybe even share this post with them as a discussion starter. 

This partnership is powerful when maximized! At Emmre, we believe in the power of this partnership and encourage you both to do whatever you can to invest in making it better. Delegating more in 2022 is a great way to start!

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