10 Powerful Ways to BE an Executive Assistant

In Gary Keller’s Quantum Leap presentation at Family Reunion 2017, he talks about becoming. As in, who do you need to BE in order to live a fulfilled, successful life? Essentially, how you fill in the blank for “I am _____.”

This is one of those topics that has taken me a long time to grasp. You know how sometimes you just need hear the same ideas from different people in order for it to truly sink in? That’s how this has been for me.

During Gary’s presentation, he put up some slides and one of them was titled “Building a Life with Great Purpose”. There were several questions on there, and a few of my favorites are:

Are you making a Life OR Are you just making a Living?

Are you following your own plan OR Are you just a part of somebody else’s?

Are you making Time Count OR Are you just Counting Time?

Why did these hit home for me as a real estate executive assistant? Because I realized that although I started on this path thinking I had a job, over time, I realized that this was not just a job; this is the path of my own choosing and I’m creating it as a go along. Every time I implement a new system, or make a new hire, I am determining the direction of the real estate business. Which meant I had to stop thinking like an employee and starting thinking like a business partner. I may not technically own the business, but I sure do impact where the business goes and how it grows.

So who do I need to BE in order to direct and grow a business? How do I need to show up to work every day? How do I need to support those around me?

Here’s a list of 10 powerful ways I need to BE in order to serve myself and my team:

  1. I AM a leader. And as such, I do what I can to learn how to be a better leader. My team looks to me to lead them in making decisions about who to hire, when to add new systems, what new ideas I can bring, and how everyone can improve their performance. So I seek out books and videos on leadership. These resources are amazing mentors when it comes to modeling my behavior after great leaders.
  2. I AM resourceful. I realize that I don’t know everything. That’s why I have to know where to look when I need answers. Sometimes I can find what I need by simply doing a Google search. Other times I have to ask. A great resource is the Facebook groups I belong to. I’ve also made connections with assistants outside my area so I can bounce ideas off of them. Which leads me to…
  3. I AM a mentor. Every time I share advice or coach an executive assistant, I am improving myself. It’s not a one-way relationship. I grow and learn and get better in my role on the team whenever I contemplate and search for solutions to other’s problems. Find someone to mentor and you’re eyes will be opened to even more ways you can be of value to your own team.
  4. I AM level-headed. When there’s chaos, I don’t participate. My job is to be the calmest person in the room. When tension runs high, someone needs to be rock, the reasonable one looking for solutions rather than contributing to the problem.
  5. I AM listening. I always want to hear and understand what someone is saying before I offer input. I ask questions to bring out more details so that the advice or answer I give is truly valuable to the person seeking it. Sometimes people just need to hear themselves speak out loud. When they voice their thoughts, the solutions come to them with just a little nudging from me. So I listen a LOT and speak a LITTLE.
  6. I AM present. And I’m still working to get better at this one! The greatest favor you can do for someone is to just be present when they need you. When someone walks into my office, I quit typing, I don’t look at my phone, I let them know I am here, I am present, and I am engaged. Same for being on the phone with someone. I take notes about the conversation by pen and paper so that I’m not distracted by reading email or trying to do something else on my computer.
  7. I AM committed. I am all in. This real estate team is MY real estate team. I’m not ultimately responsible, and I could get fired. However, I am committed to the success of my team. Their wins are my wins. They are my family and they give my life meaning. So heck yeah, I’m committed.
  8. I AM organized. Let’s face it; this is why I was hired. I know where everything is. I know what the deadlines are. If I don’t know it off the top of my head, I have it filed where I can quickly get to it. If I hire someone to take over some aspect of my current duties, it’s easy to train them because everything is neat, orderly, and organized. They won’t be stepping into a chaotic mess.
  9. I AM fun. No one likes a person who is serious all the time. It takes me some time to warm up to people. The more time I spend with someone, the easier it is for me to be less guarded. The important thing here though is to be someone whom you’d like to hang out with. Be open, be curious, and have fun at work.
  10. I AM me. I’m not afraid to just be me. I have my weaknesses and I’m not ashamed of them. I simply play to my strengths and leverage my weaknesses. I’m not a good designer, so I hired one to create our signs, postcards, letterhead, etc. I’m not good on the phone, so I communicate mostly by text and email and let the rest of the team make the phone calls. I’m proud of who I am and I don’t apologize for my weaknesses.

Who you BE determines if you are making a Life, following your own plan, and making Time Count.

Remember that there is no finish line to this stuff either! I’m always looking for ways to plus these 10 areas. I am always becoming, growing, and getting better at these things. And all of these things contribute to my amazing, beautiful life!

What about you? Where are YOU in your journey of becoming? And exactly WHAT or WHO are you going to BE? How are you showing up in your work, in your family, in your relationships? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! I’d love to know what you think.

If you haven’t been through my Systems Success Course, please consider it. This powerful course will help you upgrade your systems and your skills so that you become a more effective executive assistant.


  1. Brittini

    This was an eye opener for me, thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Elizabeth (Post author)

      My pleasure, Brittini!

  2. Hallie

    Great post, Elizabeth!

    1. Elizabeth (Post author)

      Thanks Hallie!

  3. Sheila

    Do you have any material on how to manage your Mega’s spending as well as the office as a whole? Any suggestions on resources for the subject if you haven’t? Thanks for this post! It is truly empowering to view ourselves as a valuable partner in this, rather than an employee.

    1. Elizabeth (Post author)

      Sheila, I have not written anything specifically on the topic. If I were in your shoes, I would start by having conversations around money during my weekly meetings with my rainmaker. Simply ask to see the profit and loss report. Page 193 of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent shows you The Budget Model. Compare the profit and loss to the budget model and see where you fall. Then you can have conversations about what the business would look like if you started following the model.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *