From Executive Assistant to Strategic Partner

What is a strategic partnership?

According to a 2013 article on Forbes.com, “A strategic partner is another business with whom you enter into an agreement that aims to help both of you achieve more success.”

What I’d like to point out are two things:

  1. You are a business and your mega is a business.
  2. You are both in the business of being successful.

It’s an interesting concept to think of a person as a business. And yet, that’s exactly what I want you to do. As your own business, you get run your life the way you see fit. You are in charge of you and no one can tell you what to do. You have the freedom to choose what to do.

When your mega hired you as their real estate executive assistant, what they really did was form a strategic partnership. Your business and their business came together with the purpose of creating success for both of you.

Is your partnership a success? Are you getting a supportive partner? Are you a supportive partner? Are you pushing and challenging each other in an effort to achieve greater success?

One particular indicator of success is how fired up both of you are to improve your real estate business. You should be taking as much responsibility for growing the business as your mega does. That doesn’t mean you have to be on the phone making sales calls daily. What it does mean is that you holding your team members accountable to their roles and making sure they are getting the training and support they need to hit their milestones and goals.

What can you do to introduce new and refreshing sales skills and scripts? What can you teach them about time management and organization?

Even asking them, “Where do you need my help today?”

I would venture to say that if this is a new concept for you it’s because you still have an employee mindset. The employee mindset believes you work for your mega, not in partnership with your mega.

A strategic partnership forms when you stop taking direction from your mega and start deciding for yourself what priority you need to be working on in any given moment. It’s when you can point out to your mega where the business needs improvement and you both make plans to follow through on implementing those changes to improve.

You’ll also know when you are in strategic partnership when you are sharing books, articles, and podcasts with each other and discussing how the ideas in those media sources could benefit either of your personally, the team, or the business as a whole.

Your energy, enthusiasm, and passion for the business helps fuel your mega and vice versa. You are both on board with the same vision for the company and you are both driven to see that vision fulfilled.

To take it one step further, being a strategic partner is a mindset shift. Like I said, it’s when you give up thinking like an employee, but it’s also when you take on thinking like a leader. When you discover that you are actually in a leadership, your world changes. Seek out books about leadership. Listen to podcasts designed for entrepreneurs. Learn all you can about what it takes to lead and grow a business. Then, create value for your strategic partnership by implementing what you learn.

One final thing that really solidified for me the concept of being a leader was when I changed my job title from Executive Assistant to COO (Chief Operations Officer). It wasn’t the job title necessarily; it was how I started identifying myself. When I started identifying as a COO, I had to live up to that title. I had to become a COO. Which meant I had to study leadership, organization, communication, and business. I changed the way I saw myself and my whole world changed for the better.

 

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