Administrators make all industries run. They are the people who coordinate daily activities, manage finances, and conduct complex clerical functions. They are editors, advisors, chief organizers, master troubleshooters, confidants and have the uncanny ability to anticipate the needs of their stakeholders, while maintaining a friendly office environment for those they serve so the leadership in turn can be freed up to make the important decisions and engage in higher level activities. They do this ALL whilst they are also parents, partners, mentors, and side hustlers. They are ultimate multitaskers.
This group of people is routinely seen as those who make things run, but how often are they really SEEN for all the WORK they actually do? How often are they referred to as secretaries (steno pool anyone)? How many of them are tasked with getting the morning coffee started before beginning their actual daily tasks? How often are they the informal dumpster for anything that went wrong on any given day?
Don’t get me wrong, I like my morning coffee just as much as the next person, however I am more than capable of making it myself. In my role, I lead a group of extremely talented, dedicated, and sometimes frustrated individuals who show up daily to support those with more credentials, status, or higher level responsibilities. While I certainly do not mean to discredit executive leadership, as they are the reason administrators exist, I do intend to raise awareness and start a discussion on this often overlooked class of people. I have been there, and risen through the ranks to achieve my current status. Because I know what it is like to be in their shoes, I have a unique perspective and sincere appreciation for all that they do.
I am starting this blog in an effort to raise awareness about the lifecycle and lifestyle of an administrator.
What do we do in the situations where administrators are so underappreciated or under recognized that it starts to affect their performance? How do you motivate a team that is overworked in this environment? How does a leader stay motivated to keep the rest of the cogs turning? I have been there. I AM there. I walk a line of buffering decisions and policies made by people who are far removed from my team who are the ones implementing and standing on the front lines of those decisions. It isn’t easy, but the bottom line is, my team is worth it.
I am hopeful that admins everywhere will be encouraged to reach out and join me in understanding and celebrating their accomplishments. I want them to feel empowered to LEAN IN where they are, and let their ideas be heard. I did it, it was humbling, and I learned that HUMILITY is the cornerstone of my leadership (more on that later.)
Let’s start a movement!