by Evon Wood
Anyone who knows me can attest that I have a very left-brain personality. It is not something I have crafted, it is simply who I am. Luckily, all that structure and organization has served me well as an administrative professional. Though little known by me when I entered this field over 20 years ago, those “unique” strengths were not only sought-after by employers, they were also highly coveted by organizations that prosper in the knowledge that strong admins are the backbone of every successful business.
Now, while structure and organization are my bedrock talents, they are not the only talents that ensure administrative success. For instance:
- Some admins are company culture mavens. They not only understand the intricate layers that make up the office environment, they also realize the effect of negative undercurrents on employees and on overall organizational health; and, these admins actively combat those negative undercurrents.
“The culture of a workplace—an organization’s values, norms and practices—has a huge impact on… happiness and success.” –Adam Grant
- Other admins are masters of wordcraft. They are able to take the vaguest ideas and draft compelling, motivating communications that enlighten staff and inspire them toward action.
“Words are the singularly most powerful force available to humanity.” –Yehuda Berg
- There are still other admins who are technology gurus. They are the early adopters who not only master new, cutting-edge technology, they also take that next critical step to train their cohorts and champion its wider adaptation.
“If you are not looking toward the future… trying to improve current technology, you will be left behind.” –Gwynne Shotwell
These are just three examples of how admins subtly, but profoundly, affect organizational productivity, effectiveness, and the overall work environment; all of which directly influence the internal and external value of a company—meaning, how the organization benefits its employees, its clients or customers, and its community.
Every admin has something that they uniquely bring to an organization that is impactful on its employees and on its success. Often, utilization of these particular strengths can become rote in the course of daily business; but, that in no way diminishes their value or their impact on company health and success.
As I said, structure and organization are my unique strengths. I am not an anomaly, though. We all have something uniquely ours; some area where we excel above all others; where we shine, and that light encompasses those around us—enriching, enlightening, and empowering. We all have unique talents that we offer. My question for you is, what would you consider to be yours? And, how are you utilizing them to impact your cohorts, your company, and your community?
“Stir the world with your skills, shake the world with your talents, move the world with your brilliance, change the world with your genius.” –Matshona Dhliwayo
So, you have embraced the idea of unique individual strengths. What is your next step? Why, to discover what your strengths are! There are many guides available to help you uncover not only your “power” areas, but how to communicate, collaborate, and successfully work with people who excel in different and/or competing strength areas. Consider starting your discovery with:
“This assessment uncovers which talents you rely on to build relationships, think strategically, execute plans, and influence others to accomplish goals.”
“This assessment unveils your two key strength roles and shows you how to find the edge to win at work.”
“This assessment gives you greater understanding of your own human nature and allows you to begin the process of maximizing your potential—both personally and professionally.”
Once you have clarified your unique strengths, move toward understanding how to best communicate within them; and, how to overcome barriers that may arise as a result of conflicting strengths in others. As your confidence in your strengths grows, you will navigate the latter with greater ease and promote a flow of mutual collaboration.
Remember, talent that is hoarded is talent that is wasted. Use your strengths to effect meaningful change; to positively influence those you come into contact with; and to be a beneficial catalyst within your personal and professional communities. Also, do not forget to nurture your talents. Grow them as you grow. Develop them as you develop. And, expand them as your experience expands.
Know that whatever your particular strengths may be, they are valuable and needed within your organization and your community. Share them openly and embrace the similarities and differences in others’ strengths because: We all have something unique to offer. So, freely offer your unique talents and live a life of positive impact!
Evon Wood, CAP, OM, PM, MOS is a career admin whose passion for the administrative profession is evident in her years of leadership service at the local, regional, and national levels of various business and professional organizations. In addition to serving on the advisory boards of Nashville State Community College and Meeting Professionals International; she also maintains an active membership with the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), where she advocates for the ongoing growth and development of administrative professionals around the world.