A little advice on how to get a lot from your secretary

Forget this National Secretaries Day stuff. Why should secretaries get their own special day? What makes them so hot? Take my advice and don't give your secretary any special treatment...next thing you know she'll get a big head and ask for a raise. Instead, try my suggestions for getting the most out of your secretary with the least investment. With these techniques, you're guaranteed to be treated right all year long:

·        Call her into your office twenty or thirty times a day. This will keep her on her toes and reinforce how important you are. After all, a slave should be responsive to your every need.

·        Throw your reports on her desk fifteen minutes before they're due and demand that they be typed at once. Think of how dramatic and important you'll look. After all, what could she possibly be doing that is more important?

·        Tell her to pick up your dry cleaning and run to your bank; don't ask. That way you won't have to listen to her whining and sniveling about doing your "personal errands."

·        Don't notice any of the little special things he does to make your reports and correspondence look more professional. That's his job, isn't it? So what if he catches your spelling errors and grammar mistakes...you probably would have caught them too, if you had as much time on your hands as he does.

·        When she's with you in a group of fellow professionals, pretend she's invisible. Talk past her, speak for her, and whatever you do, don't ask for her opinion. The next thing you know, she'll expect you to listen to her ideas. No sense in letting her think she's important. If you treat her like a non-person, you'll keep her where you want her; looking up to you and working for peanuts.

·        Never give her challenging work. This is the kiss of death. Mark my words; once she gets a taste of interesting work, she'll be on your back nagging you for more and more...and if she can do some of your job, won't you look foolish and inept? And if she's any good at all, she'll leave! Nope, think "tedious and repetitious" when you are assigning work.

·        Never, ever say "Thank you." Keep in mind that she is supposed to do these things for you, so why bother to thank her? If you do, she'll get a "big head" and sure as shootin' she'll start expecting more appreciation.

·        If she's any good, keep her a secret. Don't tell anyone about her, because they'll steal her. The last thing you need is someone offering her more money and tipping her off to what she's really worth.

·        Don't tell her anything about what's going on. That's only for professionals; she doesn't need to know the big picture. Little people are just the grunts and gofers. Don't confuse her and worry her about what's going on in the company. Besides, if she knew that stuff she would probably want to give you input and help you solve problems and you know that's just for higher level people like you.

·        Use her as a scapegoat. Think of the possibilities... You can blame her for your late reports ("I got it done boss, but my secretary is a slow typist."). You can blame her for not returning messages ("When did you call? My secretary never gave me the message!") If you're sly, you could let your performance slide and let her take the hit!

·        Tell her to lie for you. This will get you out of lots of jams. She can fudge the expense report to include that day of vacation you squeezed into your last business trip. She can lie to your spouse about how you've been working late. She can lie to the customers about delivery dates. It's perfect.

(Hopefully, you've realized by now that I'm having a little tongue-in-cheek fun. If you're smart, you'll celebrate National Secretaries' Day by showing your secretary or administrative assistant how much you appreciate everything they do for you all year long.)


Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 354-9500, mailto:info@joanlloyd.com, or www.JoanLloyd.com 
 
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