“Invest in a top personal assistant. An investment that will always pay off.”
Mieke van den Broek
Interim Director and Supervisor
Especially on International Women’s Day 2022, we would like to put the spotlight on one of our strong, ambitious, decisive and inspiring female business relations: Mieke van den Broek, interim director and supervisor.
Below you will find our exclusive interview with Mieke on her vision on the role of top personal assistant.
Read why she advocates investing in a top personal assistant and why this investment will always pay off.
Wishing you great of inspiration, and of course…
Happy International Women’s Day 2022!
SMEENK’S TOP PERSONAL ASSISTANTS
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INVEST IN A TOP PERSONAL ASSISTANT | Mieke van den Broek
“Invest in a highly trained top personal assistant who is able to act as a capable and truthful sparring partner for the director, who is able to see through administrative processes and understand calendar management priorities,” advises interim director and supervisor Mieke van den Broek. “Too often I see that assistants are given additional tasks for which they are insufficiently qualified. This means that the respective executive does everyone a disservice, including the assistant. The PA role is a role with its own characteristics, so it is very important to realize its full added value to an organization and an executive.”
Mieke has been an interim director and supervisor in organizational transitions for more than 20 years. She has especially been involved in the fields of education, care, welfare and culture. “I usually come in place when a director is no longer in office. Often due to an underlying complex and sensitive situation. In case of conflict, it is my priority to bring parties into conversation, so that they can work on finding a mutual solution. Transparency is of the greatest importance here. I communicate at the front about plans and take people along. In doing so, I invest in getting to know the background, the DNA, of the organization. In the meantime, of course, the going concern must also continue and the question about the core business arises: where are we from? As an interim director, you are a process director, conflict handler and strategist.”
Processes in order
“The added value of a top PA is significant, Mieke knows from experience. “A top PA, for example, has a great set of instruments at their disposal, e.g. to support the preparation of documents for, among others, the Supervisory Board. Especially in organizations in the collective sector without a company secretary, this work is regularly left to staff who is not always sufficiently equipped for this. If, as a result, documents are not ready in time, executives must above all take a critical look at themselves and then decide to invest in a top PA. Because if the administrative processes do not run smoothly, this affects the other processes in the organization.”
Business and sparring partner
Mieke also mentions the role of top PA as a business and sparring partner. “The top PA must also be able to deal with their executive at a weak moment, without making them feel unsafe. It can be lonely at the top and you need a confidant and sparring partner. From the realization that this is a functional working relationship. And that you can counteract each other when necessary. In short, a top PA fulfills a unique role. Therefore, it is important that executives realize this and benefit from this. A top PA always pays off.”
Complex calendar management
The top PA also shows their added value with solid calendar management. “A top PA understands calendar management priorities and acts accordingly,” says Mieke. “That is not an easy task in today’s hardening society. For example, how do you deal with external parties who want to enforce an appointment in the agenda or internal managers who are going to take a stronger stand?” As far as Mieke is concerned, there are new challenges for top PAs on the table, including: “How do you relate to ‘framing, blaming & shaming’, when you do not want to exhibit this behavior yourself?”
An interesting case. How do you think about this? Let us know via: email@example.com!
As operations manager a.i. for the Dutch Railways, Mieke used the services of Smeenk’s Top Personal Assistants for the first time. Mieke: “In addition to operational activities, there was a task to improve the organization’s Support. I asked Maartje to make an analysis and to advise the ideal approach. She also helped to better equip the PAs for their role. The collaboration was very successful. Maartje has an excellent command of her profession and knows what is needed. In addition, she is a reliable sparring partner for her relations.”
Room at the top
In short, there is room to grow at the highest level within organizations. Room for growth with impact and an exceptional maneuverability. For leaders and organizations as a whole. There is room to improve. To excel even further and in a more sustainable manner. To grow towards an organization with impact. An organization with more innovative power. Do you wish to make optimum use of that space?
“Invest in a Top Personal Assistant”
Interviewee: Mieke van den Broek owner of Interim Management, Organizational Support and Supervisory Organization Broekhan BV.
Copywriter: Silvia Kooij: www.viasilvia.nl.