Maartje Smeenk’s drive

“Let professionals and organizations flourish. Making talents shine!”

Maartje Smeenk

‘What is your drive, your why?’ My assistant asked me that question during her own job interview. Silvia Kooij, my regular text writer, interviewed me a little further on this topic. Please find the result below.

I wish you great inspiration. And of course, are you a professional yourself, looking for ways to making your and your organization’s talents shine? Please do not hesitate to contact me.

It will be my pleasure using my passion, expertise and network for your benefit!

Your investment for success. Through attention, focus and quality.

“Let professionals and organizations flourish. Making talents shine!”

Maartje Smeenk has held various roles at the highest level in international business before starting out her entrepreneurial business as a headhunter for top personal assistants. “I want to help leaders to become better leaders, teams and organizations to function in a more flexible and energetic manner and to make organizations as a whole more agile. And I like to exceed expectations,” says Maartje. “I am now doing this by finding the right first-class top personal assistants for executive boards in the Netherlands. I am ambitious and want to make a meaningful difference. The best moments for me are when I am able to positively surprise my clients with the level and competencies of their right personal assistants and thus with the quality of my services. If the value of a top personal assistant is recognized and acknowledged, it does not just make me happy, after all.”

   Substantive involvement

Maartje has held the roles of top personal assistant, MT member with final responsibility for Business Support, HR, Finance and IT and of office director. “As a personal assistant, I have had the pleasure of assisting demanding CEOs and EVPs. While keeping their dot on the horizon clearly in mind, I was also perfectly capable of taking control of the route towards that dot. I advised, acted proactively and also took initiatives. In addition to all operational and routine tasks, which I was also happy to take off their hands. Enabling leaders to become the best version of themselves and enabling them to reach their full potential. That was and still is exactly the cutting edge of my expertise. It was when I still was a personal assistant back then and still is now, now that I am a headhunter for the new generation of top personal assistants.”

“Substantive involvement is essential”, says Maartje. “Because if you are ambitious, then you will want to perform well and make a meaningful difference. And if you have the answer to ‘why’ and are therefore properly able to assess how things fit together in the bigger picture, you can add extraordinary value to a business leader, their team and organization. This goes for both the personal assistant role as well as the executive search specialist for personal assistants. And it will be my pleasure to use my expertise, passion and network for that benefit.”

   The right match

During her own role as a personal assistant, Maartje noticed that not every personal assistant was recognized and acknowledged as well as she was. “Regularly, there were complaints about personal assistants by colleagues or business relations. Personal assistants I had regular contact with myself. I knew that they were highly qualified PAs, but not a right right match with their manager. And that their partnership did not flourish, because of this lack. 

That clearly taught me that no matter how excellent you may be as a PA, if there is no perfect match with your manager, then the executive:personal assistant partnership is simply not going to flourish. And I thought that was such a pity. Both for the executive, the PA and the organization. Not to mention the ‘damage’ that often occurred to the image of this partnership, due to this lack of the right match. It was then that I realized the significant importance of the perfect match and also of my talent for assessing this perfect match. That is how the idea arose to do something with this. Especially because I myself have always received full trust and space that I needed as a true right-hand woman, to enable a leader and an organization to excel and even more sustainably. And I wish that for every professional!”

   Attention, focus and quality

With her unique focus on the role of the new generation of top personal assistants, ‘impeccable’ service and the right personal attention, Maartje has been able to gain trust for more than 10 years in connecting many top-level executives and their ideal personal assistants. A key pillar of differentiation of her success is certainly that Maartje knows from her own experience how very strong an executive:personal assistant top team can be when they start working together as business partners.

   Great added value 

“In general, more attention should be paid to the great added value that the right top PA brings to both an executive and organization. Many still think in terms of the traditional profession, while there is so much more room for growth at the highest level. Both as a leader and as an organization as a whole. There is room to grow into an exceptionally agile, sustainable organization. Into an organization with great impact and innovative power that uses its full potential. The right top personal assistant helps to make optimal use of that space. Helps to work more optimally and helps leaders to develop further. And if an executive’s personal and business life run smoothly, there will also be room to even add more value. For example to society. I have so often seen how well this can work.”

   Exceeding expectations

Leaders are sometimes amazed by the great added value their cooperation with the right top personal assistant in practice brings. And by the strong synergy, far exceeding the sum of its parts. Maartje: “It gives me great pleasure when I have been able to convince an executive board member of the right top personal assistant and when this personal assistant then shows such great added value in practice. Recently, I was able to mediate a very talented top PA who will continue to exceed the expectations of his executive. Practices and promises like these simply give me great pleasure!”

“Maartje Smeenk’s drive “Let professionals and organizations flouris. Making talents shine!”

Interview: Silvia Kooij.

Director Owner Maartje Smeenk representing Smeenk's Personal Assistants
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Assisting excellent leadership. Through attention, focus and quality.