Being Indispensable

Being Indispensable is a podcast for Executive Assistants. It's about the mindset shift required to form a true partnership with your executive. Listen to interviews with indispensable executive assistants themselves, insights from executives and business leaders who share what they value in their indispensable assistants and join Liz as she explores the skills and leadership development required to build a true partnership with your executive.
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Being Indispensable



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Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

In my interview with Adam we discuss his belief that Executive Assistants must take charge of their professional destiny because if they fail to do so, they risk others stepping in to influence it that do not understand the role and the true value that Executive Assistants can offer organisations and individual leaders.

The overarching theme of Adam’s work is about encouraging and enabling EA’s to align their behaviours with what is expected of a mid level manager and the sorts of EQ skills that are focused on in leadership development. He has a higher vision for the role which he articulates in his EA manifesto but rather than this vision being some sort of airy fairy, non-specific ideal he advocates for it being based on a proven foundation of skills development.


I’m already calling out that I’m going to have Adam back on the podcast for us to debate the word ‘indispensable’ as you will hear that he’s not a fan of it. I actually think he and I are in agreement and that it’s about not striving for something you can never achieve, because as we’ve discussed, we’re all dispensable. Anyway…


Top takeaways from interview with Adam


  1. Credibility is achieved through getting the job done, being professional and being qualified - therefore EA’s need to choose high calibre events to attend that will reflect well on them and be seen as an effective use of their time.

  2. Focus on what you need to do to be seen as more ‘managerial’, more professional in your role. That means looking closely at what activities and tasks you are spending your time on and look at identifying how you can develop into more red box activities.

  3. Aligned with this is spending time in ‘boss mode’ as opposed to ‘pa mode’. Thinking proactively, using initiative, having a growth mindset and asking less for permission and more for confirmation or correction. Boss Mode is about understanding your leaders’ objectives and priorities as well as the organisations and thinking strategically about how you can advance those without being given explicit instruction.

  4. This is where Adam’s metaphor of moving up from the dancefloor is so powerful… I love this metaphor, I keep humming Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s song “Murder on the Dancefloor” (link to Youtube clip in the Shownotes for those of you that don’t know it)

  5. Finally Adam acknowledges that there will always be a place for black box activities, he says these are the bread and butter tasks of EA’s but the reality is that no one ever got promoted for being great with Excel or Powerpoint. You may need to help your boss see your value in doing ‘red box’ activities but once they’ve experienced the benefits they will be converts. Saving your boss time makes you a huge asset but it requires you to act and work independently.



PA Life Interview

Connect with Adam Fidler on LinkedIn

Adam Fidler Academy website

Sophie Ellis-Bextor “Murder On The Dancefloor”

Adam Fidler’s “What I am” EA manifesto

Feb 20, 2017

Liz has developed a 5 step process to identifying the skills, values and behaviours that will make you an indispensable Assistant to your business leader.

Step 1 is to conduct a personal skills audit. In this episode, the first in a five part series to be released over coming weeks, Liz outlines two different approaches to conduct a personal skills audit. Liz also discusses how the results of this exercise will form the basis for Step 3 which is to identify what indispensable looks like to your business leader and how Adam Fidler’s Executive Assistant ‘manifesto’ which he formulated through his coaching and training work with EA’s may serve as a useful conversation starter.

 Resources discussed in this episode

'5 Steps To Being Indispensable' Factsheet - download on the website

Adam Fidler Executive Assistant role description

Vickie Evan’s Tech Savvy Assistant diagrams

Tools like MBTI, Strengthfinder and the DISC profile are also valuable to helping you ‘flesh’ out the total picture of what you bring to your role. Learn more about these tools via the links:

Myers Briggs Online

Strengthfinder 2.0

DISC Profile

Feb 13, 2017

A solo episode sharing an aha moment that Liz has experienced in the process of developing a new intro for the podcast. It’s a short 15 minute episode this week ruminating on the confidence that comes from realising that in order to be an advocate and influencer in the Executive Assistant space she doesn't need to have been the ‘best’ Executive Assistant that has ever done the role. That it's legitimate and perfectly okay to be passionate about giving a voice to those who are the ‘best’ and that by doing so her role as an influencer of the values and behaviours that make an EA indispensable is valid and useful.

Podcast mentioned (Glen Carlson interviewed on Business Addicts) can be found here


Feb 6, 2017

Sonia Petersen has over 15 year's experience as an Executive Assistant working with successful leaders within the construction industry. She is passionate about operations and driving efficiency and really enjoys the collaborative nature of the Executive Assistant role. Amongst her fellow EA’s she is known for her dedication to support and inspire others which she has done by informally mentoring and coaching other Executive Assistants. This is such a passion for her that she has recently began a side hustle business offering individual and group coaching around Wellbeing at Work. Sonia truly believes that if we focus on our wellbeing we will see improvements not just in our health but also in our ability to build relationships as well as increased productivity and even greater success.

For those of us that are working on being indispensable these outcomes are what we’re looking for. As I have shared with you, when your wellbeing and wellness is challenged everything else is affected and your ability to show up as indispensable is compromised...and we don’t want that!

As Sonia describes on her website

“My goal is to create a movement for Executive Assistants and Corporate Women to be respected and recognised, to be united and empowered in what we do as a profession”

Key Takeaways from our discussion:

  • Importance of understanding your Exec’s temperament
  • Needs to be aligned and working as a team (like a marriage)
  • Trusting yourself, being able to back yourself up
  • ‘You are the right hand man to the boss’
  • Being the ears and eyes of the company

Dowload a free copy of Sonia's eBook 'Unstick The Stuck' A Woman's Guide to Finding Career Clarity, Creating a Life You Love and Taking Care of Your Well-being' at