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Why do executives hire lousy assistants?

In the process of writing her new book, Jan Jones of the renowned Jan Jones Worldwide speakers bureau, asked herself the question: ?why do executives keep hiring lousy personal assistants??

It?s a question she asked herself after seeing a very experienced CEO make the same mistake for the third time in hiring a personal assistant with no experience, with ?disastrous results?.

Writing for Huffington Post, Jones said: “Over the course of my career as a former assistant and now as a business owner, I?m repeatedly bewildered that successful executives, who otherwise demonstrate good business judgment, allow themselves to be encumbered by ineffective assistants.”

So, in writing The CEO?s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximise Productivity and Effectiveness, Jones laid out a selection of qualities executives should be looking for if they are ready to hire a high-quality, valuable personal assistant:

  • Someone Who Thinks & Plans Ahead: The exceptional assistant handles the nitty-gritty for their executive. They remove uncertainty. Using good judgment, these self-starters are constantly looking ahead in order to take care of their boss? needs. They don?t require constant supervision or direction.

  • Someone Who is Resourceful: Being resourceful is a vital asset for an exceptional assistant. Full of initiative and drive, an exceptional assistant knows how to get the job done. They know when and how to take appropriate action.

  • Someone Who Makes Their Executive Look Good: The assistant is the executive?s “face” and “voice” to the world. An assistant must know what image the boss wants to project and make sure they are successfully projecting that image.

  • Someone with Top-Notch Communication Skills: Because an assistant frequently speaks on behalf of the boss, they must communicate with clarity, exhibit a professional demeanor and convey sincerity and respectfulness in their communications.

  • Someone Who is Detail-Oriented: Whether it is impeccable presentations, spelling, planning travel, or meetings and events, everything is accurate and organized down to the last detail.

  • Someone with High Levels of Integrity & Discretion: An exceptional assistant shows excellent discretion in all communication regarding their boss and their firm. They don?t indulge in gossip, show disloyalty, or betray a confidence. They follow through on promises and always keep their word.

Read Jan Jones? full piece on Huffington Post at