I’ve spent over a year passively looking for a PA. Without a doubt I think it’s the most difficult role to recruit for. Beyond the usual assessments undertaken by any organisation that has a certain standard for recruiting, this role needs more: emotional intelligence, values, confidentiality, management competence, communication, listening – all on a level that matches mine and my expectations.
The process has forced me to understand who I am and what I represent. Who am I going to allow into my space, to see who I am behind the public identity? This is someone who will understand my muda, mura and muri so that I can operate at maximum efficiency and uptime. What then is my interpretation of the 3M’s of waste? What is maximum efficiency and uptime for me? How do my creative side, engineering, management and coach fit into these ‘constraints’?
A straightforward work relationship does not apply in this case primarily because I no longer believe work and life are separate. Who you are at home is still fundamentally who you are at work – if you think you can be two different people then let me know when you collapse from exhaustion at being someone you’re not. The best teams perform when they know and understand each other well and I’d like that my team is the best team!
So perhaps its safe to say we’re match-making to some effect? We have to consider the intellectual connection after the emotional connection. And I don’t think there’s an effective, affordable method to test ‘chemistry’. Psychometrics help to an extent but I know I’m not one personality – my coaching friends know about this – so the only way would then be trial and error?
I recently hired a PA. No, scratch that. I recently teamed up with a PA. I thought finding a team member was difficult but the on-boarding is even harder. Because now we have to consider the company culture and for them to fit into that. On-boarding in an environment that has documented management systems is easy but how do you on-board for assisting me? I’m a person or persons, with no documented methodology. One day I eat rice, the next chapatti and there’s no regular schedule to it. I was used to being a solo player and now I have to become a team player – I have to be ready to support my team member and accept support from the team member. ‘Support’ can mean a number of things and for me it goes hand in hand with vulnerability. We have to be equally vulnerable in front of each other to see beyond the guard. That’s how we will know each other, that’s how we’ll become the best team.
You see why teaming up with a PA is so difficult?