Mac Curtis, Senior Vice President and Operative Executive at Veritas Capital, was the keynote speaker at the 2013 WashingtonExec Executive Assistant (EA) Committee dinner in Reston this past week. Curtis was hosted by Executive Assistant Committee Chairperson Barbie Sandy, EA to the President and COO at Oceus Networks.
The event was sponsored by Founding Committee Chairperson Jana DiCarlo, EA to Ed Casey, CEO of Serco Inc.
The former CEO of Vangent, Inc., which was sold to General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) in August 2011 for $960 million, gave the attendees insight as to how an EA can enhance their role and find leadership opportunities within their company.
Three take away from the evening:
- The EA should always “stay in sync” with their executive and keep them centered. The best way to achieve this is to sit down and discuss the executive’s leadership style, core values, and understand what is important to the executive.
- The EA should be a filter for their executive towards the company at large. The EA should be able to pass along key information (when appropriate) about morale, company culture, discontent etc. to the executive.
- The EA is on the frontlines when crisis and conflict arise. The EA should make sure to always have a very clear understanding of what is and what is not a priority. Understanding what message to project is critical during a stressful scenario.
“Mr. Curtis truly provided valuable and candid insight, particularly from an executive’s perspective, on how an EA can really be more than a supportive role, but also provide leadership within the company. Some of the key takeaways for the group included always remembering that we too represent the company and by “always doing the right thing” you will naturally stay on the path to future success,” said Sandy.
Dinner ended with a Q&A opportunity for the attendees and closing comments from Curtis. His final piece of advice to those who attended was: “fill in the seams for your executive.” Meaning, observe where the gaps are in the executive’s information flow and then insert yourself. This can be achieved by observing the “pulse of the business.”
The 2013 WashingtonExec Executive Assistant Committees are chaired by Lisa Robinson (Six3 Systems), Maria Cornell (CGI Federal) and Barbie Sandy (Oceus Networks). Curtis spokeearlier this month to the WashingtonExec Federal Business Council about creating value for company shareholders as well as lessons from the frontlines.
**Mac Curtis was named President and CEO of The SI Organization May 31st 2013. Read more here.**