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A New Shade of Lipstick

Updated: Nov 8, 2021

It’s been a minute since I blogged and I can certainly provide a myriad of reasons why, but you didn’t open this up to read about how “busy” I am. I blog when I am moved to do so – something is going on and I feel I have something of value to say and I can say it in a way that will be relevant and useful.

I want to pay homage to my dear mother here…she was an ardent believer in lipstick, wearing it and buying it – she had a whole drawer full which I loved opening and trying all the different colors. This was fun and new shades were always joyous. I do believe, in some way, my mom felt a new shade of lipstick would empower her in some way, and it did, temporarily of course. And your point is….

The space and community of the Executive Assistant – it’s sheer madness in good and not so good ways. I almost wish I could go back to the days when every EA that had 10 years of experience wasn’t calling themselves an expert and partnering with others to create pricey workshops to make you the best damn STRATEGIC BUSINESS PARTNER, FORCE MULTIPLIER, BUSINESS PARTNER ever.

What is a force multiplier anyway? I asked recently, and someone sent me the link to a book with the same title. Hmmm. Okay – thanks, I will be sure to read that someday. Well here is the definition according to a google search: A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment. Holy cow – that is awesome and scary at the same time…and no disrespect to the amazing folks that are out there beating the drum for the Executive Assistant, there is something for everyone out there and if this works for you – I say great!

I am not a critic of the new-fangled terminology, but I do have an opinion and a goal and that is to take the pressure off, we have enough, thank you. As a Coach to Executive Assistants (certified and worked in the role for 30 years), I make a good effort to be informed on all things that are out there for the esteemed role of the EA. Rather than jumping on board because everyone says – yes, this is awesome, I look at ideas, thoughts, workshops from all angles and wonder, is this helping us or hurting us?

The role of the Executive Assistant is already amazing – when we start picking new outfits (aka titles, descriptors), we are saying what we are is not good enough so we have to dress it up to make it seem better – but we all know, we can put on the fanciest outfit and do our hair and add a new lipstick but if we don’t believe in what we do – a fancy schmancy outfit or fancy title is not going to change ANYTHING and could do more harm than good.

The terms are strong and powerful – we are that and we do that. A CEO is a CEO – no dramatic terms needed or new twist on the title to describe or up level that position – so why do we need to do everything we can to detach from what our title is: Executive Assistant.

Proud to be one, proud to tell people I am one and I don’t need to add Business Partner, Strategic Business Partner, Force Multiplier – because I am all that and that should be implied in my title: Executive Assistant…period. Let’s put the power back into that title, not lessen it by getting creative with new ways to describe what we do.

Now pucker up and strategically multiply some forces, I still don’t know what that means, but it’s a nice shade, for now.

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Megan Coffey
Megan Coffey

Can I just say a great big loud and boisterous "AMEN?!" This is exactly how I feel and I'm so glad to see someone else who's feeling the same way. I believe it takes a great deal of courage to step up and speak out when it goes against the grain a bit. This is not currently a popular opinion to have, and I applaud you for sharing it. THANK YOU!

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