Leaders focus so much on what they SHOULD be doing to be successful that they often neglect to figure out what they should NOT be doing.  The Building A Story Brand Podcast with Donald Miller is one of my go-to resources for personal growth and development.  This week’s guest was one of my favorite leaders – Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO of BELAY Solutions.  It was an incredible interview which you can listen to HERE.

Bryan was discussing the unique value of virtual assistants in conjunction with the release of his incredible book Virtual Culture: The Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore.  If you do not have your copy yet, I cannot recommend it enough.  You can get it here.  

Bryan’s insights on workplace culture are revolutionary.  If you do not believe me, the following are 7 Things Leaders Should Not Be Doing I gleaned from the interview along with additional comments on what makes a Rock-Star Assistant.

Leaders Should Not Be Responding To Email 

  • “Email is a router.”
  • “My assistant is my air traffic controller.”
  • “You have to responsive because you communicate all the wrong things when you don’t respond.”
  • “As an owner I set the pace for how we are going to respond.”
  • “Not every email that hits my Inbox is one I have to answer.”
  • “In the first 90 days (with your assistant), you have to over-communicate.”

Leaders Should Not Have Two Separate Calendars

  • “You’re one person.  You should have one calendar.”
  • “I’m thinking about my business at 4:00 in the morning… You can’t compartmentalize yourself as a leader.”

Leaders Should Not See Their Assistant As An Assistant

  • “The old school days of having an assistant parked outside your door or in some cubicle and just asking for coffee, or running and getting some papers or dry-cleaning, is over.  You need to see them as an extension of who you are as a leader.”
  • “I am four-to-five times who I am because of her involvement.”
  • “There are some lower payoff activities that need to be done on my behalf but I’m going to have that offloaded to my assistant.”
  • “My job is to grow an organization the best I can and be a good steward of it.”
  • “Time is something you can’t recreate.”
  • “A leader needs to say in the early days, ‘What is my time really worth?'”

Leaders Should Own The Company.  Not Run It.

  • “We’re going to find great people, delegate to them, and run the business.”
  • “The day the business doesn’t need you day-to-day is when you own it.”

Leaders Should Not Manage Their Own Projects

  • “When you feel the need to research something, STOP and let your assistant do it.”

Leaders Should Not Book Their Own Travel

  • “Often times leaders like to hang on to travel… The reason they don’t hand it off is because they like the sense of completion.  Most leaders are solving problems that are three-six-nine months in the making.  They never feel like they’re completing something.”

Leaders Should Not Be Buying Gifts

  • “Generosity is an important part of a business.  It demonstrates the heart and gratitude of the business.”

An OK Assistant Vs. A Rock Star

  • “This is the difference between an OK assistant and a rock star assistant.  It’s the thing you learn by learning your leader.”
  • “She’s my eyes and ears.”
  • “When you anticipate needs, you’re looking for things that are going to cause friction in your day (and proactively solve the problem”.
  • “That is a gift of an assistant – one who can truly anticipate your needs.”

How Do You Thank Your Assistant

  • “I say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ even though I’ve been working with her for five years.”
  • “I’m proactive with her.”
  • “I don’t expect her to do something I wouldn’t do myself.”
  • “The ‘Why’ of a task is far more important than the task itself.”
  • “The ‘Why’ trumps the ‘What’ every single time.  If they know the ‘Why’ they can fill in the blank when you’re not around.”
  • “You delegate the ‘Why’ more than the ‘What’.”

You should tweet Bryan HERE and tell him one thing you learned from this interview which will make you a more effective leader.





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