top of page

Beyond the Circle of Influence: Empowering Executive Assistants

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

The Circle of Influence is a concept popularized by Stephen R. Covey in his groundbreaking book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." It is a framework that helps individuals understand and manage their concerns and control over various aspects of their lives. The Circle of Influence consists of two distinct but interconnected components: the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence.

The Circle of Influence and the Executive Assistant.

The inner circle, known as the Circle of Influence, comprises the things that one can directly control or influence. This includes personal choices, attitudes, behaviors, and reactions to external events.

The Circle of Influence represents a space where individuals can make a difference and effect positive change. It is where empowerment and productivity thrive.

The Circle of Influence is a powerful framework for executive assistants. By recognizing what falls within their sphere of control and influence, EAs can thrive in their roles, contribute to the success of their executives, and lead fulfilling professional lives. Embracing this concept empowers executive assistants to make a positive impact in their organizations, all while effectively managing the many challenges that come their way.

Beyond Your Circle of Influence: The Circle of Concern

Beyond your Circle of Influence is the Circle of Concern, which includes individuals, challenges, or issues you can't control. This might encompass your executive's preferences, certain organizational decisions, or external market forces. It's vital to acknowledge that you can't influence everything.

However, remember that someone within your Circle of Influence may have individuals in their Circle of Influence who initially seem outside yours. This is where the power of networking comes into play.

Network as a Bridge:

Building a robust professional network is like constructing a bridge between your Circle of Influence and those beyond it. Consider your colleagues, both within and outside your organization, as potential connectors to individuals or opportunities you seek to influence.

Collaborate and communicate effectively with colleagues, especially those who have access to the people or resources you need. Share insights, ideas, and resources within your network to expand your reach.

Use your network to indirectly influence people who may be outside your direct reach. By forming alliances, you can make a compelling case for your ideas, persuade decision-makers, and bring about change through those who have a more direct line of influence

Keep the lines of communication open with your network. Regularly touch base with colleagues who can act as intermediaries or advocates, and be clear in your communication about what you hope to achieve or the influence you seek to exert.

Remember, relationships are two-way streets. Offer your assistance and support to those within your network, and you'll find that they are more likely to reciprocate and help you in return.

Understanding the Circle of Influence is not just about knowing what you can and cannot control, but also about using your network effectively. While there will always be people and factors outside your direct control, your ability to connect and collaborate with others within your influence can be a powerful tool.

By leveraging your professional network, you can reach individuals who might initially seem out of reach, opening up new opportunities and possibilities for success as an executive assistant.

About the Author:

Richard Arnott, BA, FInatAM, FIToL, is the Director of BMTG (UK) Ltd, and the author and lead presenter of the groundbreaking, globally recognised Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistant: ACEA® program.

Please connect with Richard on Linkedin and please also join our LinkedIn group, "The Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistant: ACEA®," to connect with a community of forward-thinking executive assistants committed to career growth and development

251 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page