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Interviews

Bobby Lane

Bobby is a specialist in providing consultancy for growing businesses, assisting with start-ups and helping getting struggling companies back on track, with expert knowledge of the issues facing businesses in the media, fashion, leisure, hairdressing, health & beauty and service sectors.

What educational qualifications do you insist on / Do you require your PA to have a degree?

I believe that the role has changed significantly over the years with the growth of email and the fact that many people are far more capable of writing their own emails and letters. For me educational qualifications are secondary to the interpersonal skills that the job requires. The ability of my PA to build relationships with my clients and contacts is of far greater importance to me and therefore a degree or long list of academic qualifications are not the attributes that I am most interested in. With that said being able to write effectively and deal with issues effectively does require a decent education.

Would you agree that behind every great business leader is a great PA?

Totally! You genuinely understand how much you rely on your PA when they are on holiday. The better the relationship the easier your life. My PA knows how to deal with certain issues as they arise which saves a huge amount of time. There are many situations throughout the day that do not even reach my desk as my PA is able to deal with them without my input. This clearly frees up my time to be able to focus on the situations that require my attention.

You genuinely understand how much you rely on your PA when they are on holiday.

What key attributes, traits and skills do you look for above all others when employing a PA?

Personality, organisational skills and the ability to multitask but most importantly the ability to manage me!

Would you agree that chemistry is the key ‘ingredient’ for a successful long term working relationship between a PA & Principal?

Without a doubt. You have to be able to trust you PA implicitly and enjoy the working relationship. It is the same as any relationship in your life; with no chemistry things remain superficial and you will never get the best out of each other. A relationship is a two-way thing and you will only get out of it what you put into it, so it is not only the responsibility of the PA but also the Principal to build that chemistry and relationship. Successful teams only work when everyone is engaged and pulling in the same direction.

A relationship is a two-way thing and you will only get out of it what you put into it, so it is not only the responsibility of the PA but also the Principal to build that chemistry and relationship.

Is your PA a confidante and sounding board for you?

A professional practice can be a very stressful environment to operate in. Having a PA who is clearly on your side and there to support you can be invaluable when you need someone to use as a sounding board or just discuss situations that you are unable to discuss with anyone else.

Is your PA an ambassador for you and your office?

My PA is the first person that a new business prospect, an introducer, or a professional will meet. They are the first point of contact and can create a positive or negative impression of the firm in the first few moments. This may be in person, on the phone or in a host of other situations. My PA is therefore a key member of the team that has a huge influence on the perception of the practice, myself and my office.

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