An interview with an Executive
By Meagan Iervasi
Executive Assistant & IMS Management Representative
Meagan graduated as a Certified High Performing EA in , she interviewed Gareth McKay, CEO and Manager Director at Valen Power to gather feedback on her progress since participating in the course.
Meagan: Okey dokey, so what is your role at Valen?
Gareth: I’m the CEO and Managing Director, so I’m responsible for setting the strategy and executing it and empowering the team to execute it.
Meagan: Who in your organisation has completed the Certified High Performing EA course?
Gareth: Florence, Rosie and Meagan. And Chelsea’s going through the program at the moment.
Meagan: How was your EA operating prior to starting the course?
Gareth: So, my EA, being [you] Meagan, lacked self-confidence and certainty, and spent her time making sure. Spent her time being compliant. Making sure she made everyone feel happy.
Meagan: How did that impact the progress she was able to make?
Gareth: It kind of meant that she was stagnant and had limited use in growing the business. She had self-limited her own capacity to grow in the role, And in turn, the business.
Meagan: What were some weaknesses or limitations that she had prior to the course?
Gareth: The other weaknesses I don’t really know how to say this, but umm, she was very concerned as to how she appeared in the business. Yeah, as to what you did in the business. Yeah yeah concerning how she appeared and therefore what she did.
Meagan: What were you hoping to achieve from Meagan completing the course?
Gareth: When I originally sent her on the course, I had hoped that she would gain some technical skills on how to be an EA, but I found that during the course she gained far more than technical skills but leadership skills… On how to ask good questions, how to lead projects, how to lead others.
Meagan: So during the course, how did you find Megan managed the course with her workload? What commitment was required from her throughout the course?
Gareth: I have no flaming idea!
Meagan: So you don’t think the coursework impacted her ability to do her job?
Gareth: Yes, yeah.
Meagan: Did you find that it enhanced her ability to do the job?
Gareth: So maybe I found it didn’t impact her ability to do the job, she just fitted it in to her work schedule. Yeah, it may have in turn meant she became more efficient and effective.
Meagan: What support did were you required to provide during the course? How did you interact with the course and with the content if at all?
Gareth: There was limited time that I needed to put aside to the course. Although I paid an interest in Meagan’s progress throughout the course by asking questions as to her progress and what she was learning.
Meagan: Do you feel that you supported, then the implementation of the skills that she was learning?
Gareth: You would have to ask her, but I would say yes, I say I felt I supported her throughout just by taking an interest in her progress, yeah.
Meagan: How long ago did she complete the course?
Gareth: Six months ago.
Meagan: What benefits did the course provide her personally?
Gareth: She’s become a better communicator, a better coach and a better leader, but I’m sure some of those impacts have flowed into her personal life. Her being a better person.
Meagan: What benefits did the course provide the business?
Gareth: To grow a business, you need to grow individuals. And I felt throughout the course Meagan grew in her ability to lead projects, lead others, coach others and support individuals in the business, directly and indirectly.
Meagan: What benefits, if any, did the course provide you personally?
Gareth: It’s meant that I need to spend less time coaching and training and more time focusing on my role, knowing Meagan’s career development was taken care of.
Meagan: Would you recommend others to book their EA’s or assistants into the course?
Gareth: 100%. Without a doubt as long as they have a growth mindset. Or they are looking to challenge their own capability.
Meagan: Who do you think this course is best suited to?
Gareth: Well its aimed at EA’s, but I would say anyone in the corporate world who is in the early stages of leadership development.
Meagan: And do you feel that you’ve received return on investment?
Gareth: Yes, certainly yes. without a doubt.
Meagan: And what would you say to any CEO Managing director or executive who’s considering booking their EA to the course? How do they know it’s the right decision for them?
Gareth: If you have an Executive Assistant who’s not performing at their full potential or you feel has greater capability and you would like to help them unlock that potential you certainly should consider enrolling your Executive Assistant in this course.
A big thank-you to Meagan and Gareth for letting us into this candid conversation. We’re so pleased for you both. If you’d like to find out more about The Certified High Performing EA, fill in the form below to download the course brochure.