Sometimes not often enough
We reflect upon the good things
And those thoughts always center around those we love
And I think about those people who mean so much to me
And for so many years have made me so very happy
And I count the times I have forgotten to say “thank you”
And just how much I love them

–The Carpenters


Although technically a love song,  I felt this way about my Executive Assistant who worked with me for 17 years. Now that I am in leadership development and executive coaching with many physicians, I hear this sentiment from them about their nurses and staff.

Excellent Assistants (whatever their title and responsibilities) not only makes our lives easier, they make our lives better. Marita, my assistant when I worked for Woodmen Life, always had the right folder with the right information for whatever meetings I was heading to that day. Once, I was booked in back-to-back meetings all morning and our building was 27 stories tall so riding the elevator was always an issue. I arrived at one meeting a few minutes late and sitting at the head of the table was a folder I’d forgotten and a fresh cup of coffee.

I work with many physicians and one of the biggest headaches is if they have to work with a new nurse or receptionist. Most physicians see 15-20+ patients a day, and a friendly, efficient nurse and front office staff can make the difference between a good day and one that ends up with unhappy patients, complaints and irritability all around.

Sometimes we take this symbiotic relationship for granted and forget to say “thank-you” and just how much we love them. Happy Administrative Assistant’s Day.