Are You a “Guerrilla Admin”?

Get Results Through “Irregular” (but still appropriate) Methods

If you’re really good at “admining”, you’re a Guerrilla Admin. What does that mean?

Convention vs. Resourcefulness

Just as Guerrilla Marketing uses unconventional methods to promote a product, the Guerrilla Admin uses unconventional methods to be resourceful on behalf of the organization, the person he (she) supports and the mission. (And himself, of course.)

Guerrilla warfare isn’t limited to classic rules of engagement. Anything can happen. A small group of combatants can use mobile tactics, like ambushes and raids, to combat a larger and less mobile formal army. The element of mobility is key here.

Guerrilla Admins aren’t limited to the classic beaten path. They understand Standard Operating Procedures enough to know when and how they must be bypassed at times. They respect their formal job descriptions, and they also identify their ‘undercover job descriptions’ based on perceived need. With covert titles like Shock Absorber, Executive Ambassador, Translator, and The Solver, they are the glue that holds the office together – and the spark that fuels adaptiveness through creativity.

Guerrilla Admins Do What it Takes

Guerrilla Admins take ownership for results as they administer their tasks. They listen to the requirements of their vision of excellence. They look beyond their to-do-lists into what it takes to get the results that meet and exceed what has been done before. They take their employer’s visions, raise them one, and make great things happen.

Much of how a Guerrilla Admin operates flies beneath the radar. Not that she doesn’t share her methods – she is the first to document her improved procedures. Her work is visible to anyone who peeks into her office or logs into her online planner. It’s just that much of what she does is grounded in who she is. She understands her uniqueness – and what works for her wouldn’t work for anyone else in just the same way. And, she plants seeds and waits for them to grow to decide her next step based on what happens. She travels a path of exploration which means much of what she will do next isn’t even predictable to her.

How to Guerrilla-ize your Methods

If you’re really good at admining, you’re a Guerrilla Admin already. If you’d like to improve your admining, here are some steps to guerrilla-ize your mode of operating.

  1. Know yourself. Start by listing three reasons why your boss and team are lucky to have you. This helps you identify your uniqueness.

  2. Create a covert title for yourself that describes how you bring your uniqueness into what you do. You may choose to share your title or keep it private for your own guidance.

  3. Know the “rules”. Learn Standard Operating Procedures. Before you bend rules, it’s important to understand what the rules are and why they exist. Document procedures that are not yet documented. Keep an eye out for how they can be improved while you do this, but remember: the main purpose of this step is to see things as they are.

  4. Picture excellence in ways that transcend your to-do-list. For example, a professional housecleaner would picture a clean house instead of a vacuumed floor and dusted shelves. A meeting planner would picture the perfect meeting beyond date selection, securing space, etc.

  5. Do one thing to move yourself toward your vision/desired outcome that is outside of your normal scope.

  6. Ask yourself, “What did I learn by taking step five?”

Admin Agility

Jay Conrad Levinson coined the term guerrilla marketing as an unconventional system of promotions on a very low budget, relying on time, energy and imagination instead of big marketing budgets. Levinson says small size is actually an advantage instead of a disadvantage to Guerilla Marketing. Small businesses and entrepreneurs get publicity more easily than large companies because they are closer to their customers and considerably more agile.

Like that, as a Guerrilla Admin, you are closer to your internal and external customers than many. That gives you an agility and mobility that you can tap into if you’re willing to create and practice ‘irregular’ (but not inappropriate) methods.

How are you already getting results using unconventional methods on behalf of the organization, the person you support and the mission? (And yourself, of course.) Agility is key to success these days. It’s time to tap into your agile inner Guerrilla Admin.


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