13 Steps to Problem Solving for Administrative and Executive Assistants


No doubt you face problems on a daily basis. They can be as small as a printer jam or as big as your executive’s international trip is turning into a disaster due to bad weather.

There are many methods people use to solve problems such as mind-mapping or brainstorming. But for larger issues or problems, you have to have a process to be more successful at making the right decision.

This is called a Step Method and you follow it as outlined below. If you use the steps out of order, it will not have the same impact. I hope this helps you and if you have any suggestions as to what works really well for you when faced with a problem, please share with me. [Read more…]

Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams

I had a full week last week as I spent 4 full days with 15 wonderful women from across the country. They came to Las Vegas to attend my World Class Assistant Part 1 and Part 2 high-end boot camp. They were an amazing group filled with energy, great ideas, and creativity. While 90% of them did not know each other, they bonded instantly. It was very gratifying for me to see the group gel and spend time with each woman who was uniquely gifted. We also reminded each other that as career women, we have many challenges. Women are constantly juggling work, home, their personal life, taking care of aging parents, children, managing their own stress and the stress of those they work with. And that is just the beginning!

[Read more…]

What learning method do you prefer? Webinar or Podcast


We’ve been having a great time with you this year as we introduced free monthly webinars. We’re curious, do you prefer learning via a webinar or podcast?

Don’t worry, we aren’t doing away with the webinars but we wonder if adding a podcast in the future would be something that you would use?

Please take our poll and comment below to share your input with us.

Webinar or Podcast Poll

Thank you for joining our Admin Blog-a-thon, what’s next?


Wow, what a fabulous April!

Did you have the most incredible Administrative Professionals’ Week this year?

Here’s a recap of just some of the amazing things that went on this year in celebration of you, Administrative Professionals: [Read more…]

5 Steps Towards a Much Needed Break

Guest Post by Adam Timm, Speaker at 2015 Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence.

Regular breaks are a great way to stay positive and uplifted throughout the day… you’re not working through your breaks, are you?

Does this sound like you?

– You normally work through your break periods.
– You eat your meals at your desk or miss lunch entirely.
– You head into work early and you leave too late.
– You bring work home at night and sometimes over the weekends.

Now, we’re not going to harp into you all the reasons why you must take a break, instead we’re going to give you 5 steps to take a much needed break.

Take_A_Break [Read more…]

The Future of the Administrative Profession


The Future of the Administrative Profession – Surviving or Thriving?

By Joan Burge, Founder and CEO, Office Dynamics International
Changing the Lives of Administrative Professionals Since 1990

It’s important to recognize the difference between surviving and thriving, because the key to success is available to those who successfully manage to cross the bandwidth between the two.

The global economic meltdown brought sweeping changes across many continents as companies made drastic changes to many sectors of employees, including the administrative profession. So encompassing was the economic climate that no vocation was immune.

Before the crisis, the administrative profession operated differently. Training budgets were ample; opportunity for advancement sparkled like diamonds for the taking. Administrators handled many tasks, and had backups, cross training, and team-shared projects.

Post-crisis, many people lost their jobs, and took any available position, even ones they were far overqualified for. Others could no longer afford to retire. Single income households became dual income households, often due to pay cuts and shorter hours. Training budgets dissipated, opportunities dried up, and assistants had larger workloads without staffing backups. Single support executive assistants now juggled multiple managers.

We’ve come through and now, the economy is healing. Much has changed for the executive assistant and administrative professional, and in order to thrive in this new working environment, it’s up to both to operate wisely, using savvy to make the right decision regarding the right question at the right time.

It would be easy to simply throw up one’s hands and say, “It’s okay to just survive!” but we know that excellence goes far beyond the basics. Success is met when we exceed expectations; when we go the second mile, and when we work diligently to remain relevant and competitive. Thriving is where we find contentment, advancement and opportunity.

We must know and grasp the many changes in today’s workplace so we can leverage them to succeed and thrive in the profession:

[Read more…]

Growing New Habits

grow new habits

Good morning and welcome to the last week of April. Brian Tracy is a favorite author, speaker, and consultant who I have admired for two decades. I’d like to share something with you that he said and then build upon it.

“Success is 95% habit. Successful people are those who have developed good habits and follow them over and over. Unsuccessful people have poor habits or don’t have good habits. If you develop good habits, they become automatic. Your success and your happiness are virtually guaranteed.” [Read more…]

Peer Synergy: 5 Powerhouse Strategies For Creating Administrative Peer Power

administrative team attending conference

Coming together is better than fighting for your own agenda. When you are trying to create change, whether in a process or for the administrative community in your organization, it is much easier to be persuasive when there is a group. There is strength in unity. Whether there are two administrative professionals in your office or 200, joining forces with your administrative peers will contribute to greater success for your organization.

When administrative professionals work together, there is less duplication, resulting in savings to the company and increased profitability.

  • Learn simplification techniques from each other.
  • Gain a new perspective.
  • Add freshness to your ho-hum routine.
  • Share technical shortcuts.

[Read more…]

5 Best Practices for Boosting Your Resiliency


<Guest Post by All Things Admin, Julie Perrine>

Part of an admin’s job is knowing how to handle unexpected, uncomfortable and sometimes downright awful situations. This means being flexible, patient, and expert trouble-shooters. Yet even the best, most experienced, and innovative admins can get flustered or lose their concentration in times of extreme chaos.

We are admins. But we’re human, too. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when an unforeseen situation comes up. However, there are some best practices that can improve your resilience and help you weather difficulties in a proactive and productive way. [Read more…]

Take Your Seat … At The Executive Table


<Guest Post by Debbie Gross>

Take Your Seat…At the Executive Table
Administrative Professionals leading in the 21st-century

Business today is changing so rapidly that it is hard to keep up or keep track! With new technologies (apps, devices, office environments) and globalization, restructuring, downsizing and flattening of top heavy organizations, as administrative professionals, if we are not careful, we could literally get run-over!

It’s time to reinvent ourselves and the roles we play.

I feel strongly that the administrative profession must evolve to continue to be seen as relevant to our organizations in this changing business environment. In a profession that is challenging for even the best of them, to be valued, recognized and indispensable to the organizations we support and to the companies we work for, we have to show our worth. When we walk in to the conference room, there should be a seat reserved for us at the executive table!

It is an exciting time and an opportunity for us to grab hold and embrace the strategies that will elevate our profession.


I would like to share with you what I think will be some of those key strategies we will need to have to be a 21st Century Administrative Professional. It is a unique role that only we can play, and requires bold moves.

To gain a seat we will want to embrace qualities like critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation. We will need to be entrepreneurs, risk takers, more importantly results driven.

What are the new skills admired and soon to be required of administrative professionals:

  1. Digital Savvy: learning semi-tech and self-publishing skills
  2. Data Analysis: learning how to collect, analyze and synthesizing information to create solutions
  3. Virtual Engagement: learning how to be an effective virtual partner
  4. Leadership: stepping up and out of comfort zones
  5. Critical Thinking: using information to innovate and create win/wins
  6. Collaboration: going global
  7. Communication: embracing and encouraging change
  8. Adaptability and Resiliency: constantly reinventing ourselves
  9. Innovation: harnessing creativity
  10. Global Citizenship: identifying ourselves as part of a global community
  11. Entrepreneurship: running with new ideas

Some of us are doing these things already. Are You?

If not, are you making plans to develop yourself in some of these areas? This might involve making yourself visible or mentoring with others who are already subject matter experts. It could mean that you gain the experience by asking for a project that takes you out of your comfort zone. Maybe there are training programs or webinars that can give you the educational edge?

What a wonderful opportunity we have ahead of us! Just imagine the new fundamental growth opportunities we can embrace as students of the future!

The administrative professional should be considered one of a company’s most valued assets.

In the 21st Century let us change the view others have of our roles and the perception of the Administrative Profession – let’s gain our seat at the executive table and be welcomed there!


Debbie Gross, CEA, has over 20 years of experience in the administrative field. She joined Cisco Systems in March, 1991 as the executive assistant to John Chambers, then Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. As the company has grown from $1.2 billion in annual revenues to $46 billion, her responsibilities have grown together with Chambers’. In 1995, when Chambers became President and CEO, Debbie Gross assumed the lead role leading Cisco’s broad 1000+- person administrative team. Learn more about Debbie Gross.

See Debbie at The Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence this October. Learn more at The Resilient Assistant.