Executive assistants amaze me every week! I bet you would amaze me, too, if I got to really know and observe you in class over several sessions or days. Why do I say that? Because I have been blessed to work with a fine group of administrative and executive assistants at a few organizations for more than nine months teaching my Star Achievement Series
Dear Monday Motivators!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend and for those of who are mothers, that you had a lovely Mother’s Day.
Sorry this is a little late today, but we’ve been busy organizing and decorating our offices. We are hosting our first Star Achievement Trainer Certification in our office/conference room. Our guests will arrive Wednesday and depart Friday around 1:00. Trainer Certification is a very intimate class. We normally have 2 – 6 individuals who become certified to teach Star Achievement in their organizations to their internal administrative professionals. This is a very cost effective approach to training especially if you have 60 or more administrative professionals. Because we have our own little conference room now, we will be able to host these sessions more often throughout the year.
Anyway, back to the purpose of this week’s message. It is interesting how you think you want something done a certain way upon first glance and then after you are “into it,” you realize . . . oh that doesn’t work. That’s what happened with our office move. Before we physically moved in, I selected the office that would be mine because it had 2 windows and I like open space. My old office had a large window where I could see out and view palm trees and grass. So of course, I wanted the office with windows, two – no less. One window faced out into our Reception area which then I could see to the outside world. The other window faced into our office area. Jasmine had an office next to mine (same size, mind you) with only 1 window that looked out into our office area.
After 2 weeks, we realized this was not the best, most effective, practical use of the 2 offices. Jasmine needed to see out front and view all that goes on and I needed privacy. There were some other factors as well that led to the decision to swap offices this past weekend. This was no easy feat as my wall cabinets our mounted. My work desk and space was custom designed years ago so it takes quite a bit of time to set up and must be professionally done.
The task was accomplished this past weekend by 2 outstanding talented men! But when Jasmine and I came in this morning, it was time to put our work areas back together and then Jasmine and Michele were doing some decorating since we are having visitors this week.
So what can you learn from this? What might you run up against this week that you don’t even expect will happen? Could someone throw a kink in your plans for the week? Is it possible that an event at work, like a meeting, that you planned and thought would go so well, becomes crazy at the last minute?
Work life is always throwing situations at us where we must be adaptable, flexible and especially not married to our ideas or ways of doing things. While I loved my two windows, I could not be attached to that because ultimately, productivity and what is best for business is what matters.
As you travel through this week, please open your eyes to tasks you have been performing a certain way for a long time, that might not be best for the overall mission of the company; or the effectiveness of your executive.
Take a close look at yourself. Is there something about your habits, attitudes, dress, or behavior that you are married to that you really need to move away from? It’s hard to take a close look at ourselves. It is difficult to be objective about our own performance or our image. However, you can be missing out on the best opportunities of your life or career because you can’t step away and be an “outsider.”
Think flexibility, adaptability, creativity, and objectivity this week and see yourself fly!
I recently attended a leadership workshop with Michelle Crosby, Ph.D. of Crosby Consulting and enjoyed her presentation including interaction from the room ultimately finding that managers and leaders have two completely different styles – yet we need them both. Attendees were asked to shout out some qualities they see in managers. Some of their contributions were task-oriented, follow-up, delegate, reporting, manager of day-to-day and so on. For leader our group came up with vision, strategic, inspire, provide direction, guide and more along these lines.
We quickly realized that we need managers and leaders in an organization to be high-functioning. You need those managers to ensure the nitty gritty is getting done and that it is done properly and we need leaders to provide vision for the future and growth opportunities by their guidance. I enjoyed the session and it made me think about how I plan to lead and manage my team; whether I am leading 1 or 100 I now know what I want my team to say about me. Remember as assistants working with managers and leaders every day we still have the opportunity to provide leadership. We may have a team that reports to us or we may be part of a team, special project, community involvement, volunteerism – all great opportunities to showcase your leadership skills.
Somewhat coincidental Joan was doing a leadership program the week prior for one of her clients and I made a handout of a leadership poem that I want to share with you today.
Are You a Boss or a Leader?
The boss commands;
the leaders asks.
The boss drives his people;
the leader coaches them.
The boss uses people;
the leader develops them.
The boss depends on authority;
the leader on goodwill.
The boss inspires fear;
the leader inspires enthusiasm.
The boss says, “I”;
the leader says, “We.”
The boss says, “go”;
the leader says, “Let’s go.”
The boss knows how it’s done;
the leader shows how.
The boss fixes blame for the breakdown;
the leader fixes the breakdown.
The boss sees today;
the leader also looks at tomorrow.
The boss never has enough time;
the leader makes time for things that count.
The boss is concerned with things;
the leader is concerned with people.
The boss let’s his people know where he stands;
the leader let’s his people know where they stand.
The boss works hard to produce;
the leader works hard to help his people produce.
The boss takes the credit;
the leader gives it.
— Leo Hawkins & Associates, Inc.
I hope you enjoy your day – lead on!
Last week was invigorating for me in many ways, including being stretched and applying my own managing change techniques. I had a non-stop week of travel and speaking since it was Administrative Professionals Week.
The first presentation I gave was a webcast on Riding the Wave of Change. The client and I had decided on this topic months ago. (Little did I know at the time we selected the topic, that I would need to adhere to my own advice tenfold.) This is a topic I have presented numerous times over 20 years of speaking.
However, last week as I was presenting. . . it was staring me right in the face – managing my own insecurities and adapting to change. We had just moved our offices on April 18. It was so exciting . . . the first 4 days. But then, I felt a big slump! I was down. I was in a low mood. What happened? Why did I feel so down when I just had one of the most exciting office moves of owning my business?
I was dealing with a feeling I had not had in a long while and I was asking myself questions like, “Why?” or “What do I do now? I’m supposed to motivate other people, and I am completely unmotivated?” I was thinking about how strange I felt. Questioning myself over and over why I had this feeling that I did not like.
Then, as I was giving my speech on change, I found myself answering my own questions. Even when we are going through changes we want, we still have to go through that “limbo” state, as I call it: we don’t want to be in the old place and we are not really familiar or comfortable with our new place; so we are just “hanging out.”
I also refer to it as stretching. As we move through change, we are stretching. We are leaving our comfort zones; maybe we are learning something new, adjusting our processes or steps; rethinking how we approach something; and even taxing our brains which then distracts us from our natural flow. I like being in my flow. Flow is when you are gliding along at work, being creative, getting things done, displaying off-the-charts energy, and connecting with everyone.
Maybe you are facing some changes right now in your personal life or your professional life. Change can be scary, it can be intimidating and it can also cause us to grow in ways we just can’t see at this time.
Feel free to coast as you ride the wave of change. When you see the big wave coming, take a deep breath and hang on tight. Be confident in your abilities and reach out to your peers for support.
I hope this first week of May brings sunshine your way and that you will be reminded, just like spring when everything blossoms, that we can blossom through change.
Today is the last day of our annual administrative April Blog-a-thon. I hope you have enjoyed this year’s event and reading all the ideas why you have such a COOL career.
I want to thank everyone for participating. I have enjoyed reading your comments; they have been fun, insightful, and inspiring.
Even though the formal Blog-a-thon is ending today, please come back regularly. We will continue posting educational Blogs and want to hear from you. Also remember to check out the other free educational and informational resources we offer at OfficeDynamics.com and Adminology.org. As this very COOL career evolves, we will be keeping you abreast of the wonderful changes and trends taking place.
As you venture into a new month, I hope you will carry your inspiring moments forward and will rejoice in a worthwhile profession.
Thank you from all of us at Office Dynamics. We look forward to our continued connections with you.
Joan Burge and ODL Team!
Congratulations, HONEYBEE! The Grand Prize Winner for the Amazon.com Kindle & COOL red leather case!
This week is Administrative Professionals Week! I was considering the fact that we, as Administrative Professionals, service people. What a COOL thing that is!
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Administrative Professionals serve on a daily basis. We service our executives, peers, vendors and clients. We serve our knowledge and experience. We service our technicnology and equipment. In some cases, we even serve the occasional cup of coffee! We constantly and regularly are serving others.
“Fortunate are those who have learned the best way to get is first to give through useful service.” – Unknown
This week, I would like to give gratitude and appreciation to my fellow administrative peers for all the servicing they provide. It takes a truly exceptional individual to be in the business of serving others. That’s a really COOL person!
“Men are rich only as they give. He who gives great service gets great rewards.” – Elbert Hubbard
Have a great day!
It’s COOL to be an administrative professional because you get an entire week of celebration. No other career gets a full week of recognition. Granted, some administrative professionals have told me they feel strange about a week focusing on them and if they are supposed to be considered equal to other members in the organization, they should not have a week devoted to their career. What do you think?
I understand that perspective and we are working hard every day to teach managers see their administrative partners as their strategic business partners. Yet, you do have a special week devoted to your profession; so embrace it and enjoy it!
This is a busy week for me and I am enjoying meeting administrative professionals from all walks of life. I was in Denver earlier this week and am heading to Seattle today. As I reflect on owning Office Dynamics for 20 years now, I am thankful for the thousands of administrative professionals whose lives I have been able to touch in some way, shape or form; whether it was in a live training session, through webcasts, audio conferences, through my books, blogs, or emails. It has been an honor for me to serve this profession through leadership, training, and coaching.
I look forward to branching out in new areas and providing you with very COOL tools for your very COOL profession. The entire team at Office Dynamics wishes you a fabulous Administrative Professionals Day.
Special thanks to our reader who submitted this poem during our 3rd Annual Blog-a-thon!
I’m a “Cool AA” and I’d like you to know
I can juggle many balls and I go with the flow.
I start out every week with Monday Motivators
The things Joan shares are success generators.
Technology is changing-getting better and faster
I update my skills; I’m the best you can ask for.
My attitude is great and my pride says it all
I’m your go-to gal when you’re up against the wall.
I say what I mean and I mean what I say
And I always follow up by the end of the day.
I think out-of-the box when I’m “under the gun”
I adapt to the task and impress everyone.
I’m creative to the core and keep an open mind
My brain is like a sponge-soaking up all the time.
We may not all agree, but we get the job done
Working one for all and working all as one.
My professional behavior has taken me quite far
I’m a “Cool AA” and I’m proud to be a Star (Achiever)
Congratulations to Week #3 Blog-A-Thon Winner hjacobs!
Hello Monday Motivators!
Well, we are in our new office! We had quite a week last week at Office Dynamics. I forgot how much work moving is and the disruption to your daily business activities. However, we were so excited about our new surroundings that we just went with the flow. We had a few hiccups with technology, which thanks to my dynamic team, was resolved by the end of the week. All in all, we had a very successful move.
It’s interesting for me to experience change in my environment because it had been 5 years since I moved our office. Several times throughout last week of settling in, I thought about my presentation on change, which I have given for 20 years. I was thinking about how even when we experience changes we want and embrace, we still go through adjustments. All of us have been adjusting to our new workspaces (which are spacious and better than ever), trying to find supplies and items because they have been located to a new places, digging through unpacked boxes, meeting our neighbor businesses (they are great), and the list goes on and on.
But what does this have to do with Administrative Professionals’ Week and Monday Motivators? First, if it were not for my dynamic administrative team, things would not have gone as well as they did during out move; it was because Jasmine and Michele were organized, efficient, cost conscious, good communicators, enthusiastic, and team players.
Although we often hear this phrase, it is true: Administrative office professionals are the glue that hold it all together. They influence an executive’s success and can impact the organization’s bottom line. It is a very COOL profession because administrative professionals are in a position to affect other’s success. They get to be an important piece of a big puzzle that no person could manage without their support.
If you are an administrative professional reading this Monday Motivator, I wish you a wonderful week and thank you for all your hard work and dedication. You are so COOL! I hope you have been participating in our April Blog-a-thon. There is still time to participate and you could win a Kindle on Wednesday or a Livescribe smartpen on Friday.
If you are a non-administrative professional, please thank your administrative professionals for a great job. And more importantly, let them know one thing you like that they do really well.
Have a great week everyone!
Hello April Blogathoners!
As I was thinking about our theme for this year, I reflected on the really COOL things I experienced as an executive assistant. One of my fondest memories was when I flew on one of our corporate jets. I was working for Steelcase in Asheville, North Carolina at the time. At that facility, we manufactured beautiful, high-end wood office furniture. We had 900 employees and I worked for the General Manager. Our clients were large corporations who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on office furniture. Of course, our offices were showroom quality and I always had the newest office space layout and furniture.
Our company would fly our high-end clients to our facility so they could preview their furniture before making a large investment and could see their furniture being made after the sale. We had a large showroom with office displays, a first-class client presenation room, formal dining room with a full-scale kitchen.
Our corporate office was (and still is) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. One day my executive asked if I would like to go to corporate since we worked with them often especially when it came to entertaining our clients and flying them to Asheville. Of course I said “yes” right way. I was so excited when I walked into our jet. It was gorgeous! I had never seen anything like that even though I had flown many times in a commerical jet. We were served a wonderful lunch. It was just the COOLEST experience and one I will never forget.
I’d like to hear from you as to what has been your coolest experince as an administrative professional?