International Women’s Day 2020 – A Message From Julie Reed

In a recent interview, I was asked, “What motivates you to be an Administrative Professional Trainer and Coach”? I made it clear: I am passionate about my career of choice. More importantly, I am driven by the concept of igniting the power of you, the opportunity to gain control over your outcomes, and to value your value. I am an advocate for those who feel undervalued, those who are victims of their circumstances, the overwhelmed and stressed— basically, the disengaged and passionless.

As a daughter, I was blessed with powerful role models and was uplifted by sisterhood. As a mom to four daughters, I lived out loud. Through my daily actions, I sent the message that you can do anything and “sisters stick together.” And finally, as an employee, I was fortunate to have managers and co-workers who provided me immense opportunities to lean in and lift up. 

And therefore, I am writing today – International Women’s Day (IWD).

Observed annually on March 8 since 1911, International Women’s Day is a day put aside to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness, and take action. In their March 2 article, Forbes has recommended four easy and effective steps to support the International Women’s Day 2020 “Each for Equal” Theme: 

  1. Create awareness about generation equality
  2. Support non-profit organizations working for women
  3. Celebrate, support, and collaborate with other women
  4. Start mentoring early

I would like to “celebrate, support and collaborate with other women” in honor of International Women’s Day. I have decided to take action today by shining the spotlight on Joan Burge.

Joan Burge, Founder & CEO of Office Dynamics International, is known as the pioneer of the administrative training industry.  In 1990, Joan created a business dedicated to the training of Administrative Professionals by administrative professionals. Through the years, she has dedicated herself to inspiring excellence and encouraging each of us to reach for the stars by finding the Star within ourselves! 

Joan is best known for her highly-acclaimed Star Achievement Series® course which promotes “Star Performance” among executive assistants and administrative staff. This flagship training program has inspired thousands of administrative professionals to achieve excellence, in their personal and professional lives.

The IWD organization’s annual message aligns perfectly with Joan’s vision and mission:

  • Question and challenge
  • Build awareness
  • Listen to others
  • Embrace diversity
  • Change the perception
  • Reflect on you
  • Value your value
  • Mentor others

Over the past 30 years, Joan has asked Administrative Professionals to mix things up and challenge the status quo; to become excellent communicators with visibility who dare to change the conversation; to leverage the diversity of your unique skillset; to take the time to invest in yourself; and to become daily leaders. 

I have had the privilege of facilitating Joan’s signature programs to multiple audiences and one-on-one coaching opportunities. Over the years, I have heard stories of physical abuse to the point of hospitalization, the sense of hopelessness to the point of suicide, the lack of confidence that silences the voice of self-identity. I have heard tales about addiction, financial crisis, negative self-talk and lack of self-esteem. But I have also heard the stories of faith and perseverance, empowerment and achievement, goal setting and celebration. I have carried all of these stories with me, and I am better after each meaningful encounter— none of which would have been possible without first participating in an Office Dynamics training and meeting Joan Burge.

Today, I have the unique opportunity of sharing her message. And although the content has been revised and updated, the fundamental lesson has not changed. “Raising the attainable level of excellence, sustained by consistent behavior modification, has a life-long impact.” And this is your call to action today!

Thank you, Joan, for paving the way 30 years ago, for your sustained passion and motivation, and for providing the tools available for all of us to make a difference; for all us of individually, collectively, and equally – across genders, geographies – globally, to make a difference.

Join Joan and me on our crusade to celebrate women and all of their achievements, to raise awareness about the contributions and full potential of the administrative professional, and to take action. 

“You will do it not by whining but by fighting. You don’t get taken seriously by asking someone to take you seriously. You have got to show up and own it.” Girl Boss author Sophia Amoruso

Through “unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and – action,” we can make change happen. We are all parts of a whole.  Our individual actions, conversations, behaviors and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.” Internationalwomensday.com

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