The Great Divide- Whiners vs. Doers

My blog title is classic click-bait.  There. I said it.

How did I learn what click-bait was? By commenting on blog posts that were specifically driven to get commentary–preferably feisty commentary on a touchy-subject.  It was a great lesson for me.

I clicked on a provocative blog title, read said blogpost–had the appropriate emotional spike and Boom! I typed in my comment..which led to comments on my comment, and so on. The lesson was– for me, to think about why I wasted energy commenting on a post that annoyed me. Was I really contributing to the conversation?

What does this have to do with Whiners vs. Doers?

Whiners say, “What’s the big deal with reading blog posts, or Twitter, or any of that stuff? I don’t have time to figure it out.”

Doers say, ” Well, I’ll give it a try and see what I can learn. It seems to be important to my supervisor|company|industry. At least I can try to get a handle on what’s what.”

Jim Keenan validated this today during his guest spot on #sshour, a G+Hangout hosted by Brian Fanzo and Rachel Miller. It so happened today’s Hangout focused on the Importance of Personal Branding.  So be a Doer–  Watch the replay of today’s #sshour Hangout and really understand that being proactive isn’t limited to senior managers, CEOs or sales staff– it’s a MUST for all employees. It’s vital to remain relevant as an Administrative Professional in the workforce. We must learn to jump in! Be a Doer.

** NOTE** Jim has some NSFW language in his responses–so consider  yourselves forewarned.***

 

 

Measuring and Moving On

Inventory-taking.  A relied upon business tool to know where the organization stands in terms of assets on-hand, and helps prod the discussion of what other assets may need to be acquired or replenished or sold.

This has been an amazing year for administrative professionals. We have received more press coverage than any other year in terms of presenting the powerful role we play in the workplace. Global peers collaborated and shared the progress of IYOTSA (International Year of the Secretary and Administrative Assistant).  We had a bounty of administrative conferences and training opportunities from which to select– from local PA and IAAP chapter gatherings to specialized conferences focused on a specialty area such as celebrity, business-celebrity and private assistant to the very well-to-do, and onto the global professional development summits like EUMA annual meeting, Administrative Professionals Conference (APC), the Educational Forum and Annual Meeting (EFAM) of IAAP,  and last but not least Executive Secretary LIVE.

Author and professional speaker, Bonnie Low-Kramen stated it best when she said, there is no better time to be an administrative professional. I whole-heartedly agree with her!!

So, what does this have to do with measuring and moving on?

I took a measure of my year in the profession. Some goals accomplished. Others, like taking the Excel MOS exam, not. I had more local teaching and writing to do. My efforts to blog more frequently were met with a writer’s dry spell which left me disheartened. And now, having measured what I did and didn’t get to this year—it’s time to adjust my short-term and long-term stretch goals.

Taking time to do this is really an investment in my sanity and my ability to make progress. It also helps me become better at accepting/declining commitments and focus on loving what I without becoming burned out.

Here’s my suggested method for measuring and moving on.

1)    Take a day off. Get your family out the door. Get some caffeine and sit down with a blank notebook or your laptop.

2)    Divide the document into quarters.

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I find that writing these thoughts out—helps dump some of the junk, allows me to box up some other ideas for storage to be re-visited later and be okay with exactly where I’m at personally and professionally. It gives me permission to accept the good, the bad, and the ugly as a process for moving on.

3.  Now.. go get some fuel. If you need to, schedule your re-fueling stops!

This is not necessarily about food—but what makes you energized? Is it music? Art? Time volunteering at your synagogue? What are the things that give you energy?

Music, teaching and connecting w/like-minded friends are my three fuel sources, in addition to hugs from family and friends.

4. Feed the positive. Starve the negative.

Look at how far you’ve come.. not how far you have to go. I’m always amazed at the wonderful, joyous doings of my peers and friends. I’m not saying stick your head in the sand. Instead, what can we do to combat the negative? Less gossip. Less TV news. More time with elderly relatives we may not have with us for long. Notes to friends we’ve lost touch with… Enjoy the unconditional love our our pets. Be grateful for the job…even on days it drives us NUTTY! Know that everyone has challenges going on behind the scenes. Love the things that matter most to us. Tell others when we appreciate them.  You get the idea.

Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got a hot cup of tea and a blank notebook waiting for me.  Best wishes to you and yours this holiday season and a very Happy New Year.

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PS. I’m reading two books that I consider to be vital resources for administrative professionals as we grapple with the rapid change in communication methods (text, voicmail, social), and the evolution of the workplace.

1.     The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users -
Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

2.     A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive-
Ted Coine and Mark Babbitt

Ambition is AWESOME…but Get Your Priorities In Order

AdminRenegade:

A great share from Ayanna Castro. Reminds me of the Anna Quindlen quote.-(paraphrased here) We can have it all.. we just can’t have it all at once. There’s a season for everything.

Originally posted on Ayanna Castro:

Imagine this, you are standing on the proverbial corner of opportunity and “holy-cow-this-is-amazing”. The opportunity is so amazing you can’t believe it just dropped in your lap. You are in the process of fulfilling your dreams and then…you see your child crying.

Welcome to my reality. I was offered an opportunity to host a talk show on a local television cable station and I was beyond excited. I’m talking excited like it was network television with syndication and I was one step closer to being the next Oprah. Then a series of obstacles began to appear: the studio hours for taping weren’t conducive to my 9 to 5 job with benefits, sites to shoot on-location interviews were hard to come by and it took forever for my volunteer camera person to get trained. I came up with a plan to work around them. And then…I saw my baby girl crying…

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Announcement – CAP Exam Review Boot Camp

Offered through Northern Virginia Community College Workforce Development Division

REGISTRATION OPENS December 4, 2014

Get an intensive review of the key concepts and terminology required to be successful in taking the CAP Exam. Each section outlined in the CAP Exam Guide will be reviewed, and practice test questions will be given along with a discussion of the correct answers. In addition, the program will include helpful information on what to expect on test day, as well as tips about what and how to study. At the end of the session, you’ll be able to pinpoint exam content that may require additional study effort prior to sitting for the exam. The instructor is an experienced certification study group leader. Please note: This is not an IAAP endorsed session. 2015 is the first year IAAP will be offering the CAP exam in the online format.

TEST 1944 / 0.7 CEU / $89

01A         Alexandria Campus, AA 241

Sat, Jan 24             9 am – 4 pm

Instructor:  Kemetia MK Foley, CAP-OM

Leadership Credentials at Work- afterthoughts from the DE-MD-DC IAAP Fall Ed Program

When it comes to the workplace, career administrative professionals deal with so many interesting challenges, priorities and personalities.  When the day is done though – many just want to hear the words, ‘Thank you’.

I’m grateful to have worked in many organizations that encourage an environment of strong mutual respect and direct communication. Yet, I hear over and over from my peers that mutual respect and acknowledgement of administrative support contribution is rarely encountered in the day-to-day work.

What’s been your experience? Have you ever pulled a co-worker aside to address this issue?  I suspect my love of what I do for a living –shows through– and leaves my co-workers with little doubt about my dedication, experience, and skills. I’m honest about what I cannot accomplish. I’ve got the worst poker face anyhow.. everyone can tell when I’m tired, frustrated, or just not 100 %.

I have to have enough self-awareness to not let my fatigue or hangry (that’s hungry +angry for those of you not familiar with the term) take over my vocal cords. I get out.. Get a walk. Get a drink of water. Maneuver my way into an earlier lunch break.

Most importantly, I pay attention to what is going on with the industry, the company I work for and the people I work alongside. I don’t need to know their personal business– but I can tell when we’re all in a time crunch.. and I can certainly recognize the face of someone that is overwhelmed.

Lately, I’ve been reading more blogs on leadership and employee engagement to help me get a better perspective.

Here are a few of my faves-

Dan Rockwell, LeadershipFreak
Alli Polin, Break the Frame
Jon Mertz, Thin Difference
Liz Ryan, Human Workplace
Lolly Daskal, LeadFromWithin — though I read her stuff almost every day!

So how do we show what we know and how competent we are.. if we are invisible as support staff to those around us? That’s the question lingering in many a competent admin’s brain cells.

I’d love to read your thoughts on this.. please do share! Thanks.

Suggestions of Admins to Follow for APC14NationalHarbor

Hopefully you’re on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Or, better yet..you’ll join one or both of these platforms right after my sessions on social media.

In either case, here are some admin leaders you might want to follow– and they happen to be here at #APC14NationalHarbor this week!

@JuliePerrine — All Things Admin

@LucyBrazier – Executive Secretary Magazine and her PA, @MatthewWant

@BonnieLowKramen-  Author, Be the Ultimate Assistant and hosts many superb training events with @RedcapeCo (Vickie Sokol Evans)

@RhondaScharf – On the Right Track Training

These are just a few!  Enjoy the conference!

#KeepLearningKeepGrowing

 

Getting Inspiration- Reading Books!

I’m currently reading Thrive:The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington.

Here’s one of the paragraphs that has really stopped me in my tracks and made me ponder.

One reaason we give for allowing stress to build in our lives is that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves. We’re too busy chasing a phantom of the successful life (my emphasis- not the author’s). The difference between what success looks like and what truly makes us thrive isn’t always clear as we’re living our lives. But it becomes much more obvious in the rear-view mirror. Have you noticed that when we die, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success? (pg.15) 

 

Just wanted to stop and share this .. even thought I’m way off track of showcasing an admin a month.. :)  Oh, well.

~ Kemetia

 

 

Last day of #EFAM2014 — Passing the Gavel and Taking on the Challenge

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Antoinette (Toni)  Smith, CAP-OM took on the gavel for IAAP’s International Assoc. of Administrative Professionals presidency for 2014-2015 year. Her walkup music, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’.. which I love.

Some highlights to Toni’s incoming speech:

  • Talked about the support of her supervisors and the role that has played into her success as an administrative professional
  • Recognized her Boeing colleagues– First-timers! and her family in attendance
  • The impact of IAAP membership.. on members
  • The challenge of moving the organization forward and move it forward quickly, to address the disconnect between the current workplace environment and the membership organization and governance
  • Challenged membership to help increase the number of certified members
  • Move to the electronic certification exam
  • Plenty of new leadership opportunities,especially with the transition to branches
  • Competition from other administrative professional organizations

The last day of EFAM is always bittersweet. Everyone is tired, but happy. Ready to go home but hating to leave behind our colleagues.

 

Please Pardon the Interruption– A Report from EFAM2014

Good morning from Milwaukee.
I have to say there is a ton of interesting news coming out of EFAM here in Milwaukee. Governance changes, education news etc. (See IAAP Web Community for full details under the revitalization blog)
From my own personal point of view.. It’s overdue and hopefully not too late to implement the many changes that IAAP is proposing, along with the ones already underway.

I’m certain there will be posts galore on the IAAP web community.. (hopefully respectful and appropriate MATURE discussions…) The board elections results were announced; the development of the CAP Study guide was announced; and the work-in-progress of the brand new (and online) Complete Office Companion was also announced.
IAAP gave attendees the Beta trial sample to the Complete Office Companion so they can provide feedback. Smart move!

It’s still amazing to me after all these years to come and meet so many amazing admin peers. I know I’m not alone in that feeling.

Here’s the BEST part of EFAM for me, so far.  Finally!  FINALLY! There is discussion and recognition that the geographic and corporate culture of the organization of where admins work – differentiates us from one another!! It’s not a snob thing! It’s the reality of the company we work for, the job skills required, the cultural expectations of the organization, and the cultural demeanor of your city.  I guess I’ve been trying to articulate this for years unsuccessfully.

What’s my take? It’s all positive, challenging and somewhat nerve-wracking. More importantly, IAAP must get the association in front of HR executives. The #IYOTSA2014 initiative to condense the vast number of titles and detail requirements of the positions is a great start to this.