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.

An Interview with Victoria Rabin, CEO & Founder, Executive Assistants Organization

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CEO / Founder
Executive Assistants Organization (EAO)
Behind Every Leader Events (BEL)

Ever since Victoria Rabin came onto the platform for administrative training, her passion and energy has captured the attention of assistants all over the world.  Her unique approach, her ability to garner presentations from some of highest level EAs in the business world, and her willigness to take risks has taken EAO on a fantastic journey of almost three years.

I had the benefit of speaking with Victoria and several members of her team at the November 2013 Behind Every Leader conference in New Jersey.  I later approached her about sharing some of her story with you.

Q1. You’ve had a whirlwind tour ongoing for about two years. What would you say has been your biggest challenge during this time frame?  How about your biggest success, the thing you want to brag most about?

A1. Indeed, in a mere two years EAO has changed lives, including mine.  What once was an inspired vision has now been realized.  And with that, EAO has the honor and the responsibility to take this vision to the highest heights.

This is an ongoing mission, and just like all remarkable quests, it has not and will not be an easy.
But let’s face it, If it were easy, EAO would have been realized a long time ago. For decades, Assistants have not been given the resources and support they truly need to become indispensable in their role. Why? Because seldom times do assistants make a stand. Until now.

The challenge with redefining any industry to one of power and leadership is simple.. Change is not always welcomed without a guaranteed advantage or certainty. Having successfully launched twelve active EAO Chapters, multiple EAO events and Behind Every Leader Conferences, as well as garnered some highly respected press coverage, I believe that EAO has broken through and become an epicenter for senior Assistants around the globe.

Q3. Your assistants must be amazing. Tell us a bit about delegating and working with assistants after having been employed as one for many years.
 
The amusing irony is that I was a successful Executive Assistant working for great Executives.  I am now a great Executive working for the success of hundreds Executive Assistants.

My team at EAO is extraordinary.  We practice what we preach and ensure that communication, trust, and upmost respect remain at the forefront at all times. No one can create anything to an exceptional standard solo. Working in unison is the only way to be the best of the best. I adore my team.

Q4. Do you see distinct tiers re: the level of skills and professionalism among administrative professionals? I know I perceive that to be the case.  What do you think pushes some administrative professionals to excel while others do not?

There are administrative professionals and there are career Executive Assistants.  I can say with conviction that the two are different breeds. EAO works alongside the career assistant.  This remarkable group of individuals are hungry to excel and possess an insatiable drive for excellence. Much like their relentless Executives. . They do whatever it takes.

EAO is not for everyone. Intentionally. We work with EA’s that make a stake in their future. That invest in their future and exude a dedication to excellence.

Q5. I know EAO is headquartered in San Francisco.  Have there been any cities during your travels that have surprised you?

At EAO we do not comply with one fits all. Each and every EAO Chapter boasts its own heartbeat. . Its own character.  We ask the most important questions and then we listen intently to the feedback we receive.  Every EAO is completely different. . And this is what matters to our members, and to us.

Q6. What do you think is the toughest  skill and /or the toughest soft skill for administrative professionals to conquer?

Communication is and always will be highly sought after topic for development.  EAO teaches members how to build a symbiotic and unbreakable partnership between the EA/Executive.
The toughest of all is staying current with the latest technologies, apps and efficiency platforms. The only way to always remain ahead of the curve is to consistently educate yourself.  At EAO we are very privileged to have technology webinars seminars and workshops taught by industry giants.

In addition to continued education and training (which is paramount in every quest for excellence) the equally most crucial aspect of personal and professional growth,  is sharing knowledge expertise and best practices with each other.  At EAO we urge members to make a habit of doing this each and every day. Our slogan ‘every Member is a Mentor’

Q7. (And I gotta ask this..!)  Have you ever caught yourself being star-struck when working with a celebrity or their assistant on BEL?  Tell us about it.

I have met some incredible people over the years. Needless to say, this is one of the ‘perks’ of leading this organization.  The interesting part is that each and every celebrity employer and his/her assistant was soughd out and approached, often more times than once, by myself and team with an undeniable and relentless proposition to join us on this exciting journey.  For me personally, receiving their acceptance and shared belief is the most riveting part of the initial introduction

But let’s face it, the real stars are the assistants.  They are the ones that make the Executive’s world turn each day. And now it is our chance to place each and every one of these remarkable individuals on a pedestal. One of my favorite quotes portrays how EAO value our members;

“Next to Excellence is the Appreciation of it” ~ William Makepeace

Stretch. Reach…. .and Sometimes You Pull a Muscle!

I have been working on this very ambitious project to interview admins each month and then post the Q&A here.

Well, I stretched.

I reached.

I pulled a muscle.  Not really.  But in the sense that I was overly ambitious and now I haven’t posted since April.

First, my apologies to my fellow admins that DO have their interviews in the post queue.

Secondly, my apologies to those friends wondering why I fell silent on my post.

A hard, but real lesson to learn.

Back on track now. Looking forward #EFAM twitter chat this week. Teaching at NVCC in June.  And a really big stretch, reach for me comes in late September/early October when I am presenting at the APC2014 at National Harbor in Maryland.

Hope to meet you at either EFAM (IAAP) in Milwaukee in July or APC2014 late September.

In the meantime, #KeepLearningKeepGrowing