Live Blogging from ESLIVE Day 2

Good morning from Atlanta.

Over 150 top-level EAs from all over the world are here.

Lucy’s been talking about the fabulous Eth Lloyd and World Summit. Talking about the career progression levels attached to skills, not job titles. Level 1- entry to Level 5- executive

The value of ISIPHO admin. An amazing project and effort.

LISA OLSEN- The Mindset of a Mentor – How do we think about Mentoring, what’s a mentor?

Kemetia -thoughts: What are we sharing all that we learn with our colleagues and those new to our field? What is our mindset? Are we super protective of our knowledge? What about those peers that feel they have nothing new to learn? [My thought is, has anyone asked them if they still love their work? Or are they just doing time?] It’s hard when you know your colleague is just trying to get by until they can retire or they have bills and obligations but cannot risk losing their steady paycheck.

Next great thought from Lisa — Are you a relationship engineer? – Well, think about it. Not everyone is great at relationships. Some folks have 4 or 5 marriages. [We pardon this presentation for the SQUIRREL SLIDE!!]

Lisa is bringing the SNARK this morning! so dang funny. And the attendees are now up and demonstrating various samples of interpretive dance based on how to truly respond to the person that walks over to your desk and asks if you got the email they JUST SENT!

Are YOU open to changing your mind based on new info? Do you have a response or excuse every time someone makes a comment about your performance? Do you admit when you mess up? It’s key to being maintaining trust and credibility as an assistant?

And let’s talk about the difference between having a BIG ego vs. a STRONG ego. [Kemetia note: much like the difference between knowing the difference between confidence and conceit.]

Oooh.. Lisa brings the awesome clickbait topic up stating you cannot multi-task. There’s no way to give 100% focus. [I’ll step to the side here while EAs of the world break into hives given this is a staple skill posted in our job descriptions. Or, the very much unstated skill set expectation of hiring professionals]

What do you think? Do you give others the courage to do great things?


Shelagh Donnelly- now up. Presentation on Cybersecurity: How to Take the Lead in Risk Mitigation for Admin Professionals

Shelagh writes about cybersecurity for Diligent Insights. She talks about mitigating risks applies to processes and practices. Company insiders- employees are the greatest security risk to companies. One way? by backing up personal data on work computers -utilizing USB drives or downloads from personal accounts.

Companies are going to begin bait-testing employees and it may start to show on employee evaluations. – Shelagh Donnelly.

—break– back in 15- apologies! had to step away for a work thang!


Anel kicks off her session talking about PA (translate admin) stressors. All the stressors we, as a profession share, and doing more with fewer colleagues to support the workload with smaller incremental pay increases and limited recognition.

What are the global stressors? Global economic issues. Working across time zones. Addressing cultural differences, body language norms, supporting remote teams, industrial and technologic revolutions and exponential changes.

Action is the antidote to anxiety~ Anel Martin

Here are a few key phrases Anel shared today

Take on the tough stuff. Stay focused on a single block of time.

Don’t forget: What you say to yourself matters.

If you commit, you are accountable. [Hello! Stop overcommitting.]

Know your job description so you can smash it! Know it so you can exceed it.- Anel


Peggy is sharing about her journey to becoming an international speaker and author. She asked the attendees: Have you ever had a dream so big it has scared you? She credits her inner circle to helping her take the risk and helping her get to her goal.

Don’t get caught in the comparison crap~ Peggy Vasquez

Such great insights about her success and journey. Reminds all of us that we need mentors.

[Kemetia thought: as Peggy addresses the group about sitting with challenges, all I can think about is the phrase, ‘Breathe in Faith, Breathe out Fear.]


Debbie is talking about her career journey .. she didn’t even want to be an executive assistant when she first started.

Debbie ~ Never go back to a job you leave– you left that job for a reason!

Never pass up an opportunity? [Kemetia’s thoughts: Yes. I do believe in the phrase, To Thine Own Self Be True. So if the opportunity presents itself but it is not true to you? Ponder that.]

What do we need to do to get the recognition we want? What can we do to up-level the work we are doing? Where is our weakness?

Referring back to her book – some key points Debbie mentions how important is to learn how to exceptionally communicate with people.

Time management – there is no way to ever get it all done.

Overwhelm: And it is not going away. How do we deal with distractions? Multi-tasking sucks. Stress. Loss of productivity and it impacts your productivity. Much like climbing a hill of sand.

I love watching and listening to Debbie truth-tell.

What’s eating up your time? Log all the things you do. Make some decisions- pitch solutions, ask for the help you need to start and get control. Focus on the focus. Some tips: Create time blocks, see all of your work as projects. Create cones of silence, find a closet, create signage. Bascially, telling others- I’m too busy to tell you I’m too busy.

First thing in the morning: delete the garbage: go back to the top: Now, do! less than 3 minutes.; now, Defer- Make those tasks, they require more time to do.Tasks first, emails secondary. It’s a behavioral change to get used to.

Do the calendar appointments support their goals, what are the top goals for the next week? “I’m optimizing my executive’s time, not “calendaring”

Get Better Info.. Not More Info- Debbie Gross

how long is the call? date and day. home or cell? provide alternate numbers. how are the complicated names pronounced. Where are the backup documents. Create templates…. for everything you do. It will establish consistency.

Look at the calendar holistically. Qtr by Qtr. What’s the back up plan if your executive’s digital tool dies. Calendar Snaphots.

Remember their calendar is THEIR calendar. No matter what. Don’t make the calendar personal.

Stop jumping in.. Acknowledge!

How are you going to change your thinking about this role

How are you going to add more value for your executive?

How are you going to grow and develop your relationships?


  • your thoughts create your life
  • the power is within you
  • follow your higher intelligence, God/Source/Universe is always speaking to you

The Heart of the Matter

Hey folks.. just a few quick updates on the latest goings-on with this admin.

First, you may recognize that the #AugustDeskEscape fizzled here, but it didn’t die! Instead, it took on a new life and new leadership. Jannie Oosterhoff was incredibly successful with her facebook page and efforts called #EveryDayWalking so as that took off, I stopped posting about #AugustDeskEscape. The bad part was I didn’t communicate that well to anybody. So I apologize. The good news is that #EveryDayWalking is superb and fun and an active facebook group, so head over there to participate.

In other news, I have returned to full-time work as an executive assistant here in Maine. I’m thrilled to return to the work I find so challenging, interesting, and motivating. I’m sure I’ll have new stories to share.

And, in case you missed this fantastic news… I am involved with starting up the IAAP-Seacoast Branch. The branch will offer professional development, networking, and opportunities to reconnect with other administrative professionals in the Portsmouth, NH to Portland, ME corridor along I-95.

The goal is to host events in three different areas of the Seacoast in order to reach as many administrative professionals as possible. I look forward to sharing more details as they are available.

The heart of the matter is that I made some shifts in my priorities, and writing and training others had to wait. Here’s wishing you a very successful Fall 2019. Or, if you are in the other hemisphere, a very lovely Spring 2019. ~ K.

Day 1 #AugustDeskEscape

Sometimes the “DeskEscape” is about being present with family.

Last night Mother Nature had her way with me- stopping me from trying to work more than 8 hours by blasting through our new hometown with a great big storm that took down trees and power lines. No way to work. No internet. Good going, Mother Nature! So much for doing a kickoff video for #AugustDeskEscape. So the photo above is of me, my husband and wonderful daughter walking the beach late today. I didn’t get in my usual number of steps but that’s okay.

Today turned into a beautiful day. Our power was restored about 3am this morning, and the town public works, fire department, police department and many other city employees spent most of last evening well into the morning cleaning up the debris. I drove to Boston to pick up our daughter. She’s not seen our new home. She’s entering her last year of university and before we know it she will be out on her own for reals.

What does this have to do with #AugustDeskEscape? This challenge isn’t just about the physical get up and get out, though that’s the major focus. It’s also about taking time for oneself. Taking time to sit in the quiet of a darkened home due to power outage. Taking time to be present with our loved ones instead of being on our computer or our phones. It can also mean ‘Escape’ from the work you bring with you in your head.

So be sure to travel over to the photos page to see posts from our colleagues from Day 1.

What a long, strange trip it’s been…

South Boston

Well, folks! It’s been a long, strange trip. What I love (and sometimes don’t love) about life is that there are plenty of twists, turns, trap doors and of course, lessons to learn.

About seven months ago my husband and I embarked on a journey to change the life we were living. I began by pursuing a new position. Something that would allow me to be me, 100%. During the process, we decided to try and move to our dream location in Maine. We want to enjoy life, enjoy the things that bring smiles to our face. We wanted to have more time together and more energy when we got home from work.

Although I hated to leave DC because of my life, my friends, my career peers were all in the region- we knew it was time to go. We embarked upon the sale of our home of 16+ years. My husband’s company approved for him to work remotely. Though the position I had been pursuing didn’t come through, we managed on his income and the money we worked to save.

The ensuing months were super messy and unpredictable. My husband and I managed by focusing on love. You know that bumpy and unpredictable force that flows through a longtime marriage?

Now, as I prepare for #ExecSecLIVE Wellington and Sydney, and IAAP Summit- I’ll be embarking on three and a half weeks of travel, and we are half-unpacked in our new home in Maine. Far away from DC life. Get away from the DC hustle and horrific commutes. Get away from the very real culture of constantly having to prove worth and value as an employee, and where many people upon meeting you, just want to know who you work for to determine if you have any leveraging value as an EA. DC is in the top five metropolitan areas of employment for Executive Assistants. It was hard to leave a city that offered me better odds for full-time employment.

Yep, it’s been a long, strange trip. Nothing in our life right now is organized, scheduled, nor tidy…which drives me NUTS! But, this too shall pass. I will gladly take the beach time with my husband and trust that the universe will keep us on this winding journey.

Thanks for being a part of the journey with me. I hope to see you soon at #ExecSecLIVE Wellington, Sydney or Atlanta or at my old stomping grounds, #IAAP Summit 2019 at National Harbor.

As always, #KeepLearningKeepGrowing ~ K.