The Strategic Executive Assistant

The Strategic Executive Assistant

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” and keynote speaker at the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit in October. In November she will be the special guest speaker at Adam Fidler’s groundbreaking one-day program “The Strategic Executive Assistant” in Milan and Paris.

As many of you will know, Adam is a world-renowned EA educator. His Manifesto “The Executive Assistant: What I Am” has exploded through the worldwide EA network with thousands of assistants viewing and “liking” it on social media.

This is the first time these two respected industry thought leaders will be appearing together in Europe to share with European assistants their first-hand knowledge of what it takes to excel in the EA role.  Adam and Jan both have 20+ years experience as former high level international executive assistants.  In a fun and supportive learning environment, they will show you how to maximise your success and longevity in the EA profession. You will learn how to take your performance from good to outstanding by becoming more strategic in how you approach your job. Adam and Jan offer an unbeatable combination of know-how, experience, wisdom and practical advice that will provide you long term benefit in your assistant career.

What you will learn

  • A redefinition of the role of the executive assistant – challenges and considerations for holders, executive jobs and organizations
  • Leadership and management in the context of the EA/Business Support role
  • Developing a managerial mindset and aligning your behaviour accordingly
  • Elevating your role – getting more strategic, being more involved and taking on more responsibility
  • Introduction to business strategy for the executive assistant
  • Being a more effective executive assistant – Adam Fidler’s Five Folder System™ for improved workflow and productivity
  • Gaining prestige, leadership and achievement through personal impact and executive presence
  • Leadership styles: your executive and you
  • The criticality of Emotional Intelligence – especially self-awareness and authenticity – to perform at an optimum level
  • Pushing back appropriately and diplomatically – saying ‘no’ with confidence
  • Adam Fidler’s EA Success Factors™ – a competency framework for you to follow and implement when you return to work
  • Transition of job descriptions: Administrative assistant to ‘true’ executive assistant – a new role profile that best describes and elevates the role and value of the assistant
  • Case Studies of assistants who have transitioned from administrative assistant to the senior executive assistant
  • A personal action plan: what do I do now to take this forward with my executive?

The dates

Milan, Italy: 17 November, 2017   |   9:00 – 17:00   |   Hotel Grand Visconti Palace
Paris, France: 24 November, 2017   |   9:00 – 17:00   |   Hotel W Paris – Opéra

If you would like to attend The Strategic Executive Assistant training event. Here are the details:

The Virtual Summit programme is up and running!

The Virtual Summit programme is up and running!

I always think of my conferences and events as my work babies, they take about 9 months to create, they are as time consuming as my actual babies, they cause as much sleep deprivation and worry but they are ultimately worth all the hard work and bring me a lot of joy! The Virtual Summit is my youngest work baby and last week, with the launch of the final programme, it started walking! Yup, that is right the Virtual Summit programme is up and running!

I’m so excited to share the final programme with you. I’ve pulled together a whole load of amazing speakers who are creating the most wonderful, thought provoking, practical and seriously bad ass content for you guys!

Here are just a few of the highlights:

Managing your Executive’s schedule like a mega star

The single most important aspect of the PA role is to save our Executive’s time. Saving our Executive time means they can spend that time on making the organisation more successful. There are loads of different ways we can save our Executive’s time, but it all starts with the fundamental task of diary management. Most assistants manage their Executive’s schedule and most Executive’s live by what is in that schedule. So, if we can take control of our Executive’s diary we can really add value. In this panel session recorded in front of a live audience in London on the 14th September our amazing speakers discuss and share their experience of managing their Executive’s schedule like a total mega star!

Speakers:

Bethany Burns, First Mate to the Captain at Brewdog

Emma Kernan Staines, EA at Sport England

Yvette Pearson, PA to the CEO at ESF Capital

Jess Gardiner, MD of The Assistant Room

What are the traits of a high flying Executive Assistant?

Leni Miller has been recruiting top level Executive Assistants for over 30 years. In this session, she will be sharing her thoughts on the changes she has seen in the industry, the traits that high flying Executive Assistants need to have to succeed in the role and she will be answering that age old question – what exactly do Executive’s want in their Assistant?

Leni Miller, Founder of EA Search LLC

Am I really being proactive?

Simone is the Founder and Chair of the ACE Network (Assistant Community EMEA) at BlackRock, the world’s leading Asset Management Firm.  Having worked in the field of administration for over 20 years, Simone has gained a wealth of experience in supporting executives at every level as well as managing teams and offices. As Chair of ACE, she works with managers, HR and assistants to ‘raise the bar’ and elevate the role of the admin professional.

Simply put, Simone is an inspirational Assistant. In this session, she will share her story with you and show how a little proactivity can take you a long way…

Simone White, Executive Assistant at Blackrock

LIVE Q&A with Jan Jones, Author of the CEO’s Secret Weapon.

Jan Jones is the former Executive Assistant to Tony Robbins, the world’s #1 life and business strategist. With twenty years’ experience as executive assistant to successful business people around the world Jan put pen to paper and published her incredible book “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness” which debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Office Management category.  The book has received widespread acclaim from executives and executive assistants worldwide.

Jan is a passionate advocate for the executive assistant profession. Through her consulting work and training programs, she enjoys mentoring assistants and guiding executives on how to get the most out of the relationship with their assistant. In this live session Jan will be taking your questions on how you can succeed as an Executive Assistants and offering advice on what it takes to make it to the top of our industry.

Jan Jones, Author of The CEO’s Secret Weapon

Download the Virtual Summit Programme

If you are yet to book your place on the Virtual Summit then please do head over to the summit website for more information and to download the programme you can follow this link. The Virtual Summit is taking place on Friday 20th October from 11amGMT – 7pm GMT. The event is for PAs around the world, all you need is access to a computer, the internet and a notepad and pen! With access to the recording for a full month after the event you can watch the summit in your own time. For just £50, what are you waiting for? Come join us!

Assistants as information managers

Assistants as information managers

Back in 2013 HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland released the Management Assistant 2020 report, which detailed how the role of an Assistant will change by 2020. It is a fascinating document and many of the suggestions are coming into fruition four years on. One of the predictions centred around the idea that Assistants would become information managers in their organisations. I think this is absolutely happening within the role today and will become ever more important as the years go by and more and more organisations move to the dream of a paperless office and cloud based technology. In fact, I am going to dedicate a whole session at next year’s Future Assistant conference to this very topic.

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How to go from a PA to a VA

How to go from a PA to a VA

Are you currently a PA, dreaming of having your own VA business? Maybe you’re an Admin Professional, who craves having the control and freedom of running your own business? If you’re currently employed and looking to make a career change to VA, it’s a simpler process than you think.

Read More
Lots of new speakers added to the Virtual Summit

Lots of new speakers added to the Virtual Summit

We are almost there with the final programme for the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit and I will release all of the details next week, but in the meantime I thought I would introduce you to our next group of speakers. Here they are!

Leni Miller, Founder and President of EASearch LLC.

Lots of new speakers added to the Virtual Summit

Leni Miller is the Founder and President of EASearch, LLC, a premier search firm, headquartered in Sausalito, CA and specializing in consulting, coaching and recruiting, senior level executive support professionals.  Leni’s 30+ years’ experience is inspired by a deep commitment in support of the placement and development of top professionals in their right work.  Leni is the author of Finding Right Work, Five Steps to a Life you Love.

In her session Leni will be sharing her thoughts on the changes she has seen in the industry, the traits that high flying Executives Assistants need to have to succeed in the role and she will be answering that age old question – what exactly do Executive’s want in their Assistant?

Robyn Bennett, Minute Taking Madness

Lots of new speakers added to the Virtual Summit

Over the past 14 years, Robyn has led in excess of 500 plus minute taking courses for over 1,000 participants. Her clients have included New Zealand Defence Force, Ministry for Primary Industries, Dairy NZ, Zespri, polytechs, universities, district health boards and councils.Robyn has developed systems and processes around the best way to write minutes and is passionate about sharing these with others who strive to be excellent minute takers. She is the author of “Minute Taking Madness”.

Robyn runs the popular The Art of Minute Taking course at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, where it was the top Professional and Executive Development course for 2015 and 2016.She is a member of the Association of Administrative Professionals NZ Inc and is a past National President.

Minute taking is a much sought after skill in organisations. Many administrators are self-taught. If you were wondering whether you are on track, what the latest trends are and keen to pick up some proven techniques this session is a must!

Amanda Johnson, Virtual Assistant Coaching and Training Company

Lots of new speakers added to the Virtual Summit

Amanda Johnson of VACT Limited, is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer and Mentor offering a variety of courses and workshops, both free and paid to help both aspiring, new and experienced Virtual Assistants to launch, create and grow their own successful VA business.  Passionate about “Creating Exceptional VA’s”, All of the VACT training courses and mentoring options, are designed to support and fit around you, your current work commitments, your individual circumstances and your budget.  VACT Limited were named as the “The Best VA Training Provider – 2016”.   This is how Amanda describes what she does:  “I’m passionate about creating exceptional VA’s – I am at my happiest when I am inspiring, challenging and supporting others” (and there might be a bit of xxx kicking in there too!)

Simone White, Personal Assistant at BlackRock

Lots of new speakers added to the Virtual Summit

Simone is the Founder and Chair of the ACE Network (Assistant Community EMEA) at BlackRock, the world’s leading Asset Management Firm.  Having worked in the field of administration for over 20 years, Simone has gained a wealth of experience in supporting executives at every level as well as managing teams and offices. As Chair of ACE, she works with managers, HR and assistants to ‘raise the bar’ and elevate the role of the admin professional.

Simply put, Simone is an inspirational Assistant. In this session, she will share her story with you and show how a little proactivity can take you a long way…

Jan Jones, Author of The CEO’s Secret Weapon

Lots of new speakers added to the Virtual Summit

Jan Jones is the former Executive Assistant to Tony Robbins, the world’s #1 life and business strategist. With twenty years experience as executive assistant to successful business people around the world Jan put pen to paper and published her incredible book  “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness” which debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Office Management category.  The book has received widespread acclaim from executives and executive assistants worldwide.

Jan is a passionate advocate for the executive assistant profession. Through her consulting work and training programs, she enjoys mentoring assistants and guiding executives on how to get the most out of the relationship with their assistant. In this live session Jan will be taking your questions on how you can succeed as an Executive Assistants and offering advice on what it takes to make it to the top of our industry.

Adam Strong, International Speaker and Founder of AEPAS

Lots of new speakers added to the Virtual Summit

Adam is champion for supporting women, personal assistants and entrepreneurs and is the Founder of ‘The Association of Extraordinary PAs. He runs events for personal assistants on how they can position themselves differently from other PAs, become inspired and empowered to make changes, achieve greatness and success in their personal and professional lives. Adam will share his incredible tips that will increase your productivity by 300%. Think of all of the things you can do with more time!

Sign up for the Virtual Summit

With a mixture of live and pre-recorded sessions we will bring you a brilliant day of online training, discussions, panel debates and much more.

Attendees will be able to interact with the summit content through a dedicated platform and social media channels.

All of this delivered to your desk for just £50+VAT. 

If you would like to host an official Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit hub the price is £250+VAT. Along with the hub you will also receive a pack with all the information you need to organise a brilliant internal event.

To book your place just head over to our Virtual Summit webpage. 

Lots of new speakers added to the Virtual Summit

Skills required to be a good minute taker

Skills required to be a good minute taker

Nobody readily puts up the hand to take minutes and those of us who do sometimes fear the job because of the expectation that is put on us to produce discussions accurately. Not everyone can be a good minute taker – it’s a definite skill and quite often an art, hence the name of my course, The Art of Minute Taking. There are definite skills required to be a good minute taker and I’ve listed some of them below:

Listening

Obviously! More than anybody else in the meeting a minute taker needs to be listening 100 percent of the time (no falling asleep here!). Check out my post here for tips on how to listen for the message.

Assertiveness

Minute takers must have the confidence to be able to speak up in a meeting (where appropriate) and clarify points. This post will help you work with the chairman to make this task easier.

Organisation

Ensure you turn up to the meeting having read the agenda, any background papers, the minutes of the previous meeting and with all the tools you need to take the minutes whether that be pen, highlighter, paper, recording device, laptop or iPad. Always take an extra pen.

Knowledge of the subject

It certainly makes the job easier if you have some knowledge of the topic. Learn as much as you can about the topic. This information can come from the meeting background papers, talking to people, Googling and keeping up-to-date by reading articles from within your organisation.

Good command of the written language

Without a doubt not only is it a skill to take minutes at the meeting, but the real work comes in being able to wordsmith a draft set of notes into an exceptionally good piece of writing. This means  being able to produce a document that is spelt correctly and uses correct grammar and punctuation.

A sound critical thinker 

This is the ability to be able to sift through the information and work out what it is that really needs to be written down.

Strive to develop these skills so you can be the best minute taker you can. These skills are transferable into other parts of an administrator’s role.

This guest post was written by Robyn Bennett, Director, Team Link Training Ltd, New Zealand. Robyn will be speaking at the Virtual Summit for PAs in October. 

Skills required to be a good minute taker

 

Over the past 14 years, Robyn has led in excess of 500 plus minute taking courses for over 1,000 participants. Her clients have included New Zealand Defence Force, Ministry for Primary Industries, Dairy NZ, Zespri, polytechs, universities, district health boards and councils.

Robyn has developed systems and processes around the best way to write minutes and is passionate about sharing these with others who strive to be excellent minute takers. She is the author of “Minute Taking Madness”.

Robyn runs the popular The Art of Minute Taking course at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, where it was the top Professional and Executive Development course for 2015 and 2016.

She is a member of the Association of Administrative Professionals NZ Inc and is a past National President.

Your invitation to a very special event this September

Do you organise meetings, away days, conferences, private dinners, summer parties, teambuilding or other events? As a PA or EA, finding the perfect venue can often be tough – especially when you’re simply asked for ‘something different’! But there’s one thing you can do to ensure you always make the right choice.

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10 Strategies to help you Tweet like a Social Media Rockstar

10 Strategies to help you Tweet like a Social Media Rockstar

Becoming a social media Rockstar doesn’t just “happen”; you need to really work at it. But if you fancy a bit of a shortcut, there are some simple things you can do to accelerate your rise to social media rock stardom. Read on…

  1. Use Power Words Power words help you stand out from the millions of other tweets sent every day. They evoke a human reaction such as happiness, sadness or anger, so use these power words in your tweets and prepare to stand out! (Just tap the phrase into Google if you’d like some examples). Don’t think you’re limited to existing headlines you’ve used for blog posts. Mix things up by creating different power word-rich headlines to get people to engage with your content.  For example, “25 Ways to Get Noticed on LinkedIn” could become.  “Top LinkedIn Tips”, “25 Top Tips for LinkedIn Visibility”, or “25 Ways to Drive Your Career on LinkedIn”.  The link to the blog remains the same, but by editing the text around it you maximise its impact and potential click-through rate.
  2. Create tweets that stand out from the rest by anchoring them to your values. What are your values? What do you stand for? What are your top 10 values? Collaboration, honesty and learning all form a part of my personal brand. Import your chosen values into your content and prepare to stand out. You can then create consistency around these themes.
  3. Create a content calendar to encourage consistency. Use a spreadsheet and a free tool like Hootsuite and schedule 4 tweets or more a day.  You can then implement consistent themes such as motivational post, blog post, or a quick tip. Consistency is a big driver of engagement, so expect to see results fast! Hashtags that align with working weekdays are popular and help you structure your content. #mondaymotivation #tuesdaytips, #wednesdaywisdom, #thursdaythoughts or #TBT (Throwback Thursday), #fridayfeeling and #FF.
  4. Engage with influencers. Who are the influencers in your industry? Engage with them by reading their blog posts or watching their video and telling them how much you enjoyed it and what you learned.  When they respond and like or retweet it, your message will get more exposure to their audience and elevate your positioning in the marketplace. Evoke the law of reciprocity – like and retweet industry influencers’ tweets and add a comment saying “Great content, make sure you check it out” or “love your blog / video, keep up the great tips”. Share the love and the love will come back to you!
  5. Participate in Twitter chats. They’re a terrific way to engage with like-minded people. Lasting for 30 minutes or a full hour, Twitter chats involve people getting together on a certain day and time to discuss a specific topic and use a specific hashtag. A Google search will help you find Twitter chats in your industry on a topic relevant to your audience, or check out http://tweetreports.com/Twitter-chat-schedule/ Others in the chat will respond and like, retweet your content and give you more engagement. People will also start to know, like and trust you if you show up regularly to tweet chats, then once you’ve built up a following you can create your own Twitter chat.
  6. Use correct hashtags – hashtags are to Twitter as keywords are to Google. For best results, use only two hashtags at the end of tweets. ritetag.com can help you find the right hashtags with minimal effort; you can use a free version and sign in with Twitter. It will help you find good, great and overused hashtags. Make sure you use the great ‘hot’ hashtags; lots of people search for them, so they’re a good way to get more engagement.
  7. Respond to notifications and you’ll turbo charge your engagement. Take the time to respond to people who like, retweet, add you to lists and engage in conversations; you’ll get more reach by engaging in conversations. The human touch pays dividends! If someone liked one of your posts why not tweet them with “glad you liked my blog – what was your biggest takeaway?” to start a conversation. If you are the one asking questions, you are driving the conversation and may be able to guide people down the sales funnel if they are a good fit.  Take the chat offline if you have a service which may help them.
  8. Leverage peak hours. 11am – 1pm is the most popular time for tweets, but do consider your audience’s time-zone. Also try some tweets between 8-11pm. There are some great tweet chats going on during these hours! Check out audiense.com for some more information on this.
  9. Ask genuine questions – treat people the same way as you would offline and engage in a human way. You’ll build rapport and trust, and gain respect. Ask questions – what brings you here? What are you trying to achieve? Simply put, just ask the questions you’d ask in real life. People like to talk about themselves so give them the opportunity and don’t force them into your sales funnel. You can reach out via Direct Message if you don’t want to do it in the feed.
  10. Use images to ramp up your engagement. Well-chosen images are proven to increase engagement by an amazing 313%.  What’s more, you can tag up to 10 people in each image, giving you the chance to amplify your engagement even more.  If you want to create your own images check out canva.com – I mention this site a lot and that’s because it’s invaluable for social media!

There you have it. A Smörgåsbord of choices to go interstellar with your Twitter engagement and have fun while you’re doing it. I’d love to know how you get on, tweet me at @superconnector to let me know!

This is a guest post from Jennifer Corcoran:

10 Strategies to help you Tweet like a Social Media Rockstar

Jennifer Corcoran is the CEO and Founder of My Super Connector, where she helps Executive and Virtual Assistants, small businesses and entrepreneurs to polish their online profiles and connect with finesse. You can follow My Super Connector on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

Is running your own VA business the new career progression for PAs?

Is running your own VA business the new career progression for PAs?

The roles of Personal and Executive Assistants are changing. For many, that means increased responsibility and a role that’s evolved from the traditional one they first stepped into. Many EAs and PAs are therefore looking for viable alternatives, where they can be more in control of their working patterns and tasks – and running their own VA business is becoming a preferred career progression option. Is running your own VA business the new career progression for PAs?

PA & EA roles are changing

Although administrative roles are often still perceived as mainly office-based typing and manual management of diaries etc, the reality is something far different to the average assumptions. Personal and Executive Assistants are facing ongoing changes to their existing role.

There’s an increased need for digital skills, such as managing social media, websites and managing cloud-based applications, from file sharing to appointment scheduling. Many roles are being expanded to include tasks a traditional PA or EA would never had to get involved in, such as finances and industry specific processes and trends.

This means the demands placed on PAs and EAs are increasing, with many needing to learn more than the traditional skills they originally needed, to proficiently carry out their work. There’s an increased need to understand more about the

People are looking for more flexibility

It’s understandable that many are looking for more flexibility and control over what their role entails. They’re looking to work hours that suit, without the need to commute and many, simply want to spend the extra time with their family. With the EA and PA roles moving over to a more digital-based environment, there’s a growing demand for part-time and home-based positions to better suit this evolving need. If you’re running most of your tasks online, it makes sense to no longer be tied to a physical work location and to enjoy a more flexible working pattern.

Self-employment – is not a dirty or scary word

Self-employment is becoming a more attractive option for many EAs and PAs. It’s no longer seen as a step-down to your current position or a riskier way to earn your money, but as something that is a more viable and sensible solution.

Being self-employed gives you the control over your working pattern, your role and your finances. You can build a business on your terms, working the hours and days you want to work and freeing you up to have a better work/life balance, that’s based on your unique needs.

A VA business is a viable option

Many EAs and PAs are therefore making the leap into running their own VA business. They already have the hard and soft skills needed to become a successful VA, and with a little investment into some additional training, they can hit the ground running.

Running your own VA business gives you the chance to work a completely flexible workload, where you can work with those clients who best suit your existing skillset. You’re no longer limited to working with one client either, with many VAs working with several clients at one time – leading to more work variety and a higher sense of job satisfaction.

It also gives you the opportunity to earn a higher rate of pay. You’re no longer tied to a set wage and can instead, package your services in a way that appeals to your target clients. With many clients looking to buy chunks of time upfront or pay a retainer for your services, you’re in much more control of your own earning potential.

Gain a better work/life integration

Many VAs have young families at home, and they want to be there for them. However, they also want to have a place in the workforce too – and having your own VA business opens up the opportunity to have both.

You’re no longer limited to working from one place either, and with a young family this is key. You’re no longer tied to your desk, as you can have a portable office via Wi-Fi and access via your smartphone, laptop or tablet. You can choose where you work and when.

It opens you up to a better work/life integration, as you can spend time with your children in the school holidays, taking them on days out and on holiday, without worrying about missing out on valuable working hours – as you can take your work with you, to carry out whilst your children are asleep on holiday or spending a few hours in the ballpark.

The freedom and flexibility that can be gained from running your own VA business is therefore understandably, becoming an increasing attractive career progression option for many EAs and PAs.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a VA, VIP VA can support you in a number of ways.

To find out more, please visit their site or join their free Facebook group. 

Is running your own VA business the new career progression for PAs?

Charlotte Wibberley

CEO & Founder, VIP VA

www.vipva.org

Twitter: @vipvaorg

FB: @vipva.org