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  • feedwordpress 09:25:44 on 2017/01/18 Permalink
    Tags: , #therevolutionhasbegun, A Company of Owners, , Admin Nation, attendee perspective, , , Dr. Daren Martin, ISIPHO, lessons learned at conference, Lucy Brazier, , ownership, Peggy Vasquez, revolutionary thinking, , Tara Browne,   

    Lessons in Revolutionary Thinking 

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    Guest post by Tara Browne, DTM, 2016 Conference Scholarship Winner. 

    When I was awarded one of three scholarships for the 2016 Conference for Administrative Excellence, I was beyond excited. I looked forward to acquiring strategies and tools to advance my administrative career. I expected to be totally blown away by insights and techniques from thought leaders on the cutting edge of the administrative professions: new measures for peak performance; creative methodologies for problem solving; fresh perspectives for relating to those I work with every day.

    What I got was all of the above…and so much more.

    As speaker after speaker challenged our assumptions about administrative work, and I found myself being inspired by a profession that I had so long ago wandered into with neither purpose nor ambition. There were so many “AHA!” moments in this conference that it would be impossible to do justice to them all in a single blog post, but I’d like to share my top three with you here. These were paradigm-shifting moments that sharpened my sense of mission, strengthened my commitment to cultivating professional community, and expanded my vision for our potential to impact our careers, the companies we work for and the communities we serve.

    Ownership and Mission

    Dr. Daren Martin’s presentation on showing up like an owner – and not “just an admin” – provided many great examples of how we can choose to show up, from dress and grooming to meeting etiquette to original professional contributions.  At the heart of it all, though, he underscored that we must become clear on our personal mission.

    In my “other life” as an artist, I have a clearly defined mission statement: I create art and experiences that help others to recognize their creative potential, and I help them to manifest and celebrate that potential in ways that make our world more beautiful, joyful, loving and abundant.   As an administrative professional, however, applying this mission statement to my daily work is a stretch, to say the least. Often I feel torn between my personal mission and my professional reality. So when Dr. Martin casually remarked, “In fact, I have a couple of mission statements,” he kind of rocked my world.

    Wow. You mean I can have more than one?!

    I was, however, concerned about diluting my effectiveness by having conflicting missions. Instead, I realized, I could translate my artist mission statement to the fit the needs of specific focus areas. First, I broke it down into three parts:

    • What I Do: I create art & experiences…
    • Why I Do It: that help others to recognize, manifest and celebrate their creative potential…
    • End Result: in ways that make our world more beautiful, joyful, loving and abundant.

    Then I translated that to fit a task at hand – developing MentorsAndMasterminds.com:

    • Experience I Create: I help administrative professionals connect…
    • Activate Creative Potential: through the power of their stories…
    • Make Our World Better: to become heroes of their careers and mentors to others.

    I help administrative professionals connect through the power of their stories to become heroes of their careers and mentors to others. 

    Now that feels like a mission I can accomplish!



    • What are the core elements of your personal mission statement: the “What”, “Why” and “End Result”?
    • Are there areas of your life that might call for a supplementary mission statement?


    Part of the Admin Nation

    Of all the presentations, I was perhaps most excited to hear Peggy Vasquez expand on her May 2016 webinar and the subject Develop the Power of Your Inner Circle: after all, it was her webinar that inspired me to create Mentors And Masterminds! As she shared her stories, I was transported right along with her, from her earliest DECA mentoring experience, to the challenge of writing her first book, to her vision for an #AdminNation. It was this third element that truly inspired me.

    In particular, Peggy talked about the concept of Ubuntu, which Wikipedia describes as “a Nguni Bantu term roughly translating to “’human kindness’…often used in a more philosophical sense to mean ‘the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity’”. Further, Peggy argues, “human beings didn’t become the dominant species by competing, but by collaborating.”

    Certainly in my own career I have to avoid the most prevalent forms of competition in our profession: information hoarding, adherence to obsolete processes, and the vicarious exercise of executive privilege, to name a few. Unfortunately, many colleagues still seem to struggle to understand the value of collaboration, and that’s where this succinct value statement fits in.  This message – “Human beings didn’t become the dominant species by competing, but by collaborating.” –  paints a powerful word-image of how collaboration creates success that I can share to bring still more administrative professionals on board the “Admin Nation”.



    • Where would you like to see more collaboration among your administrative peers? 
    • What methods – both direct and indirect – could you try to help foster that increased collaboration?

    A Revolutionary Vision

    The most impactful moment of the conference, however, did not come from one of the scheduled presenters, but from surprise guest and Marcham Publishing CEO, Lucy Brazier, whose presentation about the Isipho Admin Bursary in South Africa created a true paradigm shift in the way I see the administrative support professions as a whole.


    I understand the value of the work that we as administrative professionals do, of course…but the tribute paid to that value by colleagues and executives has often felt like little more than lip service. Many administrative professionals provide years of service with ever-increasing skills and responsibilities, but no corresponding path for career advancement and compensation. Having wandered accidentally into this career, I saw no way forward, up or out…and I struggled to rid myself of an underlying sense of professional deficiency and self-doubt.


    When Lucy shared the life-changing impact that the Isipho Admin Bursary will have for the scholarship winners, I could not help but feel appreciation for the privilege I have to be secure in my own job.  Moreover, I was reminded of Erick Gray’s famous words:


    Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.


    According to the US Department of Labor, Secretary/Administrative Assistant remains the #1 job for women in the United States, and although recent data is harder to find, a 2011 Monster.com article estimates that 95%+ of administrative support roles are held by female employees. Given that so many women rely upon this profession, I realized that this role holds the potential to change the lives of not only women and the families they support, but even for healing communities around the world.


    In just a few short minutes, I gained a completely different perspective on the value of this work we do. For the first time ever, I felt truly proud to call myself an administrative professional, and inspired with a conviction that yes, I am a Revolutionary Assistant, and I can help change the world.





    Did you miss the conference this year? Check out the following programs:

    The post Lessons in Revolutionary Thinking appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 15:22:05 on 2016/10/31 Permalink
    Tags: , #therevolutionhasbegun, , , , , , , , ,   

    The Revolutionary Assistant Facebook Live Recap with Joan and Jasmine 

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    Our 23rd Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, The Revolutionary Assistant. This is a video recap from Joan Burge & Jasmine Freeman.

    Some of the highlights you will find in this broadcast:

    • The Future Belongs to the Revolutionary Assistant//highlights from Joan’s opening keynote
    • Why become a revolutionary assistant?
    • Communication challenges assistants have with their executive
    • Courageous conversations
    • Be taken seriously by management
    • The cost of inaction
    • Educating management about the administrative role
    • Champions for the administrative profession
    • Intelligent risking
    • Helping your executive maintain a competitive edge
    • Star performers who receive criticism at work
    • Trailblazing Your Way to Career Success//highlights from Brandi Britton’s session (OfficeTeam)
    • Building your inner circle
    • Think like a visionary
    • Possibility thinking
    • Executive presence
    • Advocate for change
    • Confident decision-making
    • Learning from our mistakes
    • Compression Planning (and follow-up to come)
    • The ownership mentality
    • Developing the Power of Your Inner Circle//highlights from Peggy Vasquez’s session
    • Who is pulling you forward and other questions to ask yourself when building your Inner Circle
    • The Proactive Administrative Professional//highlights from Chrissy Scivicque’s session
    • and so much more!


    The post The Revolutionary Assistant Facebook Live Recap with Joan and Jasmine appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 09:29:40 on 2016/10/26 Permalink
    Tags: , #therevolutionhasbegun, , administrative profession, , , , , , the revolution has begun, ,   

    Revelations from the Revolution at the Conference for Administrative Excellence 

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    Just over a week ago, I had the honor of attending the Office Dynamics Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence. I was there both as a participant and a speaker, and the experience was, indeed, nothing short of revolutionary.

    As a proud former administrative professional, I consider myself intimately familiar with the unique challenges—and unique rewards—of the field. Though my career has evolved into training and development, I always feel most at home when surrounded by growth-oriented assistants. That’s one of the reasons I always jump at the opportunity to attend Conference.

    The theme for this year, in particular, really struck me: The Revolutionary Assistant. It’s no secret that the administrative field has dramatically changed over the years and will continue to do so. But what can we, collectively as a group, do to push our profession to the next level? How can we revolutionize our thinking and behaviors to not only meet the demands of the modern workplace, but to also lead the charge into the future?

    These are the questions I had going into the Conference, and I’m pleased to say that I not only found the answers, but also uncovered a whole new depth of thought around these same topics.

    Here are just a few of the key takeaways I received:

    While our workplace has changed, our challenges remain the same. To really resolve them once and for all, we have to change.  

    This was probably the biggest theme I saw repeated throughout each presentation. Daren Martin showed us how to think like an owner rather than an employee. Lisa Olsen encouraged us to embrace our inner Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the most groundbreaking artists and inventors the world has ever seen. I shared my perspectives on unleashing the power of proactivity to set yourself up for future success. And Joan inspired us to take bold action—because the “revolution” we’re leading is not merely theoretical; it’s practical. It’s about creating real solutions for our real world struggles.

    In short, each powerful presenter offered a new way of thinking about old problems. It was refreshing and eye-opening.

    Revolutionaries are seldom popular…and that’s okay.

    If you want to challenge the status quo and really pave the way for greatness ahead, you have to be willing to speak your truth, as Collette Carlson taught us. People are always more comfortable with silence. But being an advocate for change and improvement means being vocal. Joan taught us to be assertive and persistent, even in the face of naysayers. After all, in the end, it’s the revolutionaries who make history.

    The revolution we’re leading is not a solo activity; we’re always stronger together.

    This year’s conference had a great emphasis on peer-to-peer mentorship and, as Peggy Vasquez spoke about, leveraging your “inner circle.” We learned that together we have a much louder voice. We have access to a wealth of wisdom, experience and perspectives if we’re willing to reach out and connect with one another. It was inspiring to see the powerful relationships that formed during the event. People who were strangers on day one left as friends, partners and allies in the revolution!

    When it comes to conferences, I’ve attended many. There’s one thing I always say about the Office Dynamics Conference: It’s the little things that really make it special—the surprise attendee gifts, the interactive workshop-style activities, and the elaborate gala event to name just a few.

    It stands out because of the incredible caliber of speakers and attendees. It’s small enough to feel intimate and comfortable, but large enough to really be exciting.

    I’m so proud to have been a part of it. The revolution has certainly begun—but it’s not over. We have work to do. I, for one, am ready to charge ahead and put these exciting new ideas into action. Thank you to Joan, the Office Dynamics team, and everyone who attended!

    In case you were unable to attend our 2016 conference, there is an On Demand option available for purchase. Watch sessions from this year’s conference wherever and whenever. Watch Now!

    The post Revelations from the Revolution at the Conference for Administrative Excellence appeared first on Office Dynamics.

  • feedwordpress 12:02:41 on 2016/10/10 Permalink
    Tags: , #therevolutionhasbegun, , , administrative professional conference, , , ,   

    The Revolution Has Begun: Conference for Administrative Excellence 

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    the-revolution-has-begunTonight at 6:00 pm Pacific Time, Office Dynamics will kick off our 23rd Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence tonight with our Welcome Reception at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. We are excited to welcome more than 450 administrative professionals from 11 countries. This year’s conference theme is The Revolutionary Assistant.


    So please excuse me for this short Monday Motivator. I’d like to encourage you, no matter your position at work, to be revolutionary.

    Why? Because the world is changing at a rapid pace, you need to create opportunities for yourself (rather than wait for them to happen), be more influential, and minimize career risk.


    If you are revolutionary, you will…

    • Take intelligent risks
    • Challenge your comfort zone
    • Engage in courageous conversations
    • Advocate for change and improvement
    • Seek innovative solutions
    • Leverage emerging technology
    • Step up to obstacles
    • Create opportunities

    You might want to rate yourself in each of the areas on my list. When I say rate yourself, I don’t mean “yes” or “no.” A better way to rate is a percentage over a year’s time. What percentage of time over 12 months do you take intelligent risks? 5% 20% 70% or 0%  What percentage of time over 12 months do you seek innovative solutions at work? 50% or 2%  The idea is to up your percentages in each area. We will never be 100% of everything 100% of the time. But we can strive to be better in each area over 12 months.


    Well, sorry I can’t give all my opening speech content away. But if you really want to hear what I said and hear our other fabulous speakers, you can purchase the Conference On Demand.


    I wish you an amazing week. And look forward to catching up with you next Monday.

    The post The Revolution Has Begun: Conference for Administrative Excellence appeared first on Office Dynamics.

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