You have decided you want to attend an administrative conference, you have determined your goals and which conference you want to attend. If you are like most assistants, the next big hurdle is getting approval from your executive to attend the conference. Below are my tried and true tips for being persuasive.
Author: Annette Brown
Originally published at OfficeDynamics.com.
Full disclosure—I’m a recovering perfectionist. Nicknames that have followed me over the course of my lifetime include “Miss Goody-Two-shoes,” “Little Miss Perfect” and “Rule Girl.” I’d like to think I always try to do the right thing. I have to admit, I’m one of those people who has historically loved being right. But I’ve found this hasn’t necessarily been the best mindset for innovation. And having an innovation mindset is more important than ever—a McKinsey study showed 70% of senior leaders think it’s the most critical factor for success.
Leaders say they need “creative problem-solving” from their people, and that’s definitely important. But I’ve learned a valuable, life-changing lesson from a wise, long-time friend and colleague, the late Jerry McNellis, who would say, “In business, mostly what we talk about is problem-solving, but in reality, what we have most of the time are predicaments. Problems have answers, predicaments have options.” Over time, what I’ve realized is there are a lot of “rights.” We waste a lot of time looking for the right answer when perhaps what we should be doing is exploring options. So I’ve been working on getting past the need to be right and, instead, focus on getting better at staying open-minded and asking great questions.
“The desire to know is natural to good men.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
One of my favorite books is the fascinating book by Michael J. Gelb, How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci. It would take an encyclopedia to begin to share the full scope of his accomplishments. Leonardo the artist is known for transforming the direction of arr. He pioneered the use of oil paints. His universally recognized paintings like the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper are works of superb creativity. Leonardo the inventor made plans for a flying machine, parachutes, the extendable ladder (still in use by fire departments today), the three speed gear shift, the bicycle, a snorkel, the world’s first revolving stage, locks for a canal system, folding furniture, the first elevator, and many more. More than any single invention, he deserves credit for pioneering the concept of automation.
In his book, Gelb breaks down the genius of Da Vinci in a practical guide to problem solving, creative thinking, goal setting and life balance, and harmonizing body and mind. The book was so empowering that I worked to develop a one day workshop for assistants titled What it Takes to Be Great!
Gelb focuses the book on Seven Da Vincian Principles. I’d like to share one of them:
- Curiosita – an insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.
OFFICE DYNAMICS CONFERENCE RECAP PART III: The Final Day
After another delicious breakfast on the resort veranda overlooking the pool and the striking red rock mountains to the West, the morning plenary session of our final day of the conference opened up with a video montage highlighting some of the extraordinary moments from the Havana Nights Gala, generating laughs and smiles all around.
Next, Joan Burge took the stage with a strong message reminding us all why we’re really here, and how every professional can truly “Expand Your Influence.” As Joan explained, neither her career, nor this signature annual gathering, is about “training” — it’s about making work lives substantially BETTER for administrative professionals in every stage of their careers, and carving out the administrative path as a career of choice for high-performing and high-potential individuals. The training, speaking, coaching and writing Joan devotes herself to, as well as this conference itself, is how she achieves those goals. Ultimately, our progress hinges on the quality relationships and authentic connections we make together, and whether we can implement what we learn.
OFFICE DYNAMICS CONFERENCE RECAP PART II: PEAK EXPERIENCE
This article is part 2 of our conference recap . . . if you missed part 1, you can read it here.
Thursday proved to be the peak day of the 21st Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, beginning with yet another series of breakthrough plenary sessions and then culminating in the fabulous Gala Dinner.
After a continental networking breakfast on the resort veranda, Peggy Vasquez kicked off the general sessions of the day with her workshop on “Creating Authentic Business Relationships.” Peggy is an author and motivational speaker, on top of being Chief Executive Assistant at PNNL. She helped us understand how creating and developing a lasting business connection takes time and skill, and delivered unique tools for surmounting awkward moments, starting conversations effortlessly, and the art of follow up.
Next, attendees were given a privileged insight on the Executive Perspective, exploring how leaders can best partner with their administrative assistants and what they most value and look for. For this special session — unique to this conference — Joan hosted two dynamic executives — Steve Forst, CEO of Performance Matters, and via telepresence, Cisco executive Alistair Butler.