Thursday began with The State of the Profession, live-streamed on Facebook Live, featuring Joan Burge, Debbie Gross, Lisa Olsen, and Julie Reed.
Then the conference broke for the first set of four concurrent labs. Debbie Gross (Strategy) suggested administrative assistants to work at a higher level by using their Outlook calendar like their own personal admin to help keep them on track with the many projects to be managed. She said admins need to FOCUS more and observe “cones of silence” to get work done. She has a 3-point system for managing email: first pass. Second pass, Do (as in under two minutes). Third pass, Defer to tasks anything remaining that requires focus and project management.
We broke for a networking lunch (amazing lunch – kudos to Office Dynamics!) and I chatted with several assistants, sharing best practices and solving issues (two areas admins excel in!). An example: Chris from Denver suggested some ways I could solve my overgrown Outlook folders. Lunching with admins always turns to problem-solving, lessons learned, interesting recent reading, and resources they harvest from experience, training, and hard work.
Following that amazing lunch, we reconvened for a Star-Studded Panel featuring Joan Burge, Sherry Viering, Wende Morrow, and Julie Reed. The panel discussed excellence. Julie stated that “what I do today creates and shapes my tomorrow.” Another concept was to ‘lead up.” Power attracts. Exhibit influence and seek to inspire others – that is true excellence.
Wende mentioned taking control of your career and steering your own ship. Joan mentioned a time in her career where things outside of work began to affect her on the job. She took the initiative to have a conversation with her manager, and it worked out well. “Everyone has a life outside those doors. It makes you, “you” so it’s important to stay true to who you are when you’re going through something.” The final concept was to not get derailed from your excellence journey.
Judi Moreo closed out the day with a keynote, “Success by Design” which received two standing ovations. She urged the audience to stay true to their own North Star. “If something is not positive, or doesn’t help you toward your goal, let it go.” Her final comment brought everyone to their feet in applause: “Sometimes things go wrong in our lives to push us toward something else.”
Next up: The Glam and Glitz Gala!
Your Reporter in the Field