Episodes

#44 Surf Rambling – Checking In

Liz opens up about how anxiety and confidence issues have got in the way of her bringing regular episodes out.

This is an issue Liz has fought on an ongoing basis, in Episode 8 she discussed feeling like an imposter.

Email me to say hello or let me know topics you would like me to cover in future episodes.

[email protected] or connect with me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn of course.

#43 Road Rambling (Part 2) – EA Leadership Summit Wrap Up

This week is Part 2 of my two-part Road Rambling. It’s a wrap-up of what was an excellent EA Leadership Summit 2017 run by The Growth Faculty. In the episode I share my thoughts on why our bosses need to see that we’re human (in my opinion) and how it doesn’t help us to appear infallible and how Libby Moore’s presentation demonstrated why no one ever got promoted for being the best at Excel or Powerpoint!!

Email me to say hello or let me know topics you would like me to cover in future episodes.

[email protected] or connect with me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn of course.

#42 Road Rambling – Watch Out Adelaide, Here I Come!

This week is Part 1 of my two-part Road Rambling. It’s a wrap-up of what was an excellent EA Leadership Summit 2017 run by The Growth Faculty as well as an overview of the content I will be sharing on the 30th August 2017 when I present 2 X 45 minute sessions at the Office Professionals Workshop in Adelaide. This event is being run by Catherine Middleton (that would be the other Catherine Middleton, not the Duchess of Cambridge) of Office Dynamics Adelaide fame.

Tickets are still available and I would love love love to see you there if you are a ‘Radelaide’ Executive Assistant or Office Professional.

http://officedynamicsadelaide.com.au/office-professionals-workshop-program/

In next weeks episode I will share some of my key takeaways from the EA Leadership Summit 2017.

Email me to say hello or let me know topics you would like me to cover in future episodes.

[email protected] or connect with me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn of course.

#41 Road Ramblings – I’m Back

In this episode Liz explains her recent podcasting hiatus and shares the reasons why her break has been so fulfilling. Liz is also looking forward to attending the EA Leadership Summit in her capacity as a member of the Advisory Panel and presenting at the Office Professionals Workshop in Adelaide on the topic of knowing yourself, knowing your boss and knowing your job.

EA Leadership Summit – Sydney, Wednesday 9th August tickets still available here

Office Professionals Workshop – Adelaide, Wed 30th August, tickets available here

#40The Executive Assistant As Brand Ambassador: Conversations at Nvidia

Carla Dutra & Cid Dias – Administrative Assistants at Nvidia, Creating an amazing first impression

Episode #40 of Being Indispensable shines a light on two Executive Assistants (or Administrative Assistants as they are known in the USA) who work at Nvidia in Santa Clara, California.

The company description on Wikipedia summarises them as follows:

Nvidia Corporation is an American technology company based in Santa Clara, California. It designs graphics processing units for the gaming and professional markets, as well as system on a chip units for the mobile computing and automotive market.

In simple language, they have designed a really fast chip that until recently was well know amongst gamers because of it’s speed. With the increasing requirement for faster processing in enterprise computing as well as the wave of Artificial Intelligence that is building, they are gaining interest and attention for the potential the chips have in these areas. In the same way as we used to think of “Intel Inside” for personal computing, it’s now becoming “Nvidia Inside” in the enterprise space.

Carla Dutra and Cid Dias are two of many Administrative Assistants at Nvidia. They kindly agreed to speak to me during their lunch hour and in the interviews they share how they came to Nvidia, who they support and some of the reality of their day to day role.

The gold in these conversations is that Carla and Cid epitomise the concept of the EA or AA as brand ambassador. Their genuine enthusiasm for their role and the organisation, their warmth and generosity made a wonderful impression on me and this typifies how they show up in their roles. This is one of the values that Executive Assistants bring to their organisation. They are often the first impression of the company and the interaction they have with people has the power to make or break a person’s perception of their company. All credit goes to these two ladies for the way they conduct themselves and for demonstrating this essential trait of indispensable assistants.

For more information on the Executive Assistant as ambassador read this post from Office Dynamics website.

Carla and Cid are both on LinkedIn.

#39 Road Ramble – There’s No ‘Harm’ In Being Kind

Leaving Judgement At The Door When It Comes To Other Executive Assistants & What Motivates Them

One thing I find really unfortunate about the realm of Executive Assistant forums is the way there seems to be a tacit acceptance that it’s okay to judge each other. As someone who has come to focus on this profession having experienced the world of Selling professionals and Marketing professionals it’s something I find quite curious. I’ve noticed that it seems normal for experts in the profession to jump on their soap box and tell EA’s how they should and shouldn’t behave.

In this weeks minisode, I ruminate on why it’s important to consider that we can never really know what is going on for other people and how being kind should be the first response, no matter how hard that might be at times.

#38 How To Stay Calm Under Pressure

3 Techniques Executive Assistants Can Adopt To Appear Unflappable

Staying calm under pressure is an important skill for Indispensable assistants to focus on. In Episode 38 Liz shares what it means to be unflappable, why it matters and three techniques to focus on that will help you project an aura of calm when in reality you might be feeling anything but. 

Appearing to be unflappable requires us to control our primitive responses to stress and be less reactive. Having these three techniques in your kit bag will empower you to have control over your body language, your voice and your own internal responses to stressful situations.

Links to research & articles discussed in the episode:

7 Ways Leaders Maintain Their Composure In Difficult Times

Use Neuroscience To Remain Calm Under Pressure

Controlling Your Body Language In Stressful Situations

https://hbr.org/2014/11/how-to-handle-stress-in-the-moment

Listen to Art of Charm episode to get more tips on how to control your voice

The head/heart/gut approach

The Focused Leader – HBR Article

Being Indispensable Episode 5 – Amy Cuddy research

Being Indispensable Episode 14 – Practising mindfulness 

#37 The What’s In It For Me Question – Helping Your Executive Get Socially Savvy (Part 4)

The Benefits To You As The Executive Assistant In Becoming Your Executives Social Media Manager

Episode 37 is the final episode in my miniseries devoted to helping you get your C-suite leader on the social media bandwagon. In this episode I discuss the elephant in the room – the fact that becoming your executives social media manager involves taking on additional workload which no doubt is the last thing you need as an Executive Assistant.

This fact hasn’t escaped me and I’m loathe to be the cause of my listeners having something else to stress about. That being said, helping your executive get more engaged on LinkedIn is something that makes sense for a number of reasons (as I’ve discussed in Episode #34). In this final episode I attempt to help you get a handle on the benefits for you personally…because much as I love to help you position yourself as proactive and strategic (and of course be seen as an essential element in your bosses life), the reality is that there’s got to be some sort of WIFM factor for you.

Hope you enjoy this final episode. Next week I promise not to even utter the words “LinkedIn” or “Social”.

 

#36 LinkedIn Monitoring Using The Rule Of Five – Tactics For Executive Assistants

Helping Your Executive Get Socially Savvy (Part 3)

Part 3 of my series on how to help your C-Suite leader engage in social media, specifically LinkedIn. In this episode I outline a 5 step process of monitoring and observing the engagement of a targeted number of individuals and companies on LinkedIn. This data will inform the future planning for tactical engagement on LinkedIn.

By tracking these identified individuals and companies over a finite period of time, Executive Assistants will be building their own knowledge of the world their manager operates in as well as collecting information that will be invaluable in helping progress the conversation around how the executive can and should be actively engaging on LinkedIn.

This is classic ‘red box’ activity for Executive Assistants. It’s all about thinking strategically and being proactive in support of your C-Suite leader.

Spreadsheet Template is available here

Email your feedback to [email protected] or connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn of course.

#35 LinkedIn Tactics For Executive Assistants, Part 2 – The HOW

Four tactics you can use to increase the presence of your Executive on LinkedIn

 

Part 2 in my ongoing series on Helping Your Executive Get Social – being strategic and proactive in managing your business leaders social media engagement.

Four tactics that Executive Assistants can use to help their Executive manage their LinkedIn profile, be engaged and build their authority and profile.

Connect with Liz on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook

#34 Why You Need To Help Your Executive Harness Their Social Profile

Social Media Engagement Is An Opportunity For Proactive Executive Assistants

Episode 34 of Being Indispensable is the first of two episodes that focus on the way engaging in social media can be a great way of demonstrating how proactive, strategic and indispensable they can be. In the first episode Liz explains the benefits that Executives can gain if they harness the power of social media. The idea for these two episodes came from a post on LinkedIn written by Liz.

People now spend more time using social media than they do watching television and social media engagement is a top priority for most organisations today. Getting your Executive to understand why they need to make social media engagement a priority is something that is top of mind for indispensable assistants.

In Episode 34 it’s all about the WHY. Episode 35 will discuss the HOW with advice and practical tips to help put in place systems and processes that will enable Executives to start moving towards regular and consistent social media engagement.

Articles mentioned in today’s episode:

https://www.fastcompany.com/3056970/yes-even-ceos-need-to-use-social-media-and-do-it-well

//www.cnbc.com/2017/04/13/the-surprising-reason-why-ceos-should-be-social-media-savvy.html

https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/10-ways-to-participate-in-social-media-strategy-as-ceo.html

 

Connect with Liz on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook

#33 Checking In On 2017 – One Quarter Down, Three To Go (Solo)

Enjoying Engaging With Executive Assistants Around The World & Continuing To Get Stronger & Healthier

2017 is a quarter complete and it’s time to get an update on how Liz is tracking with her ‘Words of 2017’ as well as a Health & Wellness update. This part can be summarised as ‘I’m Not Burying My Head In The Sand, I’m  Just Running The Other Way’.

Liz shares the sneaky ways the urge to flee continues to make itself known & how she is channeling her inner Emu.

For a solo episode it’s ended up being just over 30 minutes which only proves that Liz can truly talk about herself with no trouble at all!

#32 Building A Strategic Partnership With Your Executive

What It Takes For An Executive Assistant To Build And Maintain A Win-Win Relationship With A Business Leader

Creating a strategic partnership with your C-Suite Executive is a topic of much discussion amongst Executive Assistants and educators in the profession. What is required to achieve this is something Liz discussed in a recent LinkedIn post. In this solo episode she shares the feedback she has received on the post and expands on the topic discussing how vital it is for the partnership to be a win/win situation for Executive Assistant and Executive.

PS If you know a friend who would enjoy the podcast I’d love it if you could tell them about it!

LinkedIn Post “The Executive Assistant As Strategic Partner” can be found here

HBR Article “What Executive Assistants Know About Managing Up”, Melba Duncan discusses the Strategic Partnership can be found here

Mana defined can be found here

 

#31 Road Ramblings: A Hot Sweaty Mess

Meeting Silicon Valley Executive Assistants

Coming to you from a park bench in downtown Palo Alto, California. More a garden ramble than a road ramble, Liz explains the purpose of her trip to the USA and how it’s been a trip she’s been looking forward to making ever since finishing Breast Cancer treatment. Enjoy a giggle as she recounts how in the pursuit of an interview with an indispensable assistant she goes from outwardly cool, calm and collected to a hot and sweaty mess.

Check out photos of Palo Alto on the Being Indispensable Facebook Page or on Instagram (@beingindispensable).

Make sure to Subscribe to Being Indispensable so you don’t miss out on future episodes!

#30 Strength In Our Connections – Sue McComasky Interview (Part 2)

Sue as National President of AIOP – A Membership Organisation Run By Members, For Members

In Part 2 of my interview with Sue McComasky we discuss her role as National President of the Australian Institute of Office Professionals (AIOP) and why she is so passionate about what the mission of the organisation. AIOP is an organisation run by volunteers and it seeks to provide:

  • Professional Development opportunities for members
  • Networking opportunities for members
  • Access to an online network of like-minded professionals
  • Enhancement of the profession and the ability to use postnominals

AIOP is the only national professional body for office professionals in Australia and has been in existence officially since 1963 but it’s roots were formed in the 1950’s when 12 secretaries sat for and passed what was then known as the Commonwealth Secretarial Examination. As the only organisation for Executive Assistants that is run by members, for members it has the best interests of members at it’s heart and is ably led by Sue and her committee.

You can find more info on AIOP and membership information on their website 

#29 Strength In Our Connections – Sue McComasky Interview (Part 1)

Passionate About Being An Executive Assistant & Passionate About Advancing The Profession

Sue McComasky is an indispensable Executive Assistant who is passionate about her role and the Business Leaders she supports. The intention of Being Indispensable has always involved providing a platform for Executive Assistants to be given the recognition for the amazing contribution they make to their respective organisations.

In Part 1 (Episode #29) of our interview, Sue talks about her role and her relationships with the CEO’s she has supported. Sue speaks with such humility but she is clearly highly valued as an Executive Assistant and she is a great ambassador for her organisation, GHD Australia.

In Part 2 (Episode #30) of our interview we discuss Sue’s role as National President of the Australian Institute of Office Professionals (AIOP) which is over 50 years old and is the only membership group in Australia which exists simply to support and educate office professionals. AIOP is a not-for-profit association that channels all money raised back into providing networking and education opportunities for members. AIOP recently underwent a complete rebrand and as a volunteer-run organisation it was a delight to be able to give Sue the opportunity to discuss the vision, mission and goals of AIOP and why it is a membership that Executive Assistants will benefit from.

Sue can be reached via AIOP and her LinkedIn profile is here

#28 Create A Great Elevator Pitch That Describes Your Business Leader

How Executive Assistants Can Demonstrate A Managerial Mindset & Create A Great Impression

This week’s solo episode is all about passion. Indispensable Executive Assistants demonstrate passion. They are passionate about their role, about their organisation and about the executive they support. It sets them apart from mediocre EA’s and it’s something that may require a mindset shift.

One of the ways that you can demonstrate passion is being able to passionately articulate your business leaders’ raison d’etre, their reason for being. This is effectively an ‘elevator pitch’, something that entrepreneurs and salespeople are well known for having. It’s a way of demonstrating that you are operating in that managerial mindset that Adam Fidler talks about.

One way of doing this is to use a modified version of Daniel Priestley’s SOCIAL PITCH:

“Name, Same, Claim to fame, Goal to Game”

NAME – You and your position, name and your company name

SAME – What are you the same as, industry category (what would I google if I was trying to find you)

CLAIM TO FAME – something that makes your boss interesting to work for.  It’s talking to why they are an interesting person to work for and demonstrating that

GOAL TO GAME – What’s the short to goal that your boss is currently pursuing, what the big picture objective that they are working towards. 

Can you put words around the GOAL TO GAME section? If not, you need to take steps to actually understand what you executive’s reason for being is. Another opportunity to initiate a conversation with them, to show them that you are a red box thinker and that you are thinking in that managerial mindset.

Should be able to get this out in around 30 seconds.

Will need to practice it, fine tune it.

Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley

#27 Why You Need To Control Your EA Destiny – Interview With Adam Fidler (Part 2)

Putting The ‘Executive’ Into The Executive Assistant Role – Growing Your Managerial Skills & Developing Your Independence

In Part 2, Liz shares some initial results from her Survey of C-Suite Executives where she has been investigating how elements of Adam’s EA Manifesto resonate with executives and their experience working with EA’s. The results to do date reinforce that assistant’s currently are not generally viewed as behaving strategically and operating with the ‘managerial mindset’ that Adam encourages. However, the results of the survey clearly show that executives want their EA’s to demonstrate leadership traits.

Adam also shares a simple mindset hack to remind EA’s to think as a manager and he also discusses how it is up to EA’s to help their boss see them in a different light, as more ‘Red Box’ than ‘Black box’.

Links to Connect with Adam and read about his thinking around the EA role:

PA Life Interview

Connect with Adam Fidler on LinkedIn

Adam Fidler Academy website

Adam Fidler’s “What I am” EA manifesto

A clip of Sophie Ellis-Bextor “Murder On The Dancefloor” is also included in this episode because it’s fun and as discussed Liz loves Adam’s dance floor metaphor for encouraging EA’s to get out of the weeds!

#26 Why You Need To Control Your EA Destiny – Interview With Adam Fidler (Part 1)

Putting The ‘Executive’ Into The Executive Assistant Role – Growing Your Managerial Skills & Developing Your Independence

In my interview with Adam we discuss his belief that Executive Assistants must take charge of their professional destiny because if they fail to do so, they risk others stepping in to influence it that do not understand the role and the true value that Executive Assistants can offer organisations and individual leaders.

The overarching theme of Adam’s work is about encouraging and enabling EA’s to align their behaviours with what is expected of a mid level manager and the sorts of EQ skills that are focused on in leadership development. He has a higher vision for the role which he articulates in his EA manifesto but rather than this vision being some sort of airy fairy, non-specific ideal he advocates for it being based on a proven foundation of skills development.

I’m already calling out that I’m going to have Adam back on the podcast for us to debate the word ‘indispensable’ as you will hear that he’s not a fan of it. I actually think he and I are in agreement and that it’s about not striving for something you can never achieve, because as we’ve discussed, we’re all dispensable. Anyway…

Top takeaways from interview with Adam

 

  1. Credibility is achieved through getting the job done, being professional and being qualified – therefore EA’s need to choose high calibre events to attend that will reflect well on them and be seen as an effective use of their time.
  2. Focus on what you need to do to be seen as more ‘managerial’, more professional in your role. That means looking closely at what activities and tasks you are spending your time on and look at identifying how you can develop into more red box activities.
  3. Aligned with this is spending time in ‘boss mode’ as opposed to ‘pa mode’. Thinking proactively, using initiative, having a growth mindset and asking less for permission and more for confirmation or correction. Boss Mode is about understanding your leaders’ objectives and priorities as well as the organisations and thinking strategically about how you can advance those without being given explicit instruction.
  4. This is where Adam’s metaphor of moving up from the dancefloor is so powerful… I love this metaphor, I keep humming Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s song “Murder on the Dancefloor” (link to Youtube clip in the Shownotes for those of you that don’t know it)
  5. Finally Adam acknowledges that there will always be a place for black box activities, he says these are the bread and butter tasks of EA’s but the reality is that no one ever got promoted for being great with Excel or Powerpoint. You may need to help your boss see your value in doing ‘red box’ activities but once they’ve experienced the benefits they will be converts. Saving your boss time makes you a huge asset but it requires you to act and work independently.

PA Life Interview

Connect with Adam Fidler on LinkedIn

Adam Fidler Academy website

Sophie Ellis-Bextor “Murder On The Dancefloor”

Adam Fidler’s “What I am” EA manifesto

#25 Get Started On Your Personal Skills Audit

A Valuable First Step To Becoming An Indispensable Executive Assistant – Identifying Your Skills And Areas Of Weakness

Liz has developed a 5 step process to identifying the skills, values and behaviours that will make you an indispensable Assistant to your business leader.

Step 1 is to conduct a personal skills audit. In this episode, the first in a five part series to be released over coming weeks, Liz outlines two different approaches to conduct a personal skills audit. Liz also discusses how the results of this exercise will form the basis for Step 3 which is to identify what indispensable looks like to your business leader and how Adam Fidler’s Executive Assistant ‘manifesto’ which he formulated through his coaching and training work with EA’s may serve as a useful conversation starter.

Resources discussed in this episode

‘5 Steps To Being Indispensable’ Factsheet – download on the websitewww.beingindispensable.com

Adam Fidler Executive Assistant role description

Vickie Evan’s Tech Savvy Assistant diagrams

Tools like MBTI, Strengthfinder and the DISC profile are also valuable to helping you ‘flesh’ out the total picture of what you bring to your role. Learn more about these tools via the links:

Myers Briggs Online

Strengthfinder 2.0

DISC Profile

#24 How You Can Be A Star Without Needing To Be The Star

How you can be an Executive Assistant influencer without being the ‘best’ Executive Assistant

A solo episode sharing an aha moment that Liz has experienced in the process of developing a new intro for the podcast. It’s a short 15 minute episode this week ruminating on the confidence that comes from realising that in order to be an advocate and influencer in the Executive Assistant space she doesn’t need to have been the ‘best’ Executive Assistant that has ever done the role. That it’s legitimate and perfectly okay to be passionate about giving a voice to those who are the ‘best’ and that by doing so her role as an influencer of the values and behaviours that make an EA indispensable is valid and useful.

Podcast mentioned (Glen Carlson interviewed on Business Addicts) can be found here

#23 How Wellness Is The Key To Thriving Not Surviving As An Executive Assistant – Interview with Sonia Petersen

Interview With Indispensable Assistant and Wellness Coach Sonia Petersen

Sonia Petersen has over 15 year’s experience as an Executive Assistant working with successful leaders within the construction industry. She is passionate about operations and driving efficiency and really enjoys the collaborative nature of the Executive Assistant role. Amongst her fellow EA’s she is known for her dedication to support and inspire others which she has done by informally mentoring and coaching other Executive Assistants. This is such a passion for her that she has recently began a side hustle business offering individual and group coaching around Wellbeing at Work. Sonia truly believes that if we focus on our wellbeing we will see improvements not just in our health but also in our ability to build relationships as well as increased productivity and even greater success.

For those of us that are working on being indispensable these outcomes are what we’re looking for. As I have shared with you, when your wellbeing and wellness is challenged everything else is affected and your ability to show up as indispensable is compromised…and we don’t want that!

As Sonia describes on her website

“My goal is to create a movement for Executive Assistants and Corporate Women to be respected and recognised, to be united and empowered in what we do as a profession”

Key Takeaways from our discussion:

  • Importance of understanding your Exec’s temperament
  • Needs to be aligned and working as a team (like a marriage)
  • Trusting yourself, being able to back yourself up
  • ‘You are the right hand man to the boss’
  • Being the ears and eyes of the company

Join Sonia at the upcoming National EA/PA Forum to be held in Sydney 13-14 February 2017 or at the EAN Conference in Sydney 15-16 March 2017

Download a free copy of Sonia’s eBook ‘Unstick The Stuck’ A Woman’s Guide to Finding Career Clarity, Creating a Life You Love and Taking Care of Your Well-being’ at soniapetersen.com.au

Join Sonia’s LinkedIn Group ‘Executive Women’s Wellness Society

#22 Roxanne Calder Interview: How EST10 Is Uncovering The Invisible Ink

Leading the way with integrity and honesty to ensure the right match between Executive Assistant and Executive

As Founder and Managing Director of leading boutique office support recruitment company EST10, Roxanne Calder brings a fresh approach to the table. Roxanne established EST10 in 2010 and from the launch of the company has sought to differentiate EST10 from other recruiters through the way they engage with employers and candidates with integrity and demonstrating through their actions passion and a commitment to finding the very best talent. In fact over 80% of EST10s business comes from referrals and repeat business.

I was keen to interview Roxanne because I admire the way EST10 puts their money where their mouth is in the way they support the EA profession through their marketing activities including an annual EA of the year award and their sponsorship of development opportunities for EAs such as the EA Leadership Forum. In addition, EST10 sponsors opportunities for EAs to network and share their experiences at round table events and other organised events.

The key takeaways from my discussion with Roxanne include:

  • To become a sought after EA you must possess a high degree of EQ or Emotional Intelligence
  • EA’s at the top of their game demonstrate self control,
  • Their Executives value their trustworthiness and they are seen to have high standards of honesty and integrity.
  • EA’s must take responsibility for their own performance, being willing to ask ‘what can I improve on’ and being self-directed when it comes to their own development.
  • Motivation, empathy and social skills are the other key qualities that define a high level of EQ and these are also vital for an EA that seeks to develop a lasting career in the C-suite.
  • The time that can be saved if the recruitment process involves a conversation, however brief with the Executive. Roxanne sees this as invaluable to ensuring not just that the EA is a good match for the Executive but that the Executive is a good match for the EA. HR is obviously integral to the process but having the Executive engaged early on is going to only enhance the hiring process.

I love the fact that Roxanne herself is a successful female entrepreneur and we need to hear more of these stories. EST10 is over six years old and Roxanne herself has had an amazing career, starting out with a Bachelor of Arts, honing her skills in the recruitment industry and creating value now not just through her companies recruitment activities but as a business owner, employing women and developing women in business. She is a very capable and talented businesswomen and I was delighted that she agreed to be interviewed. 

https://www.est10.com.au/

https://www.facebook.com/EST10/?fref=ts

https://www.instagram.com/est10recruitment/

https://au.linkedin.com/in/roxannecalder

#21 Automating Your To Do List

Using Automated To Do Lists To Drive Efficiency, Accountability and Collaboration

Task Management is a fundamental job role of Executive Assistants. Developing and maintaining a well managed ‘to-do’ list where it is easy to identify the priority of tasks and the stakeholders involved in their execution is something an indispensable assistant needs to resolve.

In this solo episode Liz discusses the importance of task management, how a notebook and pen will continue to remain an EA’s go-to tools and how tools such as Trello (based on the Japanese Kanban board approach) can be a great way to automate your task management to drive accountability, communication and collaboration with stakeholders and team members.

The recent announcement that Atlassian is acquiring Trello is discussed as are a number of alternative tools such as Wunderlist, Asana and Todoist.

https://hbr.org/2015/02/project-manage-your-life

https://hbr.org/2015/04/what-everyone-needs-to-know-to-be-more-productive

https://en.todoist.com/

//blogs.atlassian.com/2017/01/atlassian-plus-trello/

 

#20 Road Ramblings – The Christmas Edition

Dealing with Technical dramas, Teenage Girls and Christmas Good Wishes

Road Ramblings makes a comeback this week just in time for Christmas. Liz recounts how technical ‘isssssews’ have prevented her from doing her interview with Roxanne Calder from EST10 which will be rescheduled for the new year. How this week has been all about being a taxi driver for an injured teenage daughter and also dealing with the technical troubleshooting meltdowns that are the curse of someone who is far too hard on herself! As always, adopting a learner mindset, this just provides the opportunity to become a more proficient podcaster and appreciate the wonderful support she receives from her family as she ventures down the podcast road.

Find out more about Roxanne Calder and est10 here

Enjoy the latest episode from Being Indispensable. Come over to Instagram and say hello and find us on Facebook as well.

Oh and no pressure but if you haven’t subscribed and even better left a review the lead up to Christmas is a great time to do it:) Liz loves presents!!!

#19 Being A ‘Look Behind The Margarine’ Kind of Executive/Personal Assistant

Solo episode reflecting on the importance of using initiative as an assistant and how this enhances your partnership with your executive.

A solo episode revisiting a metaphor that came up in Episode 17 with Kate Toon where Kate described herself as the sort of EA/PA who looked behind the margarine. What does this actually translate to and why is it important. Liz also gives a snapshot of the 2017 EAN Congress and notes how the theme of building a partnership with your executive is in sync with what Being Indispensable is all about (kudos to her!!!!). She also shares an article that may be informative for those executives who still need to get their head around the ways in which they can better leverage their assistant.

2017 EAN Sydney Conference Program

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Executive Assistant

Enjoy the latest episode from Being Indispensable. Come over to Instagram and say hello and find us on Facebook as well.

Oh and no pressure but if you haven’t subscribed and even better left a review the lead up to Christmas is a great time to do it:) Liz loves presents!!!

Getting Comfortable With Uncomfortable Situations

How as Assistants we must overcome the “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions” mindset roadblock and why this management approach isn’t always helpful

As Executive/Personal Assistants we are often in the unique position of being aware of ‘problems’ within our organisation. The mantra “don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions” can be counter productive and discourage assistants from engaging in conversations that could be helpful with their business leader.

In this solo episode Liz discusses an article published in Fast Company and compares it with insight from Harvard Business Review that suggests that the ‘don’t bring me problems’ mentality can be unhelpful and discourage conscientious employees to proactively communicate potential problems.

Bringing problems to your business leaders attention doesn’t automatically make you a whiner and Liz outlines one approach that can help you structure such a conversation.

Shonda Rhimes Article in Fast Company “Come Into My Office With A Solution Not A Problem”

Harvard Business Review Article “Don’t Bring Me Problems, Bring Me Solutions”

Petrea King Quest For Life document

Kate Toon Interview – From Personal Assistant to Award Winning Copy Writer and SEO Expert

How Kate leveraged her skills and capabilities as an Executive/Personal Assistant to build an amazing career as a sought after Copywriter and SEO expert

Kate Toon is extraordinary. She is a copywriter, SEO lover, speaker, podcaster, TV presenter and trainer as well as being a mother, a wife and a small business owner.

In this interview Kate shares how she transitioned from a Personal Assistant to an award winning producer of advertising content in the print, television and online space.

This episode is essential listening for assistants that recognise that great writing is a central component of BEING INDISPENSABLE. If you want to be connected with someone that can help you improve your copywriting and SEO skills then Kate Toon is someone you should know.

Adopting different voices and adapting to the tone required for the audience of the content are critical skills. Hear about Kate’s journey from the UK to Australia and what she offers now to assist people who want and need to deliver quality writing  for business purposes. We discuss her business Hot Copy Podcast where she shares the secrets of successful copywriters in the show jointly hosted with Belinda Weaver. We also discuss her online course offerings through the Clever Copywriting School and the e-course she offers at The Secrets For SEO Success (which also has a podcast). Kate is a prolific producer of content and much of it is FREE via her blog posts and podcast episodes. Join Kate’s community at Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kateToon and https://www.facebook.com/copywritingschool/ or https://www.facebook.com/groups/recipeforseosuccess/ or https://www.facebook.com/hotcopypodcast

Find Kate here:

https://www.katetooncopywriter.com.au/

//www.hotcopypodcast.com/

//www.therecipeforseosuccess.com.au/

Reach out on LinkedIn

https://au.linkedin.com/in/katetoon

The Clever Copywriting School Conference Details – Sydney, April 2017

 

 

Hilary Clinton’s Email Scandal – Empathising With Her Executive Assistant & What I Know About Inbox Management

This American Life Explores HRC Email Scandal & How Systems, Processes & Rules Are Your Executive Assistants Friend

Rumination and reflections on the complex situation HRC’s Executive Assistant must have been in trying to juggle the demands of HRC as well as other stakeholders in terms of her access to emails. This got Liz thinking about some of the things she has learnt managing her bosses inbox. How systems, processes and rules are your friend when it comes to inbox management and how business leaders aren’t serving anyone by refusing to allow their EA or PA access to their email.

This American Life – Episode #601

Unroll.me – A Whole New Inbox Experience

 

Seth Godin Thinks We Should Be Indispensable Too

Checking in on checking out as an Executive Assistant & how not to pronounce French words!

Liz shares how the podcast title Being Indispensable was chosen in complete ignorance of the fact that Seth Godin had explored the concept in his book “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable” (which Liz is definitely going to be reading). Even if you subscribe to the view that being indispensable is unattainable, Liz argues that the qualities and behaviors that make someone irreplaceable still hold value and are of value to employers and customers. In the same way, it’s become a great way of expressing her value proposition. Liz also explains the reason why there has been a notable absence of new episodes. Liz outlines the tough decisions that have been made in recent weeks and how difficult it has been to disappoint her business leader.

Road Tripping to Breast Cancerville blog post – how I describe the experience of being diagnosed with, having treatment for and recovering from treatment for Breast Cancer

 

Episode 014 – Mindfulness & Myers Briggs Type Indicator

Reflecting on Week 1 of “Project Self-Reflection”, listening to Kate James and Ruby Wax discuss the benefits of Mindfulness and retaking a Myers Briggs test after 23 years between drinks 

This week is all about making space to care for herself. As part of this Liz is doing some self-reflection and beginning the process of putting into place the technique of mindfulness that has been proven to develop the “mind muscle” used to create a calmer mind and a healthier body. In addition, Liz took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test to get some insight into her personality type as explained by this tool.

It’s simple, yet powerful, and introduces a common language for referring to and discussing personality preferences that play an essential role in our everyday life. The MBTI assessment and its process of self-discovery give you a framework for understanding yourself and appreciating differences in others.

Understanding yourself and others provides a unique perspective and opens up possibilities—in your job, your relationships, your life.

Kate James can be found here

A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled by Ruby Wax on Audible or buy the book

Myers Briggs Type Indicator test via MBTI Online

Episode 013 – Sharing About Job Sharing

An update on how the initial 2 weeks have gone job-sharing my role as an Executive Assistant

Two weeks into the job-share Liz reflects on her learnings so far….systems and processes, or the lack there-of can become glaringly obvious when you undertake a job-share. Liz also notes how important it is for the person who is embarking on the job-share arrangement (the fresh eyes so to speak) to come to the table with an open mind and willing to leave their judgement at the door! Well, in her case that’s helpful because she’s feeling a bit exposed in terms of explaining all the intricacies of her role, the clients, the stakeholders and the details she takes for granted.

 

Episode 012 – Getting Real With Myself

Taking The Time To Be Okay With Myself

Liz comes clean about how she hasn’t allowed herself permission to not be okay post treatment for Breast Cancer. In pretending that life has gone on and it was no big deal she has not given her body and mind what it actually needs to heal. In this episode Liz opens up about how up until now she has been projecting the image of someone who has their shit together when in actual fact she’s been slowly falling apart. Thankfully she also shares how she’s taken control of the situation and is embarking on a jobshare and break from her role as an EA in order to start putting in place some better habits that will support her recovery from Breast Cancer and the chronic issues that treatment leaves you with.

 

Episode 011 – Gretchen Rubins’ Four Tendencies & How They Apply To EA’s

Gretchen Rubin can be found at //gretchenrubin.com/

Find the quiz here:

//gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2015/01/ta-da-the-launch-of-my-quiz-on-the-four-tendencies-learn-about-yourself/

For a visual of the four interlocking circles go here:

//gretchenrubin.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/FourTendenciesFourInterlockingCircles-300x317.jpg

In a nutshell…

  • Upholdersrespond readily to outer and inner expectations (I’m an Upholder, 100%)
  • Questionersquestion all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
  • Obligersmeet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
  • Rebelsresist all expectations, outer and inner alike

Thanks for listening:)

 

Episode 010 – Jan Jones: Exceptional Assistant & CEO Whisperer (Part 2)

Jan Jones is is an author and president of Jan Jones Worldwide, a speakers bureau which evolved from her industry experience as executive assistant to author and personal development icon, Tony Robbins, and ten years as the exclusive representative for entrepreneurial visionary Michael Gerber.  Prior to starting her business, Jan spent almost twenty years as executive assistant to successful business people around the world, including Australian computer industry pioneer, Lionel Singer.

How to reach Jan:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jan-jones-08a62718

//www.theceossecretweapon.com/

//www.janjonesworldwide.com/

THE EA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE – https://www.est10.com.au/eaforum

 

Episode 009 – Jan Jones: Exceptional Assistant & CEO Whisperer (Part 1)

Jan Jones is is an author and president of Jan Jones Worldwide, a speakers bureau which evolved from her industry experience as executive assistant to author and personal development icon, Tony Robbins, and ten years as the exclusive representative for entrepreneurial visionary Michael Gerber.  Prior to starting her business, Jan spent almost twenty years as executive assistant to successful business people around the world, including Australian computer industry pioneer, Lionel Singer.

How to reach Jan:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jan-jones-08a62718

//www.theceossecretweapon.com/

//www.janjonesworldwide.com/

THE EA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE – https://www.est10.com.au/eaforum

 

Episode 008 – Embracing Creative Entitlement & Big Magic

Tackling Fear Of Standing Out With Help From Elizabeth Gilbert

In this episode, Liz opens up about the challenge of continuing to pursue her podcast journey when every fibre of her being is telling her to run away and hide. She shares how the inspirational writings of Elizabeth Gilbert and gutsy voice of Cynthia Heimel have helped to remind her that Being Indispensable is more than the vanity project she fears others may think it is. As Elizabeth Gilbert says “you will never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don’t believe that you’re entitled to at least try”.

EA Leadership Forum 2016

Elizabeth Gilbert ‘Big Magic’

Cynthia Heimel Article – NYMag ‘Sex and the City’ Now & Then

“LIVE IN WONDER” – A JOURNAL OF QUESTS, QUOTES & QUESTIONS TO JUMPSTART YOUR JOURNEY” ERIC SAPERSTON WITH MIRABELLA LOVE published by Peter Pauper Press

Episode 007 – Minibee – Habits To Break: Guilt & Over-Apologising

Challenging guilt and using mindfulness as the first step in changing unhelpful habits

In a week where Liz is struck down with Sinusitis and has to take a day off work, she reflects on ‘guilt’, a most unhelpful emotion and shares how she is working to challenge this negative thinking. The habit of over apologising is also explored with some references to the work of Gretchen Rubin and her podcast ‘Happiness’, Brene Brown’s TED talk and books and Fred Kofman’s Huffington Post blog article.

Turning guilt into a positive – part of a growth mindset

“Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.”

Gretchen Rubin –

//gretchenrubin.com/about/

Sickness is something that we cannot control. And being absent because we have been sick is also something which is out of our control.

Fred Kaufman Huffington Post article

//www.huffingtonpost.com/fred-kofman/guilt-is-healthy-shame-is_b_8592480.html

You feel guilty when you believe you did something inconsistent with your values and, through that action, you hurt someone that matters to you.

Brene Brown – Vulnerability and Shame Resilience

TED Talk https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en

 

Episode 006 – Sonja Firth: Business Influencer and Exceptional Assistant

Interview with Sonja Firth – Executive Business Support Expert & LinkedIn Trainer

In the first interview for the Being Indispensable podcast, Liz interviews Sonja Firth, an Executive Assistant who epitomises the description ‘capable’. Sonja has an eclectic set of skills and is highly regarded by her clients for her knowledge and effectiveness. In addition to being sought after to provide office support, Sonja is in demand as a LinkedIn trainer. Sonja works with businesses and individuals to optimise their presence on LinkedIn.

Sonja Firth LinkedIn Profile

Contact Sonja to discuss your Executive Support Services requirements at VerveHR

Contact Sonja to discuss LinkedIn

Episode 005 – Top 10 Executive Assistant Traits & Amy Cuddy TED Talk

Top 10 Qualities Executive Assistants want to be known for and how ‘Presence’ helps us show up this way

In this episode Liz gives an update on the results of her LinkedIn survey question and discusses Amy Cuddy and her research on Presence. How we can use power poses to program our mind to show up as more confident and have PRESENCE. Fascinating and inspiring research which shows that tiny tweaks can lead to big changes.

LinkedIn Group Discussion

Amy Cuddy TEDx Talk

Forbes Article discussing Amy Cuddy’s book ‘Presence’

Episode 004 – Road Ramblings, A Trap for Young Players

Flight Booking Epic Fail – Why Executive Assistants Should Never Assume

The first in what is planned to become a regular addition to the Being Indispensable podcast library – road ramblings. This episode focuses on the perils of asssuming when making flight bookings for your executive. Liz shares her epic fail when she inadvertently allowed her executive to be booked on a discount air fare.

An Admin’s Guide to Travel Planning By Julie Perrine

Episode 003 – Ernst & Young Australia Scales Back Executive Assistant Support

Reducing Costs Without Sacrificing Responsiveness – Ernst & Young’s Plan to Rollout Virtual Assistants

Liz ruminates on the potential ramifications of Ernst & Young Australia reducing costs by rolling out Virtual Assistants to support Partners and Senior Managers. This is topical given the rise of the VA industry but has implications for the ability of assistants and their executives to work effectively. Does being ‘virtual’ affect an assistants ability to be proactive and how traditional Executive Assistants need to be clear on their value proposition in order to ensure that they are able to continue to deliver the service levels that will make them indispensable.

AFR Article – EY Trials Virtual EAs

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Report

My group post in Executive/Personal Assistants on LinkedIn

Episode 001 – The ‘How’- My Path to Becoming an Executive Assistant

How Serendipity Played a Role in My Becoming an Executive Assistant

In this episode Liz outlines the role serendipity played in her decision to become an Executive Assistant. How a lunch with a friend led her to pursue a career transition to becoming an EA. She discusses the research she conducted into the role of the EA, the skills and capabilities required and the Michael Hyatt article that formed the basis for how she approaches her role.

Michael Hyatt Article – The 10 Characteristics Of A Rockstar Executive Assistant

Melba Duncan Articles – The Case For Executive Assistants

The Secret Weapon of Great Leaders

Mind Mapping

Episode 000 – The ‘Why’

Why You Should Listen To Being Indispensable

Being an Executive Assistant can be isolated and lonely. The relationship with the business leader whilst personal and close requires the assistant to maintain distance from others in order to perform the role well. This makes it hard to share experiences and learnings. In this first episode, Liz outlines why Being Indispensable is the podcast for Executive and Personal Assistants to get the tips, techniques and professional insights that will help make them indispensable. Created by an Executive Assistant, for Executive Assistants to share ideas, experiences, workshop successes and epic fails.

BTUA PODCAST

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LinkedIn group discussion

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