Tag Archives: Executives

Are Executive Assistants Servant-Leaders? Part 1

FlyPrivateRecently we’ve heard executive assistants mentioning
Servant-Leader without being sure what it is, or if it has any relevance to executive assistants. We know this is not some new buzzword because you wrote about it in your book. Can you say something about how the Servant-Leader concept is relevant to the EA role?

Jan Jones: Yes, I’ll be happy to discuss that here and perhaps we can do a Part 2 to this discussion where we can explore what I believe is even more relevant for executive assistants and that is the concept of Exemplary Followership, which in a few words is self-managed “followers” who think for themselves and whose hearts are in their work.

Servant-Leader and Servant Leadership are not new concepts. Robert Greenleaf coined the terms in an essay he wrote in 1970. He got the inspiration from reading Herman Hesse’s book, “Journey to the East”. Greenleaf spent forty years at AT&T in management
research, development and education. After that he was an
influential consultant.

In my 2015 book “The CEO’s Secret Weapon”, I told the story of Leo the servant in Hesse’s book. Hesse wrote “In addition to his menial chores, Leo sustained the group (of travelers) with his spirit.” When Leo left the group, they fell into disarray and the journey was
abandoned because they could not make it without Leo.

I said this reminded me of the role an executive assistant plays in an organization. They perform tasks that are sometimes perceived as menial, yet “They hold together and sustain the multiple activities and personalities that keep an enterprise going.”

I was introduced to Greenleaf by management guru Dr. Ken
Blanchard who was a good friend of my boss at the time, Tony
Robbins. When I was writing my book, Dr. Blanchard invited me to his home and spent a full day with me, giving me advice and
direction. This showed me first hand who servant-leaders are. They live true to their principles. In my book I’m sure you noticed Dr.
Blanchard’s relationship with his wonderful assistant, Dana Kyle, whom he likened to a “soul mate”. Reading his comments you
experience the servant-leader in action. They are leaders who listen closely to their teams, care about them on a personal level, care about their development and value their contributions.

Appreciation for the servant leadership concept didn’t come easily to a rugged individualist like me. I struggled with the term “servant-leader” because the words usually mean the opposite of each other. People don’t want to be perceived as servants, particularly
assistants whose role through the years has sometimes been spoken of in derogatory terms, analogous to servant. This is probably why a personality in the EA profession recently referred to the assistant role of earlier generations as being “tea and typing”. A massive
blunder on her part, but if you’ve never been an assistant, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing the stereotype. When I read about Leo in Herman Hesse’s book, I suddenly became clear about what a servant-leader is, and how true executive assistants have been
examples of the concept for generations.

In my book, Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why”, said that a huge mistake executives make is “Treating their assistant as a
subordinate. What they don’t recognize is if you look after the
person and look after their growth as a human being, they will want to do everything in their power to keep you healthy, happy and productive.”

Does Simon’s description sound a lot like what an executive
assistant does for their executive and their team? It’s about having the heart of someone who wants to serve and be of service. That’s how secretaries of previous generations expressed the essence of the role. They were intensely loyal to the executive they served. Not that they didn’t understand that they served the larger organization as well, but their loyalty was first and foremost to their direct
executive. They looked out for them and kept them protected. Some secretaries smothered their executives. Others took their
protection too far by keeping tight control on access to their
executive. This was done because the secretary saw themselves as the protector of their executive’s time. With that in mind, there was little the secretary would not do in service of their executive.

While they had the best intentions, that thinking was exclusionary, not inclusionary, which is contrary to the idea of servant leadership. But realize that in previous generations business style was much more formal than it is now, particularly in the executive suite. Many executives wanted an assistant who projected a formidable persona to create the perception of exclusivity around the executive. I was a secretary in those days and if you wanted to be executive secretary to a high level executive, you were expected to bring a certain
authoritative demeanor to the role.

It is important for the current generation of assistants to
understand the basic concepts of servant leadership because its
influence is widespread now, and many companies such as SAS,
Marriott, Nordstrom, Men’s Warehouse have instituted servant leadership practices and offer servant-leader training. With the growing influence of servant leadership, EAs may find themselves working for an executive who is committed to being a servant-leader. It can be a radically different experience and one that takes getting used to because you are asked to step up and be mindful of your better nature at all times. Embodying what it truly means to be a servant-leader is not easy, and certainly cannot be trivialized as the latest buzzword. Servant leadership doesn’t happen overnight. It is a long-term transformation for people and organizations.

Greenleaf wrote: “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then
conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead… The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people
develop and perform as highly as possible.”

I’ve abridged that paragraph from Greenleaf for the purpose of this interview. It is lengthy and the most quoted of his entire essay.
Debating whether or not we should put others’ needs ahead of our own is a discussion for another time. To me, it simply points us to constantly remember to be decent human beings who are
considerate of each other, finding ways to work and support each other so we can all live fulfilled lives. Servant leadership espouses lofty goals. From my perspective, the server is as valuable as the
person being served. Servant leadership is not a one-way street. It is not about subjugating yourself. It is about claiming yourself, living to your highest purpose while supporting others to do the same.

Here are some characteristics of Servant Leadership as explained by the former CEO of the Greenleaf organization, Larry Spears. I’ve added my take on the relevance for EAs.

Listening: Listening is vital to the growth of a servant-leader. Listen intently and receptively to others. It means getting in touch with your own inner voice to understand what it is communicating to you. Listening and reflecting are essential to the role of the servant-leader, and a crucial characteristic for an executive assistant. Former Popeyes’ CEO Cheryl Bachelder says “Listening well is the path to serving well.”

Healing: The potential for healing one’s self and others is a powerful force for transformation. Assistants routinely come across people who need help and encouragement. Find ways to be of service,
without neglecting your core responsibilities, or becoming
overwhelmed by other people’s issues. I knew an EA who used to volunteer for a suicide hotline. She had to stop because she became too depressed and it was seriously impacting her job as assistant to a senior VP. This is about having empathy, not taking on someone else’s problems.

Awareness: Particularly self-awareness. Many executives lack
self-awareness (about their values and how others perceive them). Pay attention to your impact on people and how you conduct
yourself. You represent your executive and you represent yourself. Make sure you always put your best foot forward, and your radar is on at all times.

Persuasion: Using persuasion rather than authority. Assistants should be used to this since most of them don’t have any direct or positional authority, yet they manage to get things done through
collaboration, resourcefulness and treating others respectfully.

Foresight: Understanding the lessons of the past to look ahead and avoid problems in the future. Assistants must develop their ability to anticipate. It’s the biggest complaint I hear from executives. Being prepared gives you a big advantage in supporting your executive and independently spearheading projects. Your position in the executive suite gives you a bird’s-eye view advantage, so use that data
strategically to plan your course of action.

How will you apply these characteristics to your role as executive assistant? Remember servant leadership is for people at all levels, not just for people with a “C” in their title (CEO, CFO). As a servant-leader, the assistant must understand their stewardship to their
executive and to the organization of which they are a part. Servant leadership is not asking you to be submissive. You are being
encouraged to build and be a part of something. Something you care about. Tune into the needs of your executive so they feel looked
after and nurtured by you. Whether it is business needs or basic
human needs like planning down time in their schedule, or having a sandwich ready to nourish them before they race off to yet another meeting. What can you do to give them respite from the pressures of the business day – things that say “I’m here to support you.”

“Support” is the operative word. The role of the assistant is to
support and assist. As much as we speak about “partnerships” and “relationships”, it must be remembered that the executive is hiring the assistant to provide the support the executive needs in carrying out the company’s mandate. All efforts must be in service of this
requirement. This is not limiting the assistant. It is expanding the
assistant. There are many directions in which a spirited, resourceful assistant can take the role if they are looking out for the best
interests of their executives and the organization. There is much that can be done by an assistant with bold vision and a sense of
purpose who wants to take the lead. It is only limiting if “what’s best for me” is your predominant focus.

Ideally, the executive has already adopted the role of servant-leader so the executive and assistant are in service and support of each
other. I’ve had the privilege of having such a boss and I can tell you, you will gladly work your heart out for this person, because you know they have your back as much as you have theirs. You realize they truly see you as a human being, and not just a high achieving, production machine whose mettle they will test to the point of breaking. When this happens, the executive and the assistant are successfully partnered to deliver superior performance. They are aligned and fully engaged, bringing their best to work every day in the true spirit of servant leadership.

Please tune in next time for our discussion on Exemplary
Followership and its relevance for executive assistants.

Author: Jan Jones

For the past three years, FlyPrivate has been a proud partner and associate of Jan Jones. Jan brings valuable, actionable information to EAs across the globe. We hope you enjoy her blogs as much as we do!

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series: Part 1-11!

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness”. The book debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Office Management Category. It has received widespread acclaim from executives and
executive assistants worldwide. Jan spent 20 years as an esteemed
international executive assistant to well-known business people,
including personal development icon and author Tony Robbins. Jan is passionate about the executive assistant role and continues to champion the profession through speaking, mentoring and offering timeless,
practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant.

©Copyright Jan Jones, 2015 “The CEO’s Secret Weapon”

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ new book and visit her website: The CEO’s Secret Weapon.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness

Jan Jones


We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

Advertisements

Q & A with Jan Jones: Part 11 – Can Executive Assistants be effective working remotely?

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness”. The book debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Office Management Category. It has received widespread acclaim from executives and
executive assistants worldwide. Jan spent 20 years as an esteemed
international executive assistant to well-known business people,
including personal development icon and author Tony Robbins. Jan is passionate about the executive assistant role and continues to champion the profession through speaking, mentoring and offering timeless,
practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant.


For the past three years, FlyPrivate has been a proud partner and associate of Jan Jones. Jan brings valuable, actionable information to EAs across the globe. We hope you enjoy her blogs as much as we do!

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series: Part 1-10!

FlyPrivateCan executive assistants be effective if they are working remotely?  What about virtual assistants? Can executives have their business needs met by using remote or virtual assistants?

Jan Jones: As the old saying goes, “there’s horses for courses”.
Meaning depending on the circumstances or conditions, assistants can be effective working remotely and many executives can have their business needs met by using remotely-located or virtual
assistants. We should take a closer look at the circumstances under which executives could function effectively using assistants who are working remotely, or are virtual assistants, to determine how
effective they can be.

Let’s take working remotely first. Actually, this is not something new. I was recently speaking with a former CEO of an international fast food organization. He told me that in the 1980s, within a few months of each other, several of his company’s assistants became pregnant, or wanted to leave due to their childcare situations. Since they had been with the company a long time and he didn’t want to lose their years of experience, he set them up with computers in their homes. He told them, “I don’t care when or how you work, just get the work done and deliver it on time.”  Technology today makes computers affordable and the internet gives us immense freedom to work from just about anywhere we choose, so it makes sense that remote and virtual assistants are gaining in popularity.

But how suitable is it for an executive who needs a certain level of support from an assistant? I checked in with two of the best, most celebrated executive assistants I know: Penni Pike former assistant to Sir Richard Branson for 31 years and Debbie Gross who spent over 25 years as assistant to John Chambers, former CEO and
current Executive Chairman of Cisco Systems. Both ladies are
featured in my book “The CEO’s Secret Weapon”.

Penni told me “Richard included me in everything”, which is how she came to know and understand the Virgin business and what
mattered most to her boss. When I asked her about assistants
working remotely she said, “I can’t understand that because I always worked so closely with Richard. He needed his assistant by his side. People at the very top have to have someone who works with them like that. Otherwise, if they need something urgently, the assistant is not there. Richard needs someone with him all the time.”

Debbie Gross said, “For administrative professionals, working
remotely has become more of the ‘norm’ in today’s business world partly due to the change in business models.  Many administrators support teams that are based around the world and are never
actually in a traditional office.  With the advance in video
technologies, it has definitely become easier to work remotely.

“That being said, one of the key roles I believe an administrator plays is their ability to build relationships across all levels and be the eyes and ears for the people they support.  Harder to do effectively from a ‘home-office’ environment. This was a critical component of my role supporting a CEO making working remotely not really an
option. John always expected me to be the ‘face’ of the office
especially when he traveled.  When he would check in while on the road he always asked how things were going at the office, so I felt it was key that I be present there. It was about noticing what was
going on around me with other members of the organization and
being able to feel the pulse and morale and share that with John.  He was pretty adamant that executive assistants be in the office, so I am not sure I would have been hired to support him if one of my
requirements was to work from home. Many senior level executives prefer to have their executive assistants in the office, especially the higher they are in their organizations.”

This has also been my experience in my career as an executive
assistant. My jobs were much too interactive with my boss, staff, clients and vendors for me to be outside the office. Like Debbie Gross, my executives counted on me to be their ‘eyes and ears’ and their ‘face’ to the world. Situations were constantly arising that needed my immediate attention. Leaving my desk to go pick up a sandwich at lunchtime could prove tricky. When I worked for bosses who were constantly traveling, on the rare days they were
scheduled to be in the office, I brought my lunch to work so I would not have to be away from my desk for more than a few minutes. Meetings were being set up, canceled or moved at a moment’s
notice, people would drop by unannounced, phone calls were being made, sometimes I was holding 2 or 3 calls at the same time, project approvals were needed, documents required signature, and there were always more travel arrangements to be made, changed or
canceled. Most executives I worked for were constantly calling out for me and I tried to always be within earshot, or have my assistant or someone listen out and let me know if I was being yelled for.  How would I have managed all this remotely?

I am currently working on a project with an assistant who is located remotely and I find it arduous. Work that should take 2 days is taking 5 or 6 due to the back and forth across international time zones. Yet, I am constantly meeting assistants who say they’ve negotiated with their executives to work remotely. Perhaps these executives have become accustomed to doing many tasks their assistants should be doing, or much of the work their assistants do for them is not of an urgent or time-sensitive nature.  Their assistants probably aren’t functioning as their liaison or deputy as I did, or as Gross and Pike did for their executives.

A big negative with the arrangement of assistants working remotely is the burden it places on assistants who are working at the office. I hear complaints that the remote assistants show themselves as “available”, but when they are contacted they don’t respond for hours, sometimes even an entire day goes by when they are not
responding to emails, texts or phone calls.  The urgency arises to schedule or re-schedule meetings, for example, but the assistant can’t be reached. If the executive is traveling, neither the executive nor their assistant can be reached and too much time is being spent by other assistants trying to contact them, cover for them, or
wasting time putting their own tasks on hold waiting for a response. I’ve inquired why these assistants don’t insist HR or the remote
assistant’s boss does something about it. HR tells them the boss agreed the assistant could work remotely when they hired them, so there’s nothing they can do. This is a cop-out by HR and the
executive. They must step up and consider the overall effects this situation has on the company. If this arrangement were impeding my workplace productivity, I would actively agitate for it to be changed. I would lobby HR not to allow executives to agree to letting their
assistants work remotely, but instead offer it as an option with
certain conditions, mainly that the assistant proves they are mature and responsible enough to warrant that privilege.

The bigger concern I have for assistants working remotely is how do they learn the business? How do they grow and expand in the role if they are not there to witness the daily ins and outs of the business environment? How do they develop a relationship of trust and
familiarity with their executive if they are not in physical proximity to each other? Ultimately, are they setting themselves up to become redundant? With warnings about A.I. and virtual assistants stepping in to fill many of the routine tasks assistants do, I would pay close
attention to developing skills and processes that make me more valuable and available to my executive.

The exception to this is assistants who have been with their
executive a long time, have built up a strong relationship with an
understanding of the business and each other. If the business is in a mature phase, or the executive’s role is such that they can be gone for periods of time, their assistants have the freedom to work remotely.

Penni mentioned that she thought assistants working remotely might get lonely. Debbie also addressed this from her experience at Cisco. “3 years ago I came to recognize that at Cisco, there was a whole administrative community that worked remotely and in
talking with several of these administrative professionals it became clear that they all felt a sense of isolation from the broader
administrative community.  As a result we pulled together this group and created an initiative known as G.R.A.C.E. – Global Remote
Administrators Connecting Effectively.  This is a group of remote
administrators who come together once a quarter to discuss the challenges they are facing, as well as review of best practices that help them feel connected.

“One of the key areas discussed was the challenge of developing a relationship with the leader because they were remote.  I strongly encourage administrative professionals who are working remotely to make it a point to travel to the corporate office at least once a year and even better, quarterly if they can, in order to ‘connect’ with their peers, meet the people they interface with across the
organization and become ‘visible’ – putting a face to the voice.  I also always suggest that remote administrators attend networking events and administrative conferences to learn and engage with
others in their profession. Working remotely certainly has its
advantages. However, administrative professionals can be even more effective by not isolating themselves. I feel that it is in our
administrative DNA that we connect with others and build strong relationships and that means we have to get out of ‘home-office’
environment to do that.  Many of Cisco’s G.R.A.C.E. members are now coming to the corporate office and networking with their peers, enriching their relationships and friendships and growing their knowledge and ultimately being of greater assistance to the leaders they support.”

Virtual Assistants: I often meet assistants who tell me they are
toying with the idea of trying out being a VA because they perceive it as a freeing experience. The purpose of including information about the VA profession in this article is to help assistants understand what it takes to survive and thrive as a VA.

Thanks to technology, there is a role for virtual assistants in the
business world. I remember from the pre-internet days, a friend of mine who worked at a large university would earn extra money
using her home computer to type students’ assignments, or
professors’ presentations. It stands to reason then, that with the freedom the internet offers us, that the virtual assistant profession would flourish.  Originally, this was a service that many
single-operator or small businesses used, but it is becoming more common for established businesses with ample resources to seek out the services of virtual assistants.

Penni Pike is an advisor for Time, etc., the virtual assistant service started in the UK, but now successfully established in the USA as well. Penni was brought on board by the company’s founder,
Barnaby Lashbrooke to guide them in setting up the business. He said Penni provided invaluable insight into how the EA-Executive
relationship should work and what kind of support executives need. Assistants chosen to work for Time, etc., go through a thorough
vetting process, not only for administrative skills, but for
inter-personal skills such as a client-focused viewpoint,
responsiveness to clients requests, attention to detail and so on. Their VAs are a mix of mid-to-high level, offering a range of skills that are “not all admin based, but include the strategic management side of business as well” said Barnaby.

He says the VA role is not suited for everyone. Many assistants are better suited to working in an office, so Time, etc., probes the prospective assistant’s reasons for wanting to be a VA. This is an
important aspect of the vetting process because it would be
disruptive if clients like working with a particular assistant and
develop an effective working relationship, only to find out the
assistant has moved on. Quality assistants with young families who need the flexibility of working from home, yet still need to bring in an income, are the most typical profile of a VA.

Anita Armas of Anita D. Armas Administrative Services from West Covina in California told me she started her VA business because she needed freedom and flexibility when she was looking for a way to be at home with her young children while still earning an income. Anita said, “I knew there was a way to use my skills and experience to do just that but wasn’t sure how, then I heard about virtual
assistants. My husband’s business was hit hard by the financial crisis of 2008 and I needed another way to bring in additional income, so I officially began marketing myself as a virtual assistant and I soon gained my first client.”

I asked Anita what mindset a person needs to be successful as a VA. “Aside from skills, in order to be successful as a virtual assistant one must be confident, resourceful, thick-skinned, adaptable, a great communicator and have a servant’s heart. As a VA business owner, my business success depends greatly on the success of my clients. A successful VA will not just be a “doer” but will be innovative and strategically invested in his or her clients business, in order to know how to best support their client. A willingness to learn and grow are key,” says Anita. She added that some of the pitfalls a VA can
experience include the client not seeing the VA as an autonomous business owner and leaning towards an employer/employee
mentality. The client feeling a sense of exclusivity, thinking they are the only client the VA has, and lack of communication between the VA and the client.

When assistants tell me they are considering becoming a VA, I
caution them that before they leave a secure, well-paying job with benefits and career advancement opportunities, they should
consider how the uncertainty of not immediately having a steady
income might impact them. They should consider whether or not they are cut out for working alone and whether they are sufficiently disciplined to get down to work every day when they have the
option to work at their own time and pace. It’s easy to romanticize being your own boss when you are operating from the safety of a
secure job. The reality of being self employed can be a wakeup call when you have to prospect for business, deal with unhappy clients, pay bills, collect payments and furnish your own healthcare. Many VAs thrive in the role and others, after a mild flirtation with
independence, gladly return to the security of a full time job.
Evaluate your skills, your disposition and your self-discipline
thoroughly before you venture into the VA world. It is not for
everyone, particularly if you decide not to work through a platform such as Time, etc., preferring to source business on your own.

What’s exciting about all this is the many options assistants of all
calibers and experience levels have at their disposal today.  When you get excited about the opportunities, be sure to think through the potential downsides, not just the upsides. Use this article to make a Pros and Cons list for yourself. I wish you success in whatever you decide.

Author: Jan Jones

©Copyright Jan Jones, 2015 “The CEO’s Secret Weapon”

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ new book and visit her website: The CEO’s Secret Weapon.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness

Jan Jones


We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

Hands Tied for Personal Private Jet Travel?

Businessman with his hands tied.

We understand that your business trips may be covered by a
corporate aircraft, but for personal travel, we’ve got you
covered! Whether you’re flying to your next vacation destination, a wedding, or your favorite sporting event, we think you will be very impressed by our commitment to service, our variety of jet and flight options, as well as our unique pricing structure. When you fly with FlyPrivate, you will have access to all of these benefits and many more!

We understand it is our responsibility to make your travel easier and this is how we will do it.

1. We invented the “pay as-you fly” no-term membership.

Since 2002, our customers have been flying one-way and round trips in the aircraft of their choice for 15-50% less than Jet Card,
Fractional and Block Fractional options, and have collectively saved
millions of dollars.

Comparison Chart
2. You’ll have access to the most experienced client services
personnel
.

You won’t speak to a different person each time you need us. Our system has many operational experts working behind the scenes. These experts organize and arrange all of your flight details and
deliver that information to a singular point of contact.

3. You gain from our industry knowledge and relationships.

Accessing the latest aircraft models, being afforded preferential treatment from operators, being upgraded on one-way flights, and saving time and money with our exclusive “pay as you fly” programs, all amount to an amazing value for our customers.

If these options sound right for you, please seriously consider
FlyPrivate for your next trip. You will not be disappointed.

Contact us to request a quote or submit your quote request on our website.

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

 

Q & A with Jan Jones – Part 10 – Collaboration: How Executive Assistants Help Build A Strong Company Culture

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness”. The book debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Office Management Category. It has received widespread acclaim from executives and executive assistants worldwide. Jan spent 20 years as an esteemed international executive assistant to well-known business people, including personal development icon and author Tony Robbins. Jan is passionate about the executive assistant role and continues to champion the profession through speaking, mentoring and offering timeless, practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant.

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series: Part 1Part 9!

FlyPrivate: To what extent does it make sense to collaborate with other executive assistants to meet common company-wide goals?

Jan Jones: Assistants collaborating with each other makes complete sense! Communication and cooperation are essential attributes of an effective executive assistant. It cannot be otherwise because the role of the executive assistant includes being a facilitator and a
communication channel for their executive and their organization. Assistants play a vital role in reminding the organization they must do what’s in the best interest of the entire company, not just a
particular department or division.

We know that fully engaged employees have higher productivity
levels, resulting in reduced absenteeism and higher profitability.
Collaborative assistants can have an impact in this regard. It could be as simple as engaging in regular conversations with assistants in other departments. Talk about how your division is functioning. What strategies are you implementing? What challenges are you
experiencing? What projects are getting bogged down? Who are some of the star performers on the team? Who needs coaching?
Research shows that most managers don’t engage in strategy
discussions with their colleagues in other departments. An assistant who engages with fellow assistants can serve to close that
information gap. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be about work. Take time to get to know each other on a personal level. Being part of an organization means you have common goals.
Collaborating to achieve those goals is smart business. As Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

We’ve all seen examples of assistants playing a role in bringing groups together. They work across boundaries and promote cross-department collaboration. They don’t buy into petty jealousies and suspicions. As a conduit to top management, they can help far-flung departments and locations feel less isolated. As a repository of
information many others don’t have, the EA is able to
judiciously offer guidance and input to other departments.

Sometimes assistants tell me that sharing information isn’t always welcomed. People feel threatened, or disloyal to their team if they share what’s going on. In these circumstances, trust needs to be built. If you use the information they share to get results for them, or improve their circumstances, they will certainly start to trust you and work with you. Without betraying confidentiality, I’m always willing to share information that is needed to get the job done, or, indeed, to make life easier for others. If you know a way to make a situation better, then do so. You’ll enjoy the wellbeing you feel from it.

I’m reminded of an assistant who told me about starting a job at a technology giant. The culture of the organization encouraged people to be fiercely competitive, always vying to get ahead at someone else’s expense. She said no assistant would help her for fear that she would look better than they did, or get ahead faster than they did. You were on your own. I can’t imagine working in such a brutal
environment where everyone is out for themselves. The company’s objectives are subverted by employees protecting their turf. Imagine what a breath of fresh air a capable, confident assistant who is not threatened by others and wants to cooperate would be to an
organization like that? It would cause a huge paradigm shift. It might feel like a herculean task, but such an assistant would catapult
themselves into a higher level position the minute the company starts to feel the effects of this assistant’s outreach. Believe me. I’ve done it. It takes megatons of passion and energy and not everyone is up for it, but if you are, don’t hesitate. The rewards are immense and you’ll grow in stature and ability.

I saw an article by EA trainer, Adam Fidler, which referenced
assistants befriending each other. Adam said, “Share your knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm far and wide. The more you give out the more you get back. Share all your best tips and experience with another EA. Being secretive and defensive creates the wrong energy and if you take the time to share information, and work as a team-spirited EA, you’ll command respect and be seen as a true professional.”

The nature of the EA role is to act as a hub. This means assistants are poised to share information, facilitate decision-making and help avoid bottlenecks, whether it is inter-department, or company-wide. Helping someone in another department gets the job done faster. It facilitates transparency, gives you insight into how they function and where inefficiencies may lie that you can help overcome. When
executives see you working with their assistant, or if they know they can finally get a long-awaited answer simply by their assistant
picking up the phone to you, they’ll notice. Make no mistake about it. They’ll be talking about you in the boardroom as someone who makes things happen. This is how, step-by-step, you get your seat at that proverbial table that many assistants lust after.

One thing that may affect assistants being able to perform this
function of facilitator is the number of assistants who say they don’t read their executives’ emails, and who meet with their executives once a week or less. If you are working like this, you are subject to only knowing what the executive shares with you, or picking up
information indirectly. If you are to serve as a conduit throughout the organization, you must be on top of what’s going on, otherwise you will not be as effective in that role. Another factor is assistants who are so widely focused on interacting with the organization at large that they forget who they are in place to support. Don’t neglect your responsibilities to your primary team members in your quest to be a company-wide ally. Your immediate team must remain your first priority. Keep them supported, assured and strengthened in the knowledge that you are firmly invested in the partnership. With this assurance, they will support and encourage your efforts to be a
company-wide resource.

Author: Jan Jones

©Copyright Jan Jones, 2015 “The CEO’s Secret Weapon”

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ new book and visit her website: The CEO’s Secret Weapon.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness

Jan Jones

_________________________________________________________________________

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

Business Jet Setting: 10 Tips for Success

 

1. Arrive early. With no security lines and no crowds, there is no
excuse for being late and causing others delays. Time is money.

2. Have your ID ready. Be sure to bring the proper ID and travel
documents with you and have them readily accessible.

3. Dress for success. Remember that you represent your business and your boss, so plan to wear something comfortable yet
appropriate for the occasion and avoid strong fragrances that could be irritating to others on board.

4. Pack light. Do not bring more baggage than allowed and if you don’t know what’s appropriate, ASK!

5. Do your homework. The private terminal is called an FBO, “fixed base operation.” There is a pilot and co-pilot who fly in the flight deck, while the passengers fly in the cabin. As on a boat, the lavatory is the bathroom and galley is the kitchen. Some flights will have
additional crew including flight attendants.

6. Where do I sit? Don’t board or sit until senior executives choose their seats. It is not impolite to ask your boss where they would like you to sit, but if you must choose your seat yourself, be mindful of privacy and who will likely be conversing during the flight.

7. Talk the talk. Keep business conversations relevant or let the boss initiate the topic. Treat this time as an extension of your workday. If the opportunity for non-business conversation arises, keep it light and steer clear of any controversial topics.

8. Can I have another? Keep your alcohol intake to a minimum. It is usually pretty safe to follow your boss’s lead, but be smart.
Contribute to the conversation to show you’re a valuable asset to your team.

9. Respect the amenities. This should go without saying, but keep plane lavatories clean and realize that you will have to sacrifice some privacy because of tight accommodations. After a long flight, allow everyone to freshen up before deplaning, especially if headed right into a board meeting.

10. Lights out. If the lights are out and the shades are drawn, it is designated sleeping time in the cabin. If you’re not planning to sleep, be respectful of other passengers trying to rest and keep the noise and lights to a minimum.

Be sure to contact us for your next trip, we’re always happy to help!

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

 

Q & A with Jan Jones: Part 9 – “Multitasking”

 

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness”. The book debuted at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Office Management Category. It has received widespread acclaim from executives and executive assistants worldwide. Jan spent 20 years as an esteemed international executive assistant to well-known business people, including personal development icon and author Tony Robbins. Jan is passionate about the executive assistant role and continues to champion the profession through speaking, mentoring and offering timeless, practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant.

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series: Part 1Part 8!

FlyPrivate: We’ve been hearing lately that “multitasking” is a myth and we should stop trying to do too many things at once. But I recall you saying that being good at multitasking was vital to your success as an executive assistant. Can you clarify? 

Jan Jones: Yes, and I fully believe that, but I should clarify and make the distinction about “multitasking” as it pertains to the executive assistant, as opposed to executives and others.

We now have scientific evidence that multitasking is impossible for our brains and that, in fact, when we think we are multitasking what’s happening is that our brains are almost instantaneously switching back and forth from one task to another. It happens so fast that we are mistaken into thinking we are doing more than one thing at a time. And this is easy to prove. Try giving your full attention to reading an important document at the same time you are trying to pay complete attention to a phone call you are having. You will soon become aware that both tasks are suffering and you have to stop one of them.

So when I say that being good at multitasking was vital to my success as an EA, I mean that my ability to switch back and forth between tasks, at a remarkably rapid pace, was crucial to my ability to
succeed in my job and I’m sure that is the case for many EAs. I’ve
observed people trying to “multitask”, and many people are horrible at it. They get confused when trying to do more than one thing at a time. But for me, and outstanding assistants I’ve observed, it’s a piece of cake.

Something else vital for assistants is that there is evidence, as
published in Scientific American in April 2010, that the brain can keep tabs on two tasks at once, even though we can’t actually do two tasks at once. I think this ability to keep tabs on two tasks at once is crucial to EAs being successful in their job. I liken it to sleeping with one eye open. You’ve always got your eye on things. Nothing escapes your attention. When all those balls you are juggling are up in the air, you’ve got your eye on them to make sure nothing gets dropped. This is a remarkable talent and one that I think is highly developed in the best EAs.

The world of the EA is one of constant interruptions, and if you
support more than one executive, that’s even more applicable to you. But that’s the nature of our job. We don’t have the luxury of
taking ourselves off to some quiet corner where we can focus on one thing at a time, as the experts are constantly advising executives to do. We have to operate in the thick of it all day and everyday, so we must get better and better at making our brains rapidly switch back and forth from task to task.

What will increase your effectiveness is your ability to focus. The ability to switch back to the task you were doing originally, and quickly get right back into the thick of it is key. Yes, science has proved you lose time when you multitask because your brain has to switch back into the mode you were in before the interruption. So, learn to make up for those precious lost seconds by recovering quickly and regaining your focus when you have to get back to the task you were working on. Improve your ability to focus quickly. The ability to focus and not give way to needless distractions is a skill
assistants must develop, especially in this day and age where smart phones are purposely designed to distract us by keeping us addicted to checking them constantly.

This is not a joke.  Some brave souls who work in the technology
arena are now speaking up about the way devices are programmed in order to addict us to our devices.  We need to be vigilant about this so our devices don’t rule our lives in a negative way, destroying our ability to focus and putting us into overload. I urge EAs to read the 60 Minutes piece on “Brain Hacking” where former Google product manager, Tristan Harris discusses how Silicon Valley
exploits neuroscience to keep us addicted to technology.  It is a real eye opener.

Multitasking, even as we understand it scientifically today, will
continue to be the lifeblood of exceptional executive assistants so I say to assistants, don’t stop multitasking, get really good at it.
Develop your ability to focus. It is a life-saving skill for assistants. Practice treating the project you need to focus on as an obsession – as if it is something you really want to do to the exclusion of all else. Once you master this skill, you won’t resent interruptions because your exceptional ability to focus will help you to quickly get back on track.

Author: Jan Jones

©Copyright Jan Jones, 2015 “The CEO’s Secret Weapon”

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ new book and visit her website: The CEO’s Secret Weapon.

The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness

Jan Jones

_________________________________________________________________________

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

The Road Show

Sooner or later you need to be in several places at the same time. Portfolio company, plant and branch location site visits, investor and M&A discussions are just a few of the reasons you may need to schedule a road trip.

Why fly privately? There are many reasons to FlyPrivate. Here are the most compelling:

1. Save time…AND make money. 

We routinely take 5-day commercial itineraries and reduce them to 2 or 3 days. This not only saves time but adds back days of
productivity. The value of your time or an executive team’s can easily exceed $19,000 per day. This savings of travel time, replaced with
increased days of productivity, more than pays for the investment in a private charter.

2. Privacy and Security

Most M&A, IPO, and other investor discussions have a need for
privacy. It can pay big dividends to move as invisibly as possible. Use of a private unmarked aircraft to a private airfield will not broadcast your arrival and departure. The private aircraft itself can be used as a secure conference room allowing for additional planning and preparation. If you need enroute, pre or post-meeting
communication, ask about aircraft with Wi-Fi capability.

3. Schedule Flexibility

Some of the most critical elements to your trip are highly
unpredictable. Whether it is last minute news, availability of a
principal, lab results, or the development of a prototype, meeting times can change. Use of private aviation allows you to revise an
itinerary to suit your agenda. This type of adaptability could be the added measure to achieve success.

4. Health

As anyone who spends a prolonged period of time on the road can attest, traveling comes with inherent health concerns. Commercial airliners, terminal lavatories, armrests, drinking fountains, and
escalators handrails consistently rank as some of the most germ
infested public areas. Reducing exposure to these areas helps to promote better health, energy and productivity for you and your team.

At FlyPrivate we are road show experts. Benefit from our national aircraft options and logistical experience and make your next road trip pay big dividends.

Our service is “pay as you fly”, there is no membership to join.

Please contact us with the details for your next potential road trip.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram for the latest FlyPrivate news and information.

Flight Request

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.

 

Secrets to Stretching Your Private Aviation Budgets

Whether you are new to private aviation or a seasoned veteran, there are some little known industry secrets that we’d like to share with you. Let’s have a conversation about helping you stretch your aviation budget, allowing your money to go a little bit further, so you can fly more often.

To schedule a quick (5 minute) conversation with our COO, Don Smith, please click the link and use one of the subject lines below, that best describes your experience with private aviation. From there, we can start the conversation that is most appropriate for your needs, at your convenience.

For the Private Aviation Novice

For the Private Aviation Veteran

What Your Jet Card Doesn’t Want You to Know

Are you new to private aviation? Have you ever heard of round trip pricing? Probably not. Over the past few years all the major
membership companies have phased it out.

Who wins? Jet Card/Jet Membership Company

Who loses? You

Let’s look at the example of a same-day trip from New York (TEB) to Indianapolis (IND). You depart at 9:00 AM and you return at 4:00 PM. The trip is just about 2 hours in each direction so it serves as a great example for other same-day destinations. You have 4
passengers and you prefer to fly in a midsize aircraft.

It doesn’t matter which program you are in: Delta, Sentient Jet, Net Jets, Wheels Up, etc. Your hourly cost for a midsize jet is $7,000 per hour all in, billed at actual flight time plus taxi-time. In fact, it’s
actually a few hundred dollars more per hour, but the cost
difference is so extreme we actually rounded down!


Jet Card/Jet Membership (Hawker 800XP, Citation XL)

Depart: 9:00 AM    TEB-IND

Arrive: 11:00 AM    (2 hours flight time)

Depart: 4:00 PM     IND-TEB

Arrive: 6:00 PM       (2 hours flight time)

Price:  4 Hours Total Flight Time x $7,000 per hour = $28,000


FlyPrivate  (Hawker 800XP, Citation XL, Hawker 1000, Citation Sovereign)

Depart: 9:00 AM    TEB-IND

Arrive: 11:00 AM    (2 hours flight time)

Depart: 4:00 PM     IND-TEB

Arrive: 6:00 PM       (2 hours flight time)

At FlyPrivate, we will provide you with several midsize options (in this example trip, we also had super midsize jet availability for the same price).

You will know your full cost before you fly. We price by the trip, not by the hour, upfront and fixed. This method allows us to leverage the marketplace to get you the best pricing and aircraft options.

Price: 4 Hours Total Flight Time x $4,842 per hour = $19,368 *all in

Citation XL:  $19,368

Hawker 800XP: $19,368

Hawker 1000: $19,368

Citation Sovereign: $19,368 (super midsize jet)


Analysis:

Same-Day Trip

Jet Card:       TEB-IND-TEB           Midsize Jet = $28,000

FlyPrivate:    TEB-IND-TEB           Midsize Jet = $19,368

Savings with FlyPrivate: $8,632  (30.8%)


Conclusion:

As previously stated, the major membership companies have phased out round trip pricing, to benefit themselves, not their clients like you. A couple of these jet card/membership companies offer you a 10-15% discount on some trips, but they are still gouging you by 30%, so a 12% give back now and then, makes everyone feel good.

Let us state this VERY clearly: You are overpaying by 30% for the SAME TRIP ON THE SAME AIRCRAFT.

Here is another secret. FlyPrivate and all of the major membership companies, use the same Part 135 charter aircraft.

In case it didn’t sink in the first time – YOU ARE OVERPAYING BY 30% FOR THE SAME AIRCRAFT!

Don’t continue down this path, now that you have been educated on this topic, please contact us for your next “round trip” itinerary and we will provide you with the options.

With our service, you only “Pay as You Fly”.

Join other experienced private fliers who have shed their
membership and regained their capital. Over the past 15 years we have saved our clients millions of dollars and allowed them to fly hundreds more trips with the savings.

Welcome,

Don Smith

Chief Operating Officer

FlyPrivate

P.S. Your “one-way” itineraries will also cost you less for the SAME AIRCRAFT.

The “Sandwich” Trip

Companies are easing back into private aviation by using

commercial flights to major hubs, and filling in hard to reach
commercial destinations with private charter out of smaller, more convenient airports.

In the example above, this traveler uses commercial aviation to fly from Chicago, IL (ORD) to Los Angeles (LAX). Once in Los Angeles, CA (LAX) they head to their first meeting in Van Nuys, CA (VNY). From Van Nuys, they will use private aviation to travel to their
second meeting in Bakersfield, CA (BFL), and again to their final meeting in Flagstaff, AZ (FLG). From Flagstaff, they will fly privately back to Los Angeles, CA (LAX), where they will fly their final leg from Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Chicago, IL (ORD) commercially.

This “Sandwich” trip strategy improves productivity of the mission by allowing more flexibility and reducing overall travel days. If you’d like to learn more about booking a “Sandwich” trip, please call or email us for more information or to get a quote for your next trip. We look forward to working with you!

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram for the latest news and updates from FlyPrivate.

Website: www.flyprivate.com
Email: fly@flyprivate.com
Phone: 1-800-641-JETS (5387)

All flights arranged by Private Business Jets, LLC DBA FlyPrivate are operated by Part 135 Certified Air Carriers. FlyPrivate will act as your agent for the purpose of obtaining charter service.