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Office Life Support by Bonnie Low-Kramen

The training executives really need to succeed? How to use assistants

Imagine this. You are a new driver, and one day you go outside to find a brand-new car with the keys hanging on the window and a note that reads “Good luck!” The car is filled with gadgets and shiny buttons, but there is no physical manual and no one to tell you what to do.
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6 ways to build a culture that doesn’t chase good people away

Job seekers may be tempted by a free lunch perk, but leaders need to know that these sophisticated candidates are taking a closer look. They want to make sure that your company has a culture where they can thrive for the long term.
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A CEO’s take on building a culture with staying power

In my quest to find leaders who are committed to building authentically positive and profitable company cultures that actively support the administrative staff, I interviewed Don Ochsenreiter, president and CEO of Dollamur Sports Surfaces. A former management consultant for McKinsey, Accenture and others, Don has a strong point of view on company culture and its impact on staff.
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Making work safe: What would your employees do if they weren’t afraid?

It’s a good bet that most of your staff members don’t feel safe. In fact, it’s likely that they are afraid. This matters because fear is crippling to individuals and to companies. Fear stops us in our tracks.
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Former assistants turned star CEOs weigh in: Is your assistant ready for the C-suite?

One of the signs is that the assistant is a sponge for knowledge about the principal and behaves like a stakeholder in the company. Take Tom Leonardis, who started out as Whoopi Goldberg’s personal assistant and producer 22 years ago — with no end in sight. Tom is now president of Whoop Inc. and has been nominated for both an Emmy and a Tony.
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Yes, women really are different: How to reach across the gender gap at your office

If you fail to communicate with sensitivity to gender, it will result in a revolving door of staff that can cost your company dearly. So what do your female employees want and expect from you?
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Behind the smile: What your executive assistants are really thinking

I was recently speaking at a professional conference for executive assistants in one of America’s biggest cities. The group of 60 EAs, representing some of our most high-profile companies, answered this question: “How many of you feel well managed by your executive?”
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CEOs: Never ask your assistants to do these 6 things

Some CEO/EA pairs spend more hours in the day with each other than with their actual spouses or partners. Is it any wonder then that sometimes the boundaries get very blurry?
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31 things you can ask your assistant to do — and a few you shouldn’t

“Can I really ask my executive assistant to do that?” CEOs, executives and managers all over the world have asked me that question. The short answer is, yes. The slightly longer answer is that unless your company policy expressly forbids it, most EAs are ready, willing and able to do almost anything.
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Why training your admin staff will boost your profits and improve productivity

Administrative staff are a company’s biggest and potentially most powerful natural resource — they are the backbones of their companies and every manager’s right arm. But here’s the bad news: Historically, they are also the most misused and undertrained members of the team.
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Bonnie headshotABOUT BONNIE LOW-KRAMEN:Bonnie Low-Kramen is a workplace leadership expert and international trainer and speaker. She served as Olympia Dukakis’s executive and personal assistant for 25 years. Through Ultimate Assistant, LLC, she is now dedicated to opening the lines of communication between executives and their assistants in every organization. Her purpose is to educate executives on how to leverage this powerful relationship, and empower assistants around the world to find their voice, and communicate with intention, confidence, and honesty. Sign her SpeakUp Pledge at www.speakuppledge.com, and follow her on Twitter @BonnieLowKramen.