Susan Fenner's Blog

The worst thing (well, maybe one of the worst things) about the workplace is all the interruptions that keep you from getting your job done. And admins are on the short end for interruptions, even more so than most other workers. It seems that anyone and everyone thinks they can drop in to the admin's area and make demands - to search for lost files, to provide answers to questions they already have the answers to but are too lazy to look up, to make new assignments, and to change deadlines (which are always shortened from what was originally stated - never extended). When the interrupter is a colleague or a client, it's pretty easy to quickly get the upper hand and take control of the situation. But when the interloper is your exec, things get a bit stickier.

The latest podcast to be posted addresses this topic. Jeff Davidson, founder of The Breathing Space Institute and master of time and space management, has some interesting ideas that could work for you! Here's the link so you can pick up a few pointers and stop these annoying distractions and stay focused and productive.

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I so appreciate those of you who volunteer for a leadership position within IAAP. It takes time, and energy, and commitment to the profession and the association. And while each position has its own set of hurdles, those folks who serve on the Program Committee really have it tough. They have to survey the members to see what are the hot topics (knowing that over the years, there have been lots and lots of topics already covered). They have to find locals who can address the topics well and entice them to give up a precious evening (most chapters still meet at night) and make an hour-long presentation so people can get recertification credit for it (lots of prep required for an hour program). Then...there are always a few presenters who have to cancel at the last minute, sending frightening chills up and down the committee's collective spines. But, their job is so important - it keeps members interested and engaged; it helps recruit new members into the organization; it provides information and skills that members can take back to the job; it shows employers that IAAP is worth the investment; and it keeps everyone coming to monthly meetings and being an active, vital part of the chapter.

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This article by Carol Kinsey Goman (a past EFAM presenter) was too good not to pass along. She's an expert on body language and always seems to be right on target. So, here it is - 12 Ways To Spot A Liar At Work - http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolkinseygoman/2012/04/11/12-ways-to-spot-a-liar-at-work/

What kinds of lies to you most encounter at work?

Susan
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The newest podcast title almost sounds like an oxymoron - Robert's Rules Of Order Made Simple! Yet it's not (an oxymoron - it is simple after all)!

Susan Leahy is the rare person who loves Robert's Rules, understands them, and makes a living out of teaching others to do the same. She is so enthusiastic, almost the antithesis of what you'd imagine for one who interprets that book. She's totally in the here-and-now meetings we all go to and sometimes chair. She knows what a group needs and is looking for to move things along and not get hung up in hidden agendas and time-wasting maneuvers. This gal is so good, she even named her web site www.robertsrulesmadesimple.com Can you believe it?

Here's the podcast link. I think you'll enjoy this one - even if you don't chair any meetings or expect to in the near future. She makes it fun and even let's you know how you can use Robert's Rules with friends and family when making decisions or choices.

http://www.iaap-hq.org/podcasts/roberts-rules-made-simple

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Boy oh Boy! (Or, I guess it could just as well be Girl oh Girl.) I don't know about you, but I am exhausted dealing with change. It seems that just when I think I have a handle on the latest things sent down to screw up my life, something totally new comes out of the blue! My friends and family tell me that it's the same for them. And the worst part of it - you can't even predict what awful thing will come next and be staring you in the face when you wake up tomorrow morning. Sounds gloomy, I know, but when I read about all the folks who have lost their jobs and even know quite a few personally, and hear about all the home foreclosures and see the for sale signs sprouting up in the neighborhood, and feel all the new pressures from plummeting stock markets and the dire future of social security, not to mention all the young kids going to hell in a hand basket with drugs and bullying and drive-by shootings, how can I not help but wonder what the heck happened to "the good old days" when we at least got some forewarning of disaster looming over over us and some idea as to how we could handle it. Today, everyday has its own set of surprises - some good, some bad - and little in the way of how to deal with it since it keeps changing it's ugly face.
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My mailbox is filled with wonderful resources - articles, newsletters, book reviews, and more. Our IT guy thinks its junk, but you and I know better! This is the fodder for EFAM and Spring Conference programs, finding outstanding speakers with new ideas and solutions to all our problems, newsletter articles for chapters (my best ones come when I get riled up), podcast interviewees, books to sell on-site at events and in the online bookstore, topics for chapter/division programs...and so on. I bet you'll agree. Now, at times, I'll admit that my workspace (inbox and office shelves and floor) can look a bit like I am hoarding, but how can you not grab a hold of all this wonderful information and then share it?????

Well, here's a jewel I came across it this morning. It's on office back stabbers - why they do it and how to react. I think it's well worth the read. You may not have one lurking around the corner today, but, as we all know, they are out there and sooner or later, one will surface, maybe in the cube next to you :0 I wish we could stop this nonsense and all work together as one big team (and so does your employer). And that should be the goal. In today's crazy workplace, it takes EVERYONE pulling together to get the job done. Right?
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I wish every one of you could have joined us in Las Vegas! What a time we had! Gini was her usual fantastic self and gave us lots of leads to fee resources and taught us how to use video and insert it in a PowerPoint slide (so easy, even I can do it). Two lucky people got a year's subscription to lynda.com and Presenter Media to help them apply the concepts and add to their skills throughout the year. Bonnie Curtis didn't win any Academy Awards this year for her movie Albert Nobbs, tho it was up for three, but we got an insider's look at what it's like to work with Hollywood celebrities and experience some of the behind-the-scenes excitement. Allison Blankenship was so cute and perky and really seemed to know what's going on today and how we need to deal with it to stay ahead and get ahead. Her book Upside quickly sold out (darn, why didn't we bring more?). Wilny was...well..Wilny. He is so engaging and funny and has such amazing stories. He was able to bring the various generations in the workplace and on our teams alive and understandable - even commendable for their seeming foibles. His diversity session forced us to stretch our comfort zones and made us think about not just the differences we see, but the similarities that lie underneath. He's so well-traveled and has such an interesting background, he has lived what he talked about - making it oh so real. People were lined up for pics with him after his session - and being Wilny, he loved that! Then Rebecca...what can I say about her? If you have never seen or heard her, you are missing a real treat. I have NEVER met anyone with better self-esteem! She knows who she is and is comfy in her own skin. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner"...a line from
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Wow! When I read the credentials of this interviewee, I was shaking in my boots. Yikes, I thought! It sort of made me wish I has read first and invited after... But two seconds into the conversation and I knew that this noted Retired USAF Colonel and medal-winner was not only down-to-earth, but understood exactly what we're all going through when we look at cyber threats. Whether it is the ability to cull personal data from Google, an anonymous cyber stalker who bullies and ruins young people's lives, or entire countries hacking into national databases and scouring for God-knows-what information...cyber crime and cyber terrorism is all too real and all too scary.

I can't imagine making your livelihood off uncovering cyber bad guys and malware...but what a timely business. Who would have thought 10 years ago that this would be a booming and necessary job focus?

Be watching for Colonel Leighton's (pronounced lay ton) name when you pick up the paper or turn on the TV and the topic is cyber threats. I just bet you'll see it and say, "I know that guy!"

http://www.iaap-hq.org/podcasts/cyber-security

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Boy oh boy! You're gonna love this podcast! It's with Bonnie Curtis, our keynote speaker for the 2012 Spring Conference in Las Vegas. She spent 15 years working with Steven Spielberg, then took off on her own. The movies she's worked on have been amazing - Saving Private Ryan, The Minority Report, Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Amistad, Schlinder's List, and most recently, Alfred Nobbs, where Glenn Close is up for an Academy Award for Best Actress and Janet McTeer for Best Supporting Actress! Wow and double WOW! Wouldn't that be fun to work on a movie set and not only get to meet all these talented folks, but to see all the behind-the-scenes moments (and what great stories you'd have to tell family and friends).

I loved it when Bonnie talked about how at first, she was going to turn Steven Spielberg down - she heard he could be a difficult boss (LOL - can you relate?), then people told her she was nuts and passing up a lifetime opportunity, so she took the job and never looked back. She said he's such a nice, family man (he has 7 kids), but gets totally focused on his work - which is why he makes so many blockbuster movies, I'm sure.
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I can't believe that the Spring Conference is almost here! Where did the time go????? March 4-7 in Las Vegas is coming up before we know it. I guess you heard that the early bird registration has been extended (hurray!), so if you haven't signed up yet, now's the time to do it! There are still a few spots open...but don't wait too long.

I just posted three podcasts with presenters from this conference. You might want to tune in and hear what the three have to say. Here's the line up:
* Gini Courter talking on visuals in docs and projects assigned to admins. At the conference, she'll be talking about what to add, where to find them (resources), how to add them, and the extra punch they give your work. Here, you'll get a few minutes "alone" with Gini to hear about what she will be covering and a few key points she'll be addressing in more detail. Note: our Gini is studying intensive Spanish in Mexico. Imagine giving these tech sessions in another language! Caramba!
http://www.iaap-hq.org/podcasts/visuals-make-story-come-alive
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For those of you already registered for the Spring Conference, March 4-7 in Las Vegas NV, you are in for a rare treat! For those of you still sitting on the fence, trying to decide if you want to go or not, this podcast will spur you to action! From helicopter rides over the Grand Canyon, to musical revues with big-name stars, to desert trips to explore gold mines that were once drawing prospectors to the area, there are so many things to do, we couldn't cover them all. Heather Chatlos, Events Specialist at IAAP, will share some of the exciting things she found when she investigated, "what's there to do in Las Vegas?" You may be surprised - there's a LOT more than you might think - inside and outside the casinos.

http://www.iaap-hq.org/podcasts/highlights-las-vegas

Susan Fenner
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This has been one of my favorite interviews. Before we started recording (when a lot of fun stuff actually happens and I often get great inside scoops), I found out what led Jim to writing his new book on cogenerational colleagues working side-by-side, tweet-by-tweet, or cube to kitchen table - his son asked to work with him in Jim's business! Of course, their work styles were different, their physical locations miles apart (which may have kept them from killing each other), and their insights way, way unique. But, they made it work and Jim says it was one of the best things that ever happened to him and his business. And in the process, he learned a LOT about working across ages.

So, take a listen... 

Jim Winkles, author of Fuse: Making Sense Of The New 

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For some time now, I have been following Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He provides great insight into technology and how it is affecting our personal and professional lives. I always find an article that gets the wheels turning...

Here's a blog that he's written on searching for an administrative assistant and what he's looking for and what one needs in today's workplace. Take a look - it may surprise you and provide a new direction for your continuing education. http://www.shellypalmer.com/2011/12/are-you-employable-in-2012/

Susan
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Beth Ziesenis has truly become my new "nerdy best friend"! She's what everyone needs - someone to spend day and night playing on the computer and discovering fun/useful/awesome web sites, apps, and tools. Not only is this her first love...well, she loves her husband too...but she's so enthused about it! I can't believe some of the finds she has in her book, Upgrade To Free: The Best Free And Low-Cost Online Tools And Apps. In this week's featured podcast, she shares tools that admins will be especially interested in. I hated to say good-bye to her, she had so many great ideas. I hope I can bring her to an IAAP conference where we can pick her brain in person and have her walk us through some of the "best" sites (altho, I'm sure they are all "best" sites, depending on what you want and need).

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Jim Warner,business consultant/coach, whole/life counselor, author/trainer, has written a brand new book entitled, The Drama-Free Office: A Guide To Healthy Collaboration With Your Team, Coworkers, And Boss. He's the interviewee for this week's featured podcast. I loved the way he explains why these folks act like they do (not always what you might think) and how to counter them while keeping the peace and building the relationship. He talks about what's at risk - if you deal with them directly or if you chose to ignore and "live with" the situation. There's also a free self-assessment on his web site so that you can measure your own divaness (a word???).

So, all-in-all, you need to listen to this podcast and you should take the survey to see if someone in your office is listening in too and trying to figure out what to do with YOU! :)

Here's the link: http://www.iaap-hq.org/podcasts/drama-free-office-dealing-divas

Susan Fenner
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I just love interviewing interesting people! It's so much fun to get them on the phone, then pick their brains and use their experiences to find things out...oftentimes, things you really haven't thought much about or even realized that you should be thinking about them. Well, this week's podcast falls into that category. Liz Weinmann discusses insights from her new book, Get DARE From Here – 12 Principles And Practices For Women Over 40 To Take Stock, Take Action, And Take Charge Of The Rest Of Their Lives. You don't have to be a woman and you don't have to be old (altho 40 seems pretty darn young to me) to get the points she makes and be able to go back to your personal and professional lives and apply them. She's so engaging, students in her NY college classes must love her. In fact, I'm trying to bring her to Grapevine for the 2012 EFAM so you can meet her and talk to her too! I have two good topics in mind...but I digress...

Liz has
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You always hear about the twenty-somethings (or younger) who create their own businesses and end up making a fortune. Steve Jobs was one, Bill Gates another. Well, let me introduce you to Jonathan Simkin. Creator of SwoopThat.com, he took a common (perpetual) student problem - long lines at the campus bookstore, high prices, no assurance of buy-backs next semester - and founded his own online bookstore. It's so ingenious, you have to hear the story to fully appreciate what this young man envisioned, then developed. I think you'll like meeting him...I know I did! His epic might just be the spark to start you on your way to becoming a millionaire CEO.

http://www.iaap-hq.org/podcasts/put-your-ideas-work-you

Susan Fenner

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What great fun I have with my job! I get to do so many interesting things! But perhaps one of my very favorite activities is interviewing people for the series of free podcasts. I telephonically get to meet lots of new and fascinating authors, budding CEOs, and in general, movers and shakers in the business world. They all have great stories to tell and wonderful morals for all of us to take to heart. This week is no exception.

Our featured podcast is a special one - with IAAP's International President Tamra Goodall, CPS/CAP. It will give you some insight into why the theme Making The Leap To Remarkable was chosen and what it feels like to be chosen for the highest association office.

Making The Leap To Remarkable

Making The Leap To Remarkable is the theme for the 2011-2012 IAAP year with newly installed Tamra Goodall, CPS/CAP. Learn why she chose it, her goals during the 70th anniversary of the association, and what it means to be the International President of IAAP.


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I just love doing these podcasts. I meet so many cool people and learn so much. This week's featured podcast with Jenny Miller is no exception. Jenny is one of the presenters who will be taking the stage at the Fall Conference in San Diego next month. If you're like me and can't make it to this event, then a second-best option is to hear her speak on "Design By Design". Jenny answers questions I've always wondered about in terms of creating a newsletter or promotional piece that get read and acted upon. After all, isn't that the idea?

I have never had a course or a class in design, so some things I've always been curious about include: should you have a letter from the editor (or president) and where do you put it - front page?; is clip art okay or totally passe?; is there a science to where you place articles on a page for a "best" spot where they are almost guaranteed to be read?...these are just a few things Jenny covers in her interview.

So, listen in and see how you can spruce up your publications and get better results.

http://www.iaap-hq.org/podcasts/graphic-design-tips

Susan

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Sam Glenn was one of two keynoters in Montreal at the 2011 EFAM. His evaluations drew rave reviews - about as close to a perfect 10 as you can get. We'll, here's your chance to hear him again if you were on site and if you didn't get to go this year, then you can still get a slice of Sam in this week's featured podcast, "A Kick In The Attitude." Using his book (of the same name) as a point of reference, Sam shares his terrific sense of humor and keen insights into "attitude" - what you're like when you have a bad attitude and how your life changes (for the better) when you upgrade to a positive attitude. 

I know you'll enjoy listening to him - as much as I did talking to him.

http://www.iaap-hq.org/podcasts/kick-attitude 

Susan Fenner
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