Category Archives: For Your Information

Star Followership: How to Expand Your Influence As An Executive Assistant

In this article, Author Jan Jones, discusses how executive assistants can expand their influence within their organization.

FlyPrivate is 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! 

FlyPrivate: In your article on Servant Leadership, you spoke about the relevance of Servant Leadership for executive assistants and how they can develop their influence through a servant leadership role.  Perhaps an even more interesting concept is that of Followership which is a newer area of leadership research. Please share why you consider Followership more relevant for the executive assistant role than servant leadership.

Jan Jones: My article discussed the idea of the servant-leader, a concept created by Robert Greenleaf, which is now a widely accepted business practice. It also discussed the parallels to emotional intelligence, particularly regarding empathy and social awareness.

The concept of Followership and the Effective Follower was developed about 30 years ago when Robert Kelley, a well-known social scientist, concluded logically that discussions about Leadership must also include discussions about Followership, because leaders don’t exist in a vacuum without followers. The Effective Follower complements their leader. So the Followership concept is an ideal model of the executive-assistant partnership.

I’ll lay out Robert Kelley’s five basic styles of Followership, but the style that interests me the most is that of the Star Follower: They are self-managed employees who think for themselves and whose hearts are in their work. Many executive assistants will identify and hopefully aspire to this style of Followership.

Kelley’s article for Harvard Business Review generated some controversy and Followership got the same initial negative reaction as the idea of servant leadership. I think assistants will agree with Mr. Kelley that “Making the assist, is just as important as making the score.” In sports, an assist is the person who passes the ball to a teammate, helping that teammate to score. This is a primary element in the role of the assistant. Making it possible for their executive to “score” – to hit their targets, goals and objectives.

While Kelley’s Five Basic Styles of Followership apply to all employees, assistants will find it helpful in understanding themselves and their teammates. These are work styles we all encounter every day. It is not a personality test and I am not suggesting you label people. Consider how can you use these styles to assess yourself and look for ways to enhance your performance and expand your influence. In whichever description you see yourself, remember it’s not a judgment. It’s simply an indicator that can give you perspective and help you make the leap into more effective, next-level practices. If you mentor assistants, you will find this a helpful guide as well.

The Sheep: Passive people who look to the leader to think and to motivate them.

This description is not a negative if assistants are new to the role and look to the leader to direct them. Without experience in the job, they need to be shown the ropes. Paying attention to what is asked of them, they can develop their anticipation ability. The skills they learn in this initial stage will be the bedrock on which they build a successful EA career. This is a time of learning, observing, absorbing. It can be the genesis of your ability to influence in the coming years, so it should not be taken lightly. As I’ve shared with EAs, the know-how I learned in my first job laid the foundation on which I developed and built over the course of my career. It consistently set me apart from other assistants who were not trained as effectively. If you are a new assistant, don’t downplay this stage of your development.

The Yes-Person: Positive people who support their leader, but look to the leader for thinking, direction and vision. When a task is done, they ask the leader “what do you want me to do next?” Yes-people say “I’m the doer. The boss is paid to think, and I do the work.”  

The Yes-Person has a good attitude and a willing heart, but they have not yet learned to think independently and require guidance. This is acceptable for less-experienced assistants who are gradually honing their craft. Many assistants in this phase see themselves as helpers who faithfully and willingly carry out their executive’s wishes. Ideally, this is the time to also start incrementally developing initiative, the ability to reason, and taking an interest in the business, looking for ways to gradually branch out into independent thinking and acting.

I encounter many assistants who fit the Yes-Person category, particularly if they’ve been with their executive for a while. These are capable people who do their tasks well, but they stop short when it comes to anticipation and resourcefulness, two vital characteristics for an assistant to be fully effective in the role. If you are a Yes-Person who has been in the same job a while, use your job knowledge and find ways to increase your value through participating in your job more. Maybe it’s time to give innovation a try. Offer suggestions, volunteer for projects, initiate employee programs. Spreading your reach will develop your ability to influence. It will give you a new enjoyment and enthusiasm for your job and your life.

The Pragmatics: Pragmatics are fence-sitters, looking to see which way things are headed before they get on board. They do what they must to survive and are invested in maintaining the status quo (whether the status quo is short-term or long-term. For example, prior to the pandemic, Pragmatics maintained a certain status quo around the way they functioned at the office. Post-pandemic they want to maintain the way things were during the pandemic, such as continuing to work from home).

Pragmatics know their job, but are sometimes perceived as mediocre with execution. Many are invested in doing the minimum they can get away with. Most of us have come across such co-workers and felt a sense of frustration having to pick up the slack for them. Pragmatics are lucky if they fall into a job that allows them to have their wait-and-see attitude. My concern is the implication this has on the image of assistants in general, portraying them as lacking gumption and get-up-and-go, resulting in being paid the minimum for doing the minimum. In this time of explosive business and technological growth, trying to maintain the status quo is an imprudent long-term strategy. Pragmatic assistants, please come down off the fence and challenge yourself a little. Start conquering inertia by making small adjustments. Offer to help your colleagues. Take on additional tasks. Communicate more and get comfortable with uncertainty to wake up your senses and lead you to new opportunities.

The Alienated: They think for themselves, but they are disgruntled and cynical. They see themselves as mavericks, the only ones with courage to stand up to the boss. Tending to have a chip on their shoulder, they are viewed as rebels without a cause.

Intelligent, capable and sometimes a cut above the rest, I regret that some assistants are buying into the idea that sullen behavior proves they are important thinkers, generally superior to their EA colleagues, whom they view as status quo and boring. Alienated workers feel angry that their talents are not being recognized and they can feel exploited. If you crave recognition, the executive assistant profession may not be for you, because it requires one to be highly service-oriented and committed to excellence, yet comfortable staying in the background.

Despite their feelings of alienation, many Alienated assistants are visible and appreciated for their talents. They could be major influencers, but they shoot themselves in the foot by being bolshie. I’ve worked with assistants who behaved this way and were hostile towards me because I was getting the recognition they craved. What was the difference? Like them, I was a strong personality, unafraid to speak up, willing to take charge. But unlike them, I brought fresh energy, my attitude was upbeat and positive. My professionalism was always on display. I showed respect and upheld the dignity of my executive, the office of my executive and the organization. I understood that I was there to be of service, a fundamental requirement of the role of the EA. I implore Alienated assistants to let the spotlight be on your performance and not your attitude. Recognition and respect will follow.

The Star Followers: Star Followers are sometimes viewed as “leaders in disguise.” If that isn’t the hallmark of an exceptional EA, I don’t know what is! Star Followers think for themselves, are active, and have positive energy. If they agree with the leader, they give full support. If they disagree, they offer constructive alternatives that will help the leader and the organization. Star Followers are often referred to as “my right-hand person” by their executives.

As described by Robert Kelley, Star Followers are self-starters who can work without close supervision. They are independent problem solvers, who show initiative and contribute well. Star Followers are critical thinkers, highly participative, and habitually exercise superior judgment. Star Followers build their competence and focus their efforts for maximum effect. They take on extra work gladly, but first they focus on superior execution with their core responsibilities. They manage themselves well, they are committed to the organization and its purpose, always striving to collaborate, build relationships and be the best. Like exceptional assistants, they tackle overlooked problems that need addressing and present the issue along with a solution. For this reason, many EAs who are Star Followers wield considerable influence with their executives.

Assistants, the Star Follower is the style that should interest you the most. Many of you are on the way, or are already there. These traits will distinguish you from the millions of other assistants and make you an invaluable addition to any executive suite. This is the caliber of assistant I wrote about in “The CEO’s Secret Weapon.”

What Style Do Executives Prefer? When Robert Kelley asked executives if they could have a mix of the 5 Followership styles in their organization, which would they choose, a large percentage said they would like Yes-People. Why? 1) Yes-People are “doers”. They’ll do the grunt work. 2) Yes-People have limited aspirations and won’t pressure the leader for promotions, or quit for better jobs.

Other executives wanted a mix: Start with a handful of Alienated because they keep the leader honest. Add a small group of Star Followers who would lead the charge, but avoid having too many Stars because they can get demanding and they think for themselves too much. Then split the remaining majority with Pragmatics who serve as a status quo base, and Yes-People who will get the job done.

Very few executives wanted only Star Followers on their teams because they worried they could not keep them sufficiently challenged, or satisfied with their role. They believe Star Followers will get bored and seek greener pastures, leading to high turnover. I see this as a misunderstanding by executives because Star Followers, by their very nature, find ways to keep themselves challenged and motivated at work.

So where does this leave administrative and executive assistants? Which category does your executive fit into? Do they want a Star Follower, or someone who will maintain the status quo and get the job done?

Despite Robert Kelley’s research, I have yet to meet an executive who was happy with their assistant simply doing as they are told. A Yes-Person. They put up with it because it takes too much effort to make a change, it’s uncomfortable to have an honest conversation, or too difficult to push the assistant to step up their performance. They all tell me they want their assistant to show more initiative and interest in the business, in order to take some of the burden off the executive.

Whichever of the preceding styles apply to you, keep striving for excellence. If you identify as a Sheep, look for ways to stand on your own two feet and build your confidence. If you identify as a Yes-Person, try to take yourself beyond relying on your executive for guidance and direction. You have what it takes so start using your talent. If you are a Pragmatic, get off the fence and coax a little disruption into your life. If your style is Alienated, life can be lonely. Try trusting life and remember the world is not conspiring against you. If you are a Star Follower, avoid becoming complacent. Keep adding higher value. Consider mentoring colleagues who might need a sprinkling of your expertise and energy.

The best leaders are also the best followers; it’s how they developed their leadership skills. Know when to wear which hat, and you will smoothly transition when you are called upon to play a leadership role.


©The CEO’s Secret Weapon. The ideas expressed in this article and any text extracted from “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” are the intellectual property and copyrighted to Jan Jones. All rights reserved. No unauthorized usage or duplication by any means is permitted without the express consent of the author.

Author: Jan Jones

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series!

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness.” The book 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 Tony Robbins, the world’s #1 business and life strategist. Jan continues to champion the executive assistant profession with her writing, consulting and speaking. She offers timeless, practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant. 

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ 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:

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.

Are you traveling this summer?

 

Summer is a great time to get away to your favorite vacation
destination
. No matter where you plan to be, we have the jet to get you there and a hassle-free quoting and booking process. Let us take you, your family, friends and pets directly to your destination so you can enjoy more days at your destination and less time traveling. We offer the best aircraft values through our trusted partnerships and invite you to experience the FlyPrivate difference.

FlyPrivate you have instant access to all types of aircraft including:

Have a trip coming up? Give us the details and contact us today for your best options and pricing.  

 

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us:

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.

Servant Leadership: The Key to Executive Assistant Influence

In this article, Author Jan Jones, discusses Servant Leadership, explaining the relevance for executive assistants and the parallel to emotional intelligence.

FlyPrivate is 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! 

FlyPrivate: In your book, you talked about Servant Leadership and explained the parallel to the role of the executive assistant. When you discussed this topic with us previously, many assistants had not heard about Servant Leadership, or understood how the concept could apply to executive assistants.

As Servant Leadership is more widely practiced by executives and business today, our readers are showing a growing interest in this concept. Would you help them to understand the specific relevance for executive assistants and how it will help them expand their influence at work?

Jan Jones: I’m constantly reminding assistants to take an interest in the ideas and practices that interest their executives. It keeps assistants in the know, and better able to relate to their executive’s way of thinking. It improves the EA’s understanding of how to work in partnership with their executive, because they understand the psychology behind how their executive is approaching certain issues. 

The concept of servant leadership parallels emotional intelligence in many ways, particularly with social awareness and empathy. Assistants will find servant leadership useful and interesting, because many assistants have a natural desire to be of service. Assistants help their executives and teams to perform to their highest capability, which is one of servant leadership’s foundational principles.

I recently heard my former boss, Tony Robbins, describe his success. He said “I love to serve. Do more for others than anyone else in the industry. When you do that year after year, decade after decade, you build a brand and millions of people come. That’s what happens when you add value. It’s always about adding value – how do I influence someone for a higher purpose?”

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.” 

In my 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.

This reminded me of the role an executive assistant plays in an organization. They perform some tasks that are mistakenly perceived as menial, yet “They hold together and sustain the multiple activities and personalities that keep an enterprise going.” This is precisely what executive assistants do in organizations all over the world.

I was introduced to Robert Greenleaf by management guru Dr. Ken Blanchard who is a respected friend of Tony Robbins. When I was writing my book, Dr. Blanchard invited me to his home and spent a full day guiding and advising me. This showed me firsthand 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. Which assistant wouldn’t want an executive like that?

Appreciation for the servant leadership concept didn’t come easily to an individualist like me. I struggled with the term because the words tend to imply 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 unflattering terms, analogous to servant. When I read about Leo in Herman Hesse’s book, I suddenly became clear about servant leadership and how true executive assistants have been examples of the concept for generations. It’s not about self-sacrifice, but about being of service. Helping people to accomplish their goals doesn’t diminish you. It strengthens your ability, elevates you and expands your influence.

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 that sound like what an executive assistant does for their executive and their team? Like Tony Robbins, it’s about having the heart of someone who wants to be of service. That’s how in earlier generations assistants expressed the essence of the role. They were intensely loyal to the executive they served. They understood they served the larger organization, but their focus was centered on the executive whom they were hired to support. They looked out for them, and kept them protected from unnecessary distractions. They were the protector of their executive’s time, so these executives benefitted from that “white space” on their schedules that we hear so much about today. Quiet time to think and strategize, rather than being overwhelmed with doing. These assistants were tuned into their executives. They knew what they needed in order to be productive, and made sure they got it. This is how they were of service and in service to their executive’s objectives. And they were clear that in serving their executive, they were serving the executive’s direct reports, customers and the wider organization.

It is important for today’s assistants to understand the basic concepts of servant leadership because its influence is widespread. Companies such as Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, SAS, Marriott, Zappos, Nordstrom, FedEx 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 cannot be trivialized as the latest buzzword. Servant leadership doesn’t happen overnight. It is a long-term transformation for people and organizations.

Assistants, let’s be clear. Servant leadership is not about subjugating yourself. It is about claiming yourself, living to your highest purpose while supporting others to do the same. Servant leadership is not a one-way street. The server is as valuable as those they are serving. If you are supporting a true servant-leader, they are also in service to you, helping you to perform at your optimum level.

Servant leadership is uniquely human. No AI, with all its digital efficiencies, data and metrics, will match the assurance and comfort a servant-leader brings to the workplace, allowing colleagues to perform at peak levels in a supportive environment. EAs should consider what developing servant-leader characteristics can do for their career prospects in a VUCA world.

Here are some characteristics of servant leadership as explained by the former CEO of Greenleaf’s organization, Larry Spears, and my take on the relevance for EAs.

Listening: Listening intently and receptively is vital to the growth of a 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 volunteered 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. Empathy doesn’t mean taking on someone else’s problems.

Awareness: Not only situational awareness, but self-awareness. Because executives have high visibility, we are more aware of their lack of self-awareness than our own. I found myself demonstrating a lack of self-awareness recently. It brought home the value of vigilance, which keeps us from acting like a high school kid. Be aware of your impact on people.

Persuasion: Using persuasion rather than authority. Assistants should be used to this since many 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. Executives want assistants to develop their ability to anticipate. 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. 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 only 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. Build something you value and care about.

As much as we speak about “partnerships” and “relationships” it must be remembered that the assistant has been hired to provide the support the executive needs in carrying out the company’s mandate. Your effort must be in service of this requirement. This is not limiting you. It is expanding you. A spirited, resourceful assistant can take the role in many directions if they are looking out for the best interests of their executives and the organization of which the assistant is an integral part. 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 together the executive and assistant are in service and support of each other. I’ve had the privilege of working with a servant-leader executive 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 merely 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.


©The CEO’s Secret Weapon. The ideas expressed in this article and any text extracted from “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” are the intellectual property and copyrighted to Jan Jones. All rights reserved. No unauthorized usage or duplication by any means is permitted without the express consent of the author.

Author: Jan Jones

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series!

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness.” The book 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 Tony Robbins, the world’s #1 business and life strategist. Jan continues to champion the executive assistant profession with her writing, consulting and speaking. She offers timeless, practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant. 

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ 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:

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: The Most Effective Leadership Traits for Executive Assistants

You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.
Henry Ford

In this article, Author Jan Jones discusses the most effective leadership traits to enhance the credibility and status of the executive assistant.

FlyPrivate is 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! 

FlyPrivate: What are the most effective leadership traits to enhance the credibility and status of executive assistants?  

Jan Jones: Executive assistants today are constantly being told “Assistants are leaders.” However, those words are not synonymous. Some assistants embrace the “assistants are leaders” mantra unquestioningly, others are not quite sure that assistants are leaders, or if they themselves have what it takes to be a leader.

Is every assistant a leader? No. Does every assistant think and perform like a leader? No. Can leadership be practiced and learned? Certainly. Do all assistants have the potential to be leaders? Absolutely.  

Here are some hallmarks of renowned leaders. Since EAs serve as their executive’s deputy, the goal is to exhibit the same positive traits their leader executives do, even if it is on a smaller scale. Understanding and modeling these traits will benefit assistants throughout their career, whether they stay in the EA role, take on a different opportunity, or start a business. Your objective doesn’t have to be to set the entire world on fire. Making an impact within your sphere of influence may be enough. For assistants with their sights on broader horizons, developing these traits will take you a long way into a promising future.

Leaders are Visionaries. Leaders have foresight and vision. Envisioning the “big picture”, the possibility, the potential. Visionary leaders take steps to make their vision a reality. As an EA, what possibility and potential can you see – at the level of your routine tasks, or on a bigger scale – that will make a difference to your performance, and lift up the performance of your executive and team?

What about your vision for your own growth and development? How are you developing your prospects? What is your commitment to yourself to bring about your vision for your life? Think big and don’t hesitate to take even small steps in the direction of that vision. Proverbs 29.18 in the Bible says “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Don’t perish for lack of vision. Thrive and give yourself the life you deserve.

Leaders are Effective Communicators. Not only do leaders see the big picture, they are able to communicate it clearly. They get their point across and get others to buy in, because they share the Why of the vision. How are you communicating the vision of your organization? Understand that communication is also non-verbal so it’s not just what you say, it’s what you do, how you live, how you show up in your demeanor, in the work you produce. Your words have to mirror your actions, or your communication will be hollow and you’ll lose credibility.

In my book, “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” I say that the assistant is the executive’s “brand ambassador.”  To be a brand ambassador, you must communicate clearly, effectively and diplomatically. You must always be on-message. There can’t be any doubt that you know exactly what you are talking about. You are also a brand ambassador for yourself. Develop a credible air of authority in your aura. Leaders represent themselves as confident and capable. They inspire confidence in others. This is how you build your influence. EA trainer Adam Fidler encourages assistants to develop “executive presence.” This is precisely what that is – credibility, capability, confidence.

Leaders are Experts at Execution. Leaders know how to get tangible results. General Omar Bradley, who led the American forces on D-Day, said repeatedly “Amateurs talk about strategy. Professionals talk about logistics.” Remember this when you hear EA trainers constantly pushing the “Strategic Business Partner” narrative. There must be an effective plan for implementing strategy, otherwise strategy is dead in the water. When CEOs are fired for performance issues, it’s not because their strategy is flawed but because of poor execution of that strategy. Expert assistants understand what needs to be done, and they know how to get it done. Disciplined, focused and methodical, they follow through in executing objectives.

Leaders are Motivators. Leaders are able to motivate the team to get behind an idea. They inspire people to believe in themselves and their abilities. At one of my jobs, my boss would urge me to “light a fire” under our executives and teams, because I demonstrated a can-do spirit and a sense of certainty we could achieve our goals. He felt I was an exemplary ambassador for the vision he had for his company. Many executive assistants have access to high places. Pay attention to how executives at that level function so you can develop your stature and credibility. Make your enthusiasm for your job and your company a tangible aspiration for your colleagues to emulate.

Leaders are Passionate. Leaders are all-in with their mission. They know what they want to achieve and move confidently in that direction with high energy and determination. To be a superior EA, bring passion to your job. Love what you are doing and immerse yourself wholeheartedly in it.

Leaders are Focused. Leaders are seldom deterred or distracted from their goal, and if they are, they know how to quickly get back on track. Tony Robbins says “where focus goes, energy flows”. Keep your focus on your priorities and goals.

Leaders are Creative Thinkers and Problem Solvers. Leaders are solution-oriented and find ways to come up with the answers. They remain curious and interested. Leaders are not afraid to ask questions. They know how to troubleshoot and implement solutions by keeping the goal in mind. Leaders approach everything with a possibility mindset. Similarly, creative assistants always find ways to get better and do better.

Leaders take Responsibility. Response-ability: the ability to respond. To do that you must be alert. Assistants often complain they don’t have authority. It could be because they haven’t yet developed the ability to respond to what is necessary. Leaders step up and take charge when the need arises. They don’t hesitate to make themselves responsible for getting the job done and they accept the consequences of their decisions. This is one area where EAs need practice if they want to be considered a leader. Assistants like the idea of being a leader, but many don’t want to carry the burden of responsibility. Develop your response-ability. It shows you have courage, belief and trust in yourself. It will set you apart from others in a hurry.

Leaders are Courageous. Leaders know who they are. They have strength of character that can see them through daunting situations. They stand up for their beliefs and defend those who are in need of their protection. Leaders make difficult decisions and don’t back down from doing what’s right even if it’s unpopular. They are able to withstand the onslaught of unprovoked attacks on their credibility and reputation, and are fearless in the face of adversity. Courageous leaders are powerful influencers because their teams see they don’t hesitate to do what’s right. I’ve seen this first-hand in recent interactions with executive assistants. Courageous leaders stand up for what’s right in the face of mob rule and bullying. They hold themselves and others accountable. They don’t hesitate to call people out for their bad or cowardly behavior. Courageous leaders deal with conflict head-on because they know it builds their courage and problem-solving ability. They speak up even when it would be easier to just go along.

Leaders are Emotionally Intelligent. EI is about how you manage yourself and your relationships. Many EAs have excellent empathy skills, naturally sensing how others are feeling. They excel in the EA profession because they are adaptable. They can juggle numerous demands and adjust well to constant changes in priorities. Daniel Goleman says the ability to empathize and take an interest in others’ concerns is what helps us to get along with a diverse group of people. EAs certainly demonstrate this with the varied groups of executives and teams they support. Particularly strong in inter-personal skills, EAs should be careful not to get caught up in empathizing too much, always trying to please everyone, or trying to be liked. You can’t be in giving mode indefinitely without it taking a physical and emotional toll on you.   

Leaders are Intolerant of Mediocrity. Leaders don’t hesitate to challenge the status quo. As an EA, one of my biggest contributions to the companies I worked for was challenging status quo thinking. I didn’t hesitate to recommend or make changes that were necessary, and I always provided a rational explanation for why those changes needed to be made. Average ways of thinking and doing things that don’t propel you to next-level performance are a waste of time. Keep striving for excellence at all levels. Even incremental changes will help to set you apart from all the other assistants who perform the same tasks you do, but who can’t match the creativity and ingenuity you bring to those tasks to make you a game-changer. 

With leaders there is no one-size-fits-all. Leaders are diverse and multi-dimensional. They bring numerous talents to the table and are a constant source of inspiration to the world. No, you don’t need a title to be a leader and if you are confident about yourself and your ability, you won’t sweat over a title. To influence and lead you need self-belief, integrity, a sense of purpose, courage to take the lead, communicate effectively, accept responsibility and get things done. All these hallmarks of effective leaders take practice. Keep company with peers who are strong, capable and fearless. Develop stamina to keep moving forward. Executive assistants who develop these skills will expand their leadership capability and influence. Here’s to the leader within you!


©The CEO’s Secret Weapon. The ideas expressed in this article and any text extracted from “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” are the intellectual property and copyrighted to Jan Jones. All rights reserved. No unauthorized usage or duplication by any means is permitted without the express consent of the author.

Author: Jan Jones

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series!

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness.” The book 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 Tony Robbins, the world’s #1 business and life strategist. Jan continues to champion the executive assistant profession with her writing, consulting and speaking. She offers timeless, practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant. 

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ 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:

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.

10 Most Popular Private Jets

There are over 3 million trips flown in the US on private aircraft each year. These 10 models are flown most often.

  1. Citation Excel, XLS, XLS+
  2. Phenom 300
  3. Hawker 1000900XP, 900, 850, 800XP
  4. Citation V, Ultra, Encore
  5. Challenger 300, Challenger 350
  6. Citation Sovereign
  7. Gulfstream IV, IVSP, G450
  8. Challenger 604, Challenger 605
  9. Hawker 400XP
  10. Citation Jet 3, Citation Jet 4

When you use FlyPrivate you have access to these and many other great aircraft. Allow our experience to work for you.

For more information check out our brochure or contact us with any questions. You can also request a flight quote on our website or by giving us a call!

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us.

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: Why is Emotional Intelligence Relevant for Executive Assistants?

In this article, Author Jan Jones discusses why Emotional Intelligence is relevant to the executive assistant role.

FlyPrivate is 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! 

FlyPrivate: Why is Emotional Intelligence relevant for executive assistants?

Jan Jones: Emotional Intelligence is about our inter-personal and intra-personal skills. It is typically abbreviated as “EI” or “EQ” (Emotional Quotient). It’s a hot topic, but it’s not a new idea. The term Emotional Intelligence was coined in 1985 by Wayne Payne in a paper he wrote about developing emotional intelligence. Two psychology professors, John Mayer and Peter Salovey wrote a paper in 1990 using the term. In 1995 Daniel Goleman wrote the book “Emotional Intelligence” and an article for Harvard Business Review called “What Makes A Leader”. The article contributed to the topic becoming important for business leaders and business people in general.

EI is relevant for assistants because they perform the tricky balancing act of facing outward towards the client and inward towards their executives and teams, so assistants need to develop all-around expertise in managing a multitude of inter-personal relationships.

So, it is highly relevant, but not in a soppy, touchy-feely way, which is how some assistants perceive EI, in order to vindicate their emotional responses to situations. EI is about bringing a level of emotional maturity that must be developed in order to handle the wide-ranging functions an assistant performs in the course of their day, dealing with an array of personalities, who sometimes are the opposite of each other.

During the lockdown, several EAs have been at the forefront of making sure their executives are demonstrating emotional intelligence. We have heard incessantly how leaders are having their emotional intelligence tested, and what they need to do to convey psychological safety, empathy and understanding to their teams, while remaining optimistic and encouraging collaboration. Since demonstrating emotional intelligence is important for executives, it has to also be important for their executive assistants who serve as their spokespersons.

Interestingly, a just-released report from Korn Ferry is good news for executive assistants. It’s also something I reported in my popular article for Chief Executive Magazine about how executive assistants were stepping forward to make an impact during those early days of Covid lockdown. From Korn Ferry: “There’s been a distinct and permanent mindset shift among leaders that tech skills aren’t everything,” says Esther Colwell. “They saw how people with agility, empathy, and emotional intelligence were the ones who really helped them through, and plan to invest in those kinds of people more.”

With this in mind, I revisited my earlier interview with UK business trainer Heather Dallas, to discuss the work she is doing teaching businesses about emotional intelligence, and more specifically, her work teaching assistants about emotional intelligence.

Jan Jones: Heather, during the Covid lockdown, demonstrating emotional intelligence seems to be a higher priority. Apart from the fact that their executives are serious about understanding and developing emotional intelligence, why is EI relevant for executive assistants?

Heather Dallas: I’ve seen growing interest in this topic over the past few years and during the pandemic, clients are wanting to learn about it even more. I teach a course on emotional intelligence for executive assistants, and have seen a considerable increase in interest recently. Assistants understand that as they serve their executives and the organization at large, they need to develop the vital skills that make up the components of emotional intelligence. Because executive assistants are the public “face” of their executives, it is even more important for them to embody the traits of emotional intelligence.

JJ: I heard Daniel Goleman speak at a conference. He said that
basically emotional intelligence is how we handle ourselves, manage ourselves, lead ourselves, and how we handle our relationships.

HD: Yes, and here are a couple of theoretical definitions I use to explain emotional intelligence:

– The ability to understand how emotions affect behavior, and do something with that information.

–  Developing awareness of your emotions and behaviors through self-reflection and noting feedback from others.

JJ: I like the idea that in addition to understanding how emotions
affect behavior, that there is guidance on what to do with that
information because we need to put the ideas into practice every day.

HD: Exactly. In summary, it’s inter-personal skills, meaning how you relate to others, your rapport skills, which are the central pillars in communication. Your relationship management, your intra-personal skills, meaning how self-aware you are, how authentic you are. What buttons are you pressing in others that you are not aware of?

JJ: How self-aware you are leads you to understand the effect your words and actions have on others. This is especially important for executive assistants who often have to relay messages from their executives to team members and employees across the organization. If the executive is tone deaf, the assistant must make certain that they finesse the message in order to make it easier for others to digest. In my early days as an assistant, I thought I was supposed to mirror the tone of my executive. This sometimes caused problems until a colleague helped me to understand that I could convey the message just as easily and effectively, if I took the edge off. It was an early lesson in EI about building business social skills.

Heather, what are some elements that can help executive assistants develop and expand their EI, in order to increase their effectiveness in the EA role?

HD: Some other building blocks that make up emotional intelligence are:

Self-Awareness: Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, needs, what drives you. Being authentic, aware of the buttons you are pressing in others. Do you perceive yourself as others perceive you?

Motivation: Level of energy, passion, personal drive and enthusiasm for work, and commitment to goals. Being optimistic and positive. The desire for achievement and challenge.

Empathy: The ability to recognize, be sensitive to and consider
others’ feelings, needs and perspectives. Being able to understand, help and work with others and take an active interest in their concerns.

Decisiveness: Willingness to make decisions. The need for control and the level of comfort you have with decision-making responsibility.

Influence: The drive to influence, inspire and persuade others. To be heard and have an impact.

Adaptability: The desire for, and enjoyment of, variety in the workplace, the capacity to keep an open mind and be flexible with different and creative approaches. Being willing to make adjustments as necessary.

Conscientiousness: The need to plan and have structure, be diligent and meet deadlines, the level of comfort with conforming and following the rules.

Stress Resilience: The capability to relax and deal with the day-to-day pressures of work, the level of comfort with showing and managing emotions. For example, controlling or hiding your temper when provoked.

JJ: It has to start with self-awareness. The statistic is that the average person experiences emotions 90% of the time. Even though we are emotional beings, we don’t typically make much effort to become aware of our emotions and there are times when we actually indulge our emotions, like we see with bullying and hate speech on social media, for example.

HD: We have to become aware of our emotions in the moment they are happening and understand the effects those emotions are having on ourselves and others. When you are experiencing emotions such as anger or frustration, just slow down for a moment.

We have to learn to consciously control our emotions so we can respond appropriately. And there are times when there is no need for a response. Awareness is enough. Self-regulation shows discipline. It is a sign of maturity. There are some EI habits we are already good at and others will require practice.

JJ: I was surprised when I first heard of Motivation as being part of EI. I’ve always thought of motivation as an internal drive, something that is propelled by my personal passions and desires, pushing me to high achievement. I thought of EI as being external, influencing my inter-personal actions, how I related and acted with others.

HD: You are spot-on about motivation, Jan, but remember, EI is not only about the social side (our behavior with/towards others), it’s also about our behavior with ourselves. Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation and Motivation are the Self side of EI and Empathy and Social Skills are the Social side, the inter-personal, people skills side of EI.

Note: I’ve deliberately highlighted this response from Heather, because it is key to assistants staying engaged and motivated. To elaborate on your comments about motivation, Jan, it is important for assistants to have a regular personal check-in to examine what they need to do to keep motivated. Reminding yourself of your purpose is one way to rekindle your passion. What are you passionate about at work? Is it appreciation, more involvement, power, authority, intellectual stimulation, the culture and working environment, promotion prospects? Whatever it is that keeps you motivated and excited, find ways to do more of it. One daily exercise my clients find useful for motivation is to list “3 Good Things that Happened to Me Today.”

JJ: I hope assistants will take note of this, Heather, because there are assistants who wait for their executive to motivate them. They expect their executive to provide exciting projects for them to work on, or find ways to keep them happy and challenged. When assistants tell me they need more challenge in the job, my response often is that they should look for ways to challenge themselves. What can I do to keep interested and motivated? What’s not getting done that I can do? What initiative or project can I take on that doesn’t rely on my boss for direction or approval? What task will help excite me to stretch my ability and thinking, so when it’s done, I can truly appreciate myself and the effort I made?

Can you share an example of how you have worked with EAs on EI?

HD: Sure. A good example is the work I’ve been doing with an executive assistant who, even before the pandemic, was remotely managing other EAs in her company’s European offices. When we started working together, Elizabeth’s Empathy was an 8 (out of 10). She needed to bring that down as she was spending too much time on not offending her team and giving them feedback in a sensitive way. This linked in with her Stress Resilience that was only 2. Through awareness and coaching, Elizabeth is now a 7 on Stress Resilience, a 5 on Empathy and a 7 on Decisiveness.

JJ: What I like about the work you are doing is how EAs can learn to increase their EI, not only in developing their talent for management and leadership within their role, but also to make them more effective in growing that ability to take on additional opportunities.

HD: In my 30 years of experience working with EAs all over the world, I’ve seen a lot of under-utilized EA potential. My work with emotional intelligence can give assistants a framework to develop their skills, their awareness and fine-tune their communication ability.

JJ: Thank you Heather for sharing these specific tools for executive assistants to develop and refine their emotional intelligence skills. Now that we know the principles of emotional intelligence, we can start responding to life in emotionally intelligent ways.


Heather Dallas: A former executive assistant, Heather Dallas’ last EA role was at Deloitte UK. In 1990 she was asked to move into a new training role to introduce inter-personal skills training for the 1500 support staff at Deloitte UK, as well as many of the Deloitte offices globally. Heather left Deloitte in 2000 to set-up her own training and coaching business. After 19 years, Heather is proud to say she is still running programs for Deloitte.

Heather offers a range of programs for executive assistants in the UK and internationally.  Jan Jones Worldwide has proudly presented Heather’s training skills for events in numerous international training locations, including The Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.  Heather has been passionate about developing the role of the executive assistant for nearly 30 years and has an outstanding record with satisfied clients. To book Heather Dallas for your event, contact www.theceossecretweapon.com. www.dallasdevelopment.com


©The CEO’s Secret Weapon. The ideas expressed in this article and any text extracted from “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” are the intellectual property and copyrighted to Jan Jones. All rights reserved. No unauthorized usage or duplication by any means is permitted without the express consent of the author.

Author: Jan Jones

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series!

Jan Jones is the author of “The CEO’s Secret Weapon How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness.” The book 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 Tony Robbins, the world’s #1 business and life strategist. Jan continues to champion the executive assistant profession with her writing, consulting and speaking. She offers timeless, practical advice that is relevant to the day-to-day role of the executive assistant. 

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ 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:

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: Executive Assistant Compensation

In this article, Author Jan Jones shares ideas for determining your compensation as it relates to the Executive Assistant position.

FlyPrivate is 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! 

FlyPrivate: When interviewing for an EA position, how do you determine how much you would be worth in the position and what salary is warranted based on the responsibilities of the job?

Jan Jones: A good place to start is by benchmarking against your current or recent position. How similar is it to the position you are pursuing in terms of location, commute, job responsibilities, industry, for example?

If possible, ask other assistants who are in a similar role if they would be willing to share some numbers with you. Sometimes people are reluctant to share their salary so you could share your current salary, or the new job salary, and ask if they would be satisfied with it for the job they are doing.

One assistant who thought she was not well compensated was surprised to find out, after checking with EAs she met at a networking event, that she was being paid almost $5,000 more than they were for an equivalent position. Another assistant told me she was “disgusted” that she’s been paid several thousand less than a good friend of hers whose compensation also included generous benefits from her company. She’s known this woman for a long time and has changed jobs twice during their friendship, while her friend has stayed in the same job. This is why it’s important to stay updated and informed, even if you are not looking for a job. Ask questions, read and research. Know the current market and how you measure up. It will help you to know where you are on the skills spectrum and whether you are on track to be viable in the role, long term.

In addition to asking others directly, there are numerous resources online where you can do research. Even if some salary ranges tend to be broad they can be a good reference starting point. It’s important to get a good feel for the salary range of your job so you can accurately ask for what you are worth.

Glassdoor and Payscale are two companies most people are familiar with. For the UK, Adam Fidler, the UK’s leading trainer for executive assistants recommends the PA and EA Salary Guide, released each year by Hays. Adam provides the commentary for the Guide and recommends all UK EAs download this guide before negotiating their salary. 

Keep in mind that salaries vary based on many factors. Locations like San Francisco and New York pay higher salaries because the cost of living in those areas is astronomical compared with small cities and towns. I remember meeting an EA in Silicon Valley who told me her salary is not sufficient to cover her living expenses so she uses her credit cards to make ends meet. This is probably not the case in cities where the cost of living is more affordable. So assistants, please don’t look at areas such as Silicon Valley, Seattle or Boston, where some companies pay premium salaries, and think that an assistant in a small town should be making that kind of money. I’m not saying you are not worth that amount of money, but local economic realities most likely will preclude it.

Leni Miller, President of EA Search in San Francisco says there is a nationwide shortage of support professionals who can support the most senior executives. The more specialized job knowledge needed, the higher the salary. The longer an assistant supports their executive, the more valuable they are because of their specialized body of knowledge.

It’s the law of supply and demand so the more people there are available to do the job, who have the right skills, education and experience, the lower the salary on offer will be.

Other considerations include “Combat pay” if the job is 24/7, or the boss is difficult and demanding. Does the job have “meaning” such as a non-profit? People take less pay for a job they consider to be more meaningful, if they can afford to do so, says Leni.

The EA role varies considerably from position to position. There is no one size fits all. You should factor in your years of experience and your expertise in the role. (Longevity by itself is no indicator of how good the assistant is in the role). If you are a top-level EA with 10+ years of experience, if the position requires a self-starter who will be working long hours, if you are required to manage projects, perform executive-level duties and make executive-level decisions, you will command a higher salary than a mid-range or entry-level assistant who does tasks as assigned and isn’t required to make complex decisions, or routinely work overtime.  

If you have established a track record of working for senior executives where you have demonstrated exceptional skills  and you can accomplish executive-level tasks without supervision, your salary expectations would be higher and warranted.  

Do you have supervisory or managerial experience that would be a bonus for the job? Do you have any degrees or diplomas that add to the value you bring to the job? Take all these items into consideration as you are preparing to evaluate your salary requirements.

How about when to bring up salary when applying for a job? I asked HR recruiter and industry veteran Carla Block this question. While this should not be the first question you ask, Carla says that it’s better for both the recruiter and applicant to be upfront about salary. You can share a range or a threshold you will not drop below, for example. I’ve had phone interviews where the recruiter opened the conversation by saying they were impressed by my resume and immediately asked “what kind of salary are you looking for?” What Carla suggested is exactly what I had done. I provided a salary range. My experience is if they ask that question right at the outset, they likely think they can’t afford you.

Be flexible in your negotiations and consider what benefits are being offered which might offset lower salary compensation. If you are being asked to accept a lower salary than you would like and you feel the position is worth it, I recommend asking for a review in 90 or 120 days, after which you would expect them to meet your salary requirements. That amount of time would be sufficient to demonstrate your value and worth to them. Within that time you, too, will know if that’s the place for you.

You should take an in-depth look at the job description. Often it is written by someone who hasn’t done the job. They can’t anticipate what else goes along with that bullet point description. You may need to expand on it for them and explain why a higher level of compensation is warranted. At the right time in a job interview or performance review I have done this, and it has been an eye opener for the recruiter and the executive. They are surprised by what it takes to do the job, and the level of detail I used to educate them.

Be prepared to make a case for yourself and the value you bring. The best way to do that is to use the resources available to you and prepare for the conversation ahead of time. Remember, these suggestions are useful beyond going for a job interview. You can also use them for your performance and salary reviews, or when you are asking for a bonus. The more informed and prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be in your negotiations. The more confident you are, the more professional you will come across. It will be an indication of how you’ll perform in your job and could just clinch the deal in your favor.


©The CEO’s Secret Weapon. The ideas expressed in this article and any text extracted from “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” are the intellectual property and copyrighted to Jan Jones. All rights reserved. No unauthorized usage or duplication by any means is permitted without the express consent of the author.

Author: Jan Jones

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series!

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.

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ 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:

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.

Super Bowl LV is Still On!

Photo credits: www.kmbc.com

We understand that things are far from normal, however there is still a Super Bowl this year.  If you are one of the few that has access to the stadium or are looking to have a Super Bowl weekend getaway somewhere else, we have you covered

Photo credits: ESPN

If you’re planning to attend Super Bowl LV, where the two best teams in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers, will compete for the coveted championship, please keep these tips in mind when booking your private jet charter:

  • Book early. Availability of private jets flying on the day of the
    biggest sporting event of the year is limited and jets will book rapidly.
  • Do your homework up front. Many first-time fliers will be waiting on tickets and accommodations. Knowing costs and availability ahead of time will save you the hassle later and allow you to book swiftly when you are ready.
  • Avoid game-day travel. If you can avoid flying in and out of the Tampa Bay area airports on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2021, traveling will be a lot less challenging. The host airport is generally closed to private jets on Super Bowl Sunday due to lack of ramp space. Additional aircraft restrictions are often in effect even after the game. Alternate airports also fill up quickly and a reservation system for private jets flying in and out of nearby
    airports may be in effect. Keep in mind that your final destination could be hours away from the stadium, but we will try our best to help you to plan accordingly.
  • Plan on the weather. This goes without saying in February, but weather can cause unexpected delays. Due to winter weather across the country, deicing may be required and further delays may be experienced due to the demand for deicing services. The crew and FBO will be working diligently to make sure your flights fly as close to schedule as possible. Be aware the de-icing fees will be an added expense. Avoiding game-day travel will help ensure that you don’t miss a minute of Super Bowl action.

If you’re planning to see the league’s top teams battle it out, consider FlyPrivate to get you there and back without unique and flexible “pay as you fly” business model. There are no deposits required to join. Find the best aircraft values through our valued partnerships, all with the top-notch service you deserve.

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on:

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.

FlyPrivate Focus: Naples

In the last year, there have been several shifts in behavior and
accelerated lifestyle trends due to the pandemic. In an effort to
provide you with useful resources, we have set out to present you with a brief overview of these happenings from experts in the field. We hope you enjoy each presentation and find them valuable. In the next month, we will look at the accelerated trend of investment in a Florida residence. 
 

The Sunshine State has always been a winter escape. Warmer weather, quality healthcare, outstanding boating, fishing, golf, tennis, world class culture, dining, social and charitable communities have added new dimensions to many residents’ lives. Recently there has been an emerging trend to make Florida a full-time residence even if it means relocating business interests from other states. The pandemic has created an environment where many professional functions can be performed remotely. This one shift has accelerated the timetable for considering Florida for full-time residence.  Florida also offers other benefits that UHNW (Ultra High Net Worth)
individuals can benefit from that make acquiring a home in Florida even more attractive, such as no state income or inheritance tax. Most areas in Florida are a 3 hour or less flight from the Northeast, Midwest, and Mid Atlantic, making travel to and from other
residences very convenient. 
 

Let us look at popular areas in Florida to see what they have to offer. In this installment, we will look at Naples, Florida through the eyes of Ben Maltese of Gulf Coast International Properties. Ben has been involved in the Naples market for the past 25 years after relocating from Michigan. 


FlyPrivate:  Naples is very popular choice for a Florida home, but why is it so popular?

Ben Maltese: It really has to be the vibe. Naples is a welcoming
community where you always feel like you are on vacation. It is home to world-class culture, dining, beaches, waterways, sunsets, boating, tennis, and golfer’s paradise. It is mix of sophistication and relaxation not found in many places on the planet.

FlyPrivate: Does Naples seem to attract people from specific areas more than others?

Ben Maltese: The Midwest has always been the major feeder
market for Naples, specifically Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio,
Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri. Recently, the Northeast has become as big. States like New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maryland.

FlyPrivate: Can you tell us what the most popular areas of Naples are for UHNW homeowners and what they have to offer?

Ben Maltese: Naples’s unique location along the Gulf of Mexico
provides breathtaking residential options. The neighborhoods of Port Royal, Aqualane Shores and Old Naples offer Classic Estate, Mediterranean, Old Florida and Contemporary Architecture with water access and proximity to the vibrance of 5th Avenue. Naples also boasts some of the finest luxury golf communities in the world.  The combination of unmatched design and construction combined with a five star golf and club experience is spectacular. Mediterra and Pelican Bay top the list of neighborhoods that are always in high demand.  

FlyPrivate: Is there a luxury golf community listing you are excited about that our readers might enjoy?

Ben Maltese: Yes, 17010 Verona Lane in The Club at Mediterra. A Modern Zen masterpiece built in 2017, this property has just under 6000 ft.² of living area, 4 bedrooms, 5 full and 1 1/2 baths and it sits on a private .83-acre homesite. It is in the Mediterra golf community offering 36 holes of golf, amazing club facilities and a beach club. The Frank Lloyd Wright inspired architecture blends the indoor with the outdoor. From the sturdy bronze gates, entry courtyard to the
meditation deck and expansive outdoor covered living space looking out to a large fire pit, oversized pool & spa (60’ length). The main
living area which includes an amazing chef’s kitchen, eating area and great room are surrounded with floor to ceiling glass, further joining the indoors with the outdoors. The central theme is privacy, peace, and tranquility. The exterior landscaping was designed in a manner to minimize the time landscapers are around your home.

FlyPrivate: Ben, thanks for giving us a brief glimpse into Florida
lifestyle possibilities in Naples. If you would like to speak to Ben about real estate in Naples you can reach him at:

Ben Maltese, PLLC 
(239) 273-8700
direct


5th Avenue Downtown District
691 5th Avenue South
Old Naples, Florida 34102

Ben@BenMaltese.com

We’d love to hear from you! Please follow us on:

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: How Assistants Lead by Collaborating

In this article, Author Jan Jones discusses leading by collaborating as it relates to the Executive Assistant position.

FlyPrivate is 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! 

FlyPrivate: How does collaboration between assistants help to meet company-wide goals and objectives?

Jan Jones: This is where assistants can play a natural leadership role, because communication and cooperation are essential attributes of an effective executive assistant. Assistants collaborating with each other to facilitate communication and information flow creates a powerful alliance that any company would welcome. 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 that everyone must stay aligned and committed to the best interests of the company.

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. Without breaching confidentiality, talk about how your division is functioning. What strategies are you
implementing? What challenges are you experiencing? What projects are getting bogged down? Which team members need
encouragement? Who are the star performers on the team; can they mentor someone who is struggling, or 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 connect on a personal level. Being part of an
organization means you have common goals. Collaborating to achieve those goals is smart business. 

At the height of the Covid disruption last year, I wrote a widely read article for Chief Executive magazine sharing how some assistants have taken their role of connector and conduit to new levels of
importance. This is a natural outcome of the role the EA plays as a gateway and facilitator in making their executive more accessible to those with a legitimate need to connect.

EAs often have access to more insider information than other
stakeholders within the organization. The WFH environment is
perfect for EAs to share appropriate information with other
assistants who can channel it to their departments, and keep their team members up-to-date with relevant goings on. This one small act can help assistants who aren’t usually included in the action, to become a resource to their department or manager. It gives them visibility within their team and could help them to be brought into new projects, or areas of responsibility from which they were
previously overlooked. From my position as assistant to the CEO, I loved sharing relevant information with EAs across the organization, to make them a beneficial resource to their executives. They would be all smiles when I saw them in the corridor because of the kudos it gave them with their boss.

Assistants are known for 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 channel to top management, they can help far-flung departments and locations feel less isolated. This has been particularly valued and welcomed during the 2020 work-from-home mandate, where entire organizations have been distanced from each other. Executive
Assistant Dorothy Connell told me her CEO “Encourages me to be an added bridge of communication to our executive assistant and administrative assistant community so we stay connected as a team.”

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, share
information that is needed to get the job done, or make life easier for others. If you know a way to make a situation better, then do so.

Jesse Egeonu, EA to the executive vice-chair at Globacom in Nigeria shared with me that even though assistants are reluctant to share issues across departments due to confidentiality concerns, recently he was able to assist one of his colleagues who is working remotely. The assistant had a hard deadline and was struggling with a
document her boss had sent her. Her boss had saved it as a Mac Pages file and the assistant was operating an Android device. Luckily Jesse was on hand to help her convert the document to Word, proofread, fix the layout and get it onto company letterhead, before sending it back to her boss for signature in time to make the
deadline. This led to them having discussions about how they could collaborate on projects that need to be managed in the WFH
environment. The trust that was built will help them work together remotely and when they return to the office environment.

An assistant I know told me about starting a job at a technology
giant. The culture of the organization encouraged people to be fiercely competitive, 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, so you were on your own. 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 felt  the effects of this assistant’s outreach.
Believe me because I’ve done it. It takes supernatural amounts of passion and energy and not everyone is up for it, but if you are, don’t hesitate. The personal and professional rewards are immense, and you’ll grow in stature and ability.

In an article discussing strategies for being a successful assistant, EA trainer Adam Fidler wrote, 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. They’ll talk about you in the boardroom as someone who gets things done. This is how,
step-by-step, you land that sought-after seat at the table.

One thing that may affect assistants performing this function of
facilitator is the number of assistants who say they don’t read their executive’s emails, and who meet with their executives (virtually or actually), 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 too widely focused on interacting with the
organization at large, 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 champion. 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 collaborator.


©The CEO’s Secret Weapon. The ideas expressed in this article and any text extracted from “The CEO’s Secret Weapon” are the
intellectual property and copyrighted to Jan Jones. All rights
reserved. No unauthorized usage or duplication by any means is permitted without the express consent of the author.

Author: Jan Jones

Want more from Jan Jones? Check out her Q & A Series!

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.

Jan Jones Worldwide

Visit Amazon to purchase Jan Jones’ 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:

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.