Category Archives: For Your Information

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.

What to Know About De-icing & Hangar Fees

Photo courtesy of Aspen Times

De-icing your aircraft when needed is critical for passenger safety. In the simplest terms, de-icing an aircraft means removing the ice and snow from a jet before takeoff.  Adverse weather conditions can
affect travel plans this time of year. Although an inconvenient charge, it can be a necessary part of cold weather travel, especially in and out of ski country.

Like fuel stops, no one likes de-icing or hangar charges.  However, they are a vital part of safe aviation during the winter months, and we try every measure possible to avoid them.

It is crucial to remove all of the ice and snow build up on the jet’s wings and rear tail, as well as the nose where the radar equipment is kept. The jet’s wings and tail shape are precisely engineered in order to produce the proper lift for flight. If there is a change in this shape due to snow and ice, it can cause critical issues with the aircraft’s performance, especially at take-off.

Deicing_Hawker
Photo courtesy of www.allaero.com

Putting your jet in a hangar can make your life easier during winter weather and temperatures. When possible operators try to arrange to put the aircraft in a hangar prior to the flight. The few hundred dollars for a hangar is much better than the possibility of several thousand for a  de-icing bill.

Here’s a closer look at the de-icing process.
The De-icing Process
  • To remove the ice and snow, de-icing fluid will be sprayed onto the jet. The fluid will have de-icing and/or anti-icing properties.
  • In some scenarios, private jet passengers will be on board during this process to allow immediate takeoff after de-icing and to
    eliminate further flight delays.

Aircraft De-icing Fluids (ADF)/Aircraft Anti-icing Fluids (AAF)
    • There are a variety of types of ADFs/AAFs. They are typically made of ethylene glycol (EG) or propylene glycol (PG),
      thickening agents, corrosion inhibitors and UV-sensitive dye, among other ingredients. PG fluids tend to be used more often because they are less toxic than the EG fluids.
    • The Society of Automotive Engineers publishes the definitions of the four types of aviation de-icing fluids.
      1. Type I fluids have low viscosity, are sprayed on at high
        pressure and at hot temperatures. They offer short term protection because they do not stick to surfaces for long
        after use, and are generally orange in color for both
        identification and distribution purposes.
      2. Type II fluids contain a thickening agent to prevent it from immediately rolling off the jet after application. The Type II de-icing fluids are usually a light yellow color and generally stay put until the jet reaches a cruising speed of about 100+ knots. At higher speeds the fluid viscosity breaks down. For this reason, this type of fluid is only appropriate for larger jets.
      3. Type III fluids fall somewhere between Type I and Type II de-icing fluids. They are intended to be used on slower jets and are also a light yellow color.
      4. Type IV fluids are quickly becoming the most popular. They meet the same standards as Type II fluids, but they last
        considerably longer. Type IV fluids are usually dyed green for thorough application.
    • Type II, III and IV de-icing fluids containing
      thickening agents are commonly known as anti-icing fluids
      because they are made and utilized to prevent further icing
      after an initial Type I de-icing fluid has been applied.
De-icing Costs

De-icing fluid is an added expense and is charged after the
customers’ trip because it is not possible to predict in advance if
de-icing conditions will apply
. When possible, storing the
aircraft in a hangar can help to minimize de-icing charges. We encourage you to be on time for departures especially in cold weather. Leaving an
aircraft unnecessarily on the ramp could lead to additional de-icing. We advise you to communicate any possible departure changes as soon as you are aware of them.

De-icing fluid costs are calculated on a cost per gallon basis at each airport, and often there is only one supplier that a private jet is able to use.  Costs will be determined on a trip by trip basis.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can answer any additional questions or assist you in planning your next trip.

We look forward to working with you in the new year!

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.

Aircraft Cabin Oxygen

Have you ever wondered how fresh oxygen in an aircraft is
processed and circulated for breathing? If this thought hadn’t crossed your mind in the past, you may be thinking about it now due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 virus. Even at the highest altitudes, cabin oxygen is suitable for breathing without the use of a respiratory device and without any additional effort, but how? 

Where does it come from?

In simple terms, aircraft (of all sizes) get fresh oxygen from the air outside the plane’s fuselage. The endless supply of oxygen allows aircraft to utilize this resource to provide the pilots and passengers with safe air to breathe and a comfortable experience in the cockpit and cabin. This oxygen source is plentiful and available at all elevations.

Photo credits: Bombardier

How is it processed?

At high altitudes, outside air does not contain enough oxygen and therefore needs to be processed before being circulated around the cabin. Aircraft are designed to process air to make it safe to breathe. Air enters through the plane’s jet engines where it passes through several machines to be further processed. The air is heated to high temperatures where it is compressed, turning it into breathable air. Once this process is complete, the air can enter the cabin. 

Some of the air that is taken in through the jet engines is used for combustion to power those engines using a combination of fuel and air. The rest is processed for use in the cabin. Once the air is heated by the engine, killing the germs, viruses and bacteria, it is cooled down to cabin temperature before being circulated within.

The air will then exit the cabin through outflow valves at the aft of the aircraft and no recirculation is necessary. One full cycle can take less than two minutes to complete due to the smaller cabin size in a private jet. The air is constantly refreshed with air from outside, so there isn’t the need for a larger filtration system used on commercial airliners. It is necessary for outside air to go through this process, so pilots and passengers have fresh air to breathe during the duration of the flight.

At FlyPrivate, your safety and comfort are our priority. We are
always available to answer any questions you may have about
private jet charter. Please contact us with any safety questions or concerns.

Please take a minute to 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.

Last Minute Holiday Trip?

Challenger 300
Photo courtesy of Bombardier

Last minute trip for the holidays? Let FlyPrivate help you get to and from your destination with ease.

Traveling during the busiest months of the year can be a bit stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! We are here to make sure your trip is
hassle-free so you can enjoy more time with your family and friends and less time worrying about the details.

When booking your next trip, here are a few reminders:

  1. The most popular holiday travel dates are expected to be:

– December: 17th – 31st

– January: 1st – 6th

  1. The number of private aircraft available to accommodate these trips is limited and once the aircraft is booked, the options for trips also becomes limited and the prices jump as a reflection of the increased demand and limited supply.
  2. Due to the increased demand for private flights, aircraft, FBOs, pilots, flight crews, caterers, and ground transportation are all
    affected and planning ahead becomes critical.
  3. The majority of people chartering private jets are flying in the same direction during the holiday season. Generally, we see an
    increase in traffic heading north to south, but some of the most
    popular destinations are Florida, Colorado and New York.
  4. Weather can also play a major role in how many flights are
    available during this time of year.

What does this mean for you? If you need to book your
holiday travel for you and your family, we highly recommend that you book your flights now to ensure the best options, pricing and jets are still available for your trip.

Please take a minute to 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: Consequences of Poor Attention to Detail by Executive Assistants

In this article, Author Jan Jones discusses attention to detail 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: Our recent interview on Multitasking produced many
conversations about how the digital world is creating distractions. Not only is productivity decreasing, people are having trouble paying
attention, so the percentage of mistakes is growing. You say in your book that assistants should be “scrupulous about details.” What are the consequences of poor attention to detail by executive assistants?

Jan Jones: “Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.
Autograph your work with excellence.” – Ted Key, Cartoonist

Attention to detail is a cornerstone of the executive assistant role. It’s what differentiates superior executive assistants from those who are content with average performance and not too particular about the quality of their end product.

I like the saying “Quality is non-negotiable.” Poor quality will destroy your credibility. If you are a freelance virtual assistant, it will destroy your business. Your work is your signature. It says this is the very best I can do. That being the case, we must make delivering a quality product a priority.

Steve Jobs insisted that the Mac should be as beautiful inside as it was on the outside, even though the inside was rarely seen. His wife said “Steve and Jony (Ive) would talk for hours about corners.”
Corners of the iPhone, how they should look, feel and function. If you are familiar with Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, which uses Apple as the example, this is the “How” Apple does what it does, (“Our products are beautifully designed.”) This fanatical attention to detail is why people line up overnight waiting for the release of a new Apple product. People will pay a premium for products that radiate attention to detail. Owning such a product says something about you and how you wish to be perceived. That’s why people willingly pay for designer labels that exude quality.

I remember a client taking me to lunch at a restaurant with a stellar reputation. When I declined dessert, she insisted I try one of the
signature desserts. After one bite I said to her “now I know why this dessert costs $30.” The attention to detail in the presentation, the precision of execution, the mastery of blending and balancing flavors that leaves your mouth dancing, it was stunning from start to finish. It didn’t just round out the meal, it eclipsed the main meal and turned the lunch into a transcendent experience.

In your role as executive assistant, what’s your version of these
examples? How is your end product demonstrating your attention to detail so that your executive and team members are ecstatic you are on their team, and that they get to work with you every day?  If
assistants truly value their reputation, if they wish to establish their credibility and be taken seriously, then they must make sure to
consistently put out a quality product that exceeds expectations, or at the very least is free of errors and done right the first time. If you have a reputation for being meticulous and paying attention to
detail, small transgressions will be forgiven. If not, it will be one more example of you not being invested in excellence, or caring about how you are perceived. Such a reputation is hard to live down.

No two ways about it, exceptional executive assistants are
scrupulous about the details. They know that sloppy output, typos, poor grammar, avoidable mistakes, don’t only reflect poorly on the
executives they support, it’s a negative reflection on them
personally, and no professional executive assistant wants that
reputation. Forget all that talk about your brand and the image you are trying to project of being a leader and strategic thinker, if you don’t produce work that is thorough and complete. Check your work. Your finished product is your autograph, your reputation, and credibility.

Careless work has real consequences. Close to 80% of recruiters say that typos or bad grammar on a resume are immediate deal
breakers, because they show a lack of attention to detail.

My first boss was an absolute stickler for the details. As an
inexperienced but ambitious secretary, I was itching to jump into big-picture activities, without even knowing what it meant, or what it took to operate at that level. How could I pay attention to the
details when I didn’t even know what those details were? My
inexperience would have caused me to drop the ball, and create problems for my company. Thankfully, with an eagle eye executive looking out for me and smartly capitalizing on my drive to excel, I grew to understand that the big picture is made up of smaller pieces, little details that meticulously build upon each other to create the big picture, just like the big picture comes into view as you build a jigsaw puzzle. As I learned and matured, I understood why I needed to get it right and get it right the first time. Obviously, if you’ve never done something before, it’s possible you won’t get it right the first time. But once you’ve learned how to do the job, pay attention to how you execute because you will be expected to turn in quality work.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the statement “Never time to get it right, but always time to do it over.” There is a cost to business in time and money when we don’t pay attention to the details, when things are missed or wrong, and the work has to be re-done. Do you know that lack of attention to details impacts employee morale? It frustrates your colleagues. These are the people upline and
downline who are relying on the job you do – you are that vital
component that allows them to complete their project on time and on budget. If you make mistakes it decreases productivity, wastes their time, and could result in delays that cause your company to
upset their customers, or even lose them. Worst case, there could be legal or compliance ramifications from inaccurate work.

In one fell swoop, your credibility is lost if your work is sloppy, or brands you as functionally illiterate. An assistant colleague asked my opinion on a survey soliciting input from EAs. The survey questions had some unsubstantiated assumptions and the EA didn’t want a
repeat of that infamous Wall Street Journal article from earlier this year. I sent a private message to the woman with the survey, asking a few questions and entreating her to be careful how she positioned the role of the EA because the last thing we need is another
magazine circulating misconceptions about the role. Here’s the
response I got from her:

“If any of the EA’s that you reference to are at the level to support my research then they would of all ready knew me and what work I have been doing while in Silicon Valley supporting my CEO to now being a business owner.” 

Can you imagine the shock people might get when they receive
correspondence from her? I’m always driving home to EAs that you are your executive’s face and voice to the world. What image is this woman projecting on behalf of her executive? She assisted a top
executive in Silicon Valley, where, we hear, they are demanding EAs have degrees. Yet, there exists a top executive there whose assistant seems barely literate in her native language. Not exactly modeling Steve Jobs’ passion for “how” we do things.

One group of assistants proudly displayed a newspaper
article that said they were a team of rock star assistants. The
problem is the article had a glaring typo in the big headline, which none of those EAs addressed, so instead of being celebrated, they were being ridiculed. Even if one of them had offered some
explanation (most likely the newspaper was at fault), things could have been different for them. Assistants, you have to get out ahead of things and head them off, or quickly set them straight with an
explanation. Leaving things to languish and hoping they go away is not a good strategy in protecting your reputation for being
scrupulous about the details.

Another area where assistants must pay more attention to detail is on social media. It’s a low-key environment, but that doesn’t mean you lower your standards. Recently, there have been postings where people meant to say “a part of”, as in they are happy to be a part of a group. They wrote it as “apart”, which means separate from. One memo we received said the caterer’s signature tamales are
“Handmaid daily.” These are examples of easily avoided carelessness. Pay attention and don’t let hasty work tarnish your reputation for reliability.

Proofreading, especially lengthy pieces, is not easy. That’s why it calls for your special attention. Read your work, then set it aside. Come back to it with fresh eyes. If possible, run it by someone else to get another set of eyes on it. If my bosses prepared their own
documents, they always gave them to me to read before sending out. If they were lengthy or complicated, I printed them out to proofread. Studies show, and for me personally, I know that reading on paper is more effective in detecting errors that get missed onscreen, not to mention being easier on tired eyes. Another tip is to read your work out aloud to yourself. Sometimes what we intend to say, and what we actually write, are not the same. Reading aloud lets you discover the errors more easily.

Do you know that a key factor of CEO success is their attention to detail? Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom says “CEOs are unbelievably detail-oriented. That’s one of the big ingredients of their success.” This is an executive success habit that assistants must absolutely mirror. Bloom says that when he teaches students, they get “over excited about the big-picture, sexy stuff of long-term
strategy and skip over the small details which turn out to be
critically important in business.” This is something I learned at the start of my assistant career, and can’t emphasize enough, especially to younger assistants today. If you can’t perform well in the small things, you won’t do well with the bigger critical tasks, and no
serious executive is going to take that risk. Would you if you were in their shoes? You have to practice excellence and demonstrate it
daily before you’ll be given entrée to inner circles, or invited to take that seat at the table you may feel entitled to. As UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said, “Little things make big things happen.”

If you’d like to brush up on making big things happen through your attention to detail, here are some suggestions:

  • To produce error-free work start by focusing on what you are
    doing. Slow down and give yourself time to think. When you rush, the finer points get missed.
  • Prioritize your workload so you don’t forget about a
    time-sensitive project and then rush to complete it.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum, especially if you are doing work that requires high levels of concentration.
  • Make sure you are clear about expectations. How much time do you have to complete the job? What are the deadlines? Is the
    entire project due at one time, or are there milestones you need to meet?
  • Analyze and understand what’s in front of you. Ask if you don’t understand so you don’t waste time re-doing things.
  • Plan your work. What’s the end result you need to produce and how will you go about it? It’s helpful to understand how your task fits into the broader picture with your team, or company. When you view it from that perspective, you get a better understanding, the details become clearer and you can make sure not to miss them.
  • Certain jobs that you do on a regular basis might benefit from a checklist that you can use to make sure no details are overlooked. For smaller or easier jobs, I would sketch out in my mind what needed to be done. But for bigger projects, I created a detailed checklist and crossed off each item or segment as it was completed.
  • A big project with many elements can be intimidating, so break the job down into manageable segments that will make it easier for you to review and catch any omissions or errors.
  • Remember, get the right things done and get them done right the first time. Check and re-check your work. If possible, get a second set of eyes on a project that is more involved.
  • Have confidence in yourself and your ability to get the job done.
  • Be passionate and proud of what you do. The way you present yourself matters. In the words of the poet, Kahlil Gibran, “Work is love made visible.”

©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.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Jan Jones

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

Jan Jones Worldwide

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

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

Jan Jones


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

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

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

Holiday Travel Tips – Busiest Days to Fly

When planning your holiday travel for the months of November,
December and January, there are a few crucial dates to keep in mind.

The most popular holiday travel dates (indicated on the calendar above) are expected to be:

– November: 19th – 30th & December 1st

– December: 17th – 31st

– January: 1st – 6th

  • Due to the increased demand for private flights, the system can be strained. Aircraft, FBOs, pilots, flight crews, caterers, and ground transportation all are affected and planning ahead
    becomes essential. Because of the increased demand for private jets around the holidays, prices can jump. Booking earlier ensures you get the jet you want at the best price.
  • Weather can also play a critical role in how many flights are
    available during this time of year.
  • The majority of people chartering private jets are flying in the same direction during the holiday season. Generally, we see an
    increase in traffic heading north to south, but some the most
    popular destinations are Florida, Colorado, the Caribbean and New York.

So what does this mean for you? If you are planning to travel in the next few months, we highly recommend that you book your flights promptly to ensure the best options, pricing and aircraft are
available for your trip.

Don’t forget to follow us on our social media channels for the latest FlyPrivate news and information.

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.

Understanding Jet Classes and What Each Offers

If you are looking for the right jet aircraft for your next trip, whether for business or pleasure, it is important to understand what class of jet will best suit your needs. Jet industry professionals group jet
aircraft into 6 classes consisting of: Heavy Jets, Super Midsize Jets, Midsize Jets, Light Jets, Very Light Jets, and Turboprops. Let’s
discuss the benefits of each class of jet to help you make the most
informed decision.

Heavy Jets

Heavy jets are appropriate when your party numbers fourteen (14) or fewer. Heavy Jets have the most luxurious onboard
accommodations, always including a galley and enclosed lavatory. These jets are generally the most comfortable for long-range trips and can include internet access, audio and video players, satellite phones and a range of other amenities. Additionally, the crew will usually include a cabin attendant.

Super Midsize Jets

Super Midsize jets are appropriate when you seek more range than a standard midsize but may not have the need for a heavy jet. Super Midsize jets will typically avoid a fuel stop on flights less than 2,500. Often Super Midsize jets are the fastest and most fuel efficient of the jet classes. These jets also include a wide variety of amenities similar to that of the heavy jets.

Hawker 800XP

Midsize Jets

Midsize jets are appropriate for parties of seven (7) or fewer and will typically avoid a fuel stop on flights less than 2,500 miles. The
Midsize jets are the most versatile in that they offer better fuel economy than the larger jet classes, but still offer many of the same amenities. Midsize jets are equipped with an enclosed lavatory.

Light Jets

Light jets are appropriate for parties of five (5) or fewer and will
typically avoid a fuel stop on flights less than 1,500 miles. Light jets are economical, have a quiet engine, and are a great option for short to mid-range flights. Because of their smaller size, light jets can land at smaller FBOs and airports to help get you closer to your
destination and often fly at higher altitudes. Luggage capacity is
limited.

Very Light Jets

Very Light Jets (VLJs) are small light aircraft that typically hold a small group of 4 or 5 passengers comfortably. The very light jets are a fairly new category of aircraft, and thus are equipped with the very latest in jet engine technology which delivers the speed, quality, and fuel efficiency that allow for a more cost effective means of private jet travel.

  • Average Range: 1,000-1,500 miles
  • Average Cruising Speed: 400 mph
  • Passenger Count: 4-6 seats
  • Average Baggage Capacity: 47 cubic feet
  • FlyPrivate Round Trip Hourly Rates: $1,500-$2,000
  • FlyPrivate One Way Trip Hourly Rates: Quoted per trip
  • Examples of Popular Very Light Jets: Phenom 100,
    Citation Mustang and the Eclipse 550

Turboprops

Turboprops are a great solution for trips less than 500 miles and for trips into airports with shorter runways. Seating varies by aircraft model from 4-8 passengers. Turboprops provide better performance on shorter runways, many models have larger cabins than Light jets. Some Turboprops have enclosed lavatories while others do not have any lavatory facilities.

Ask our experts which jet class they suggest for your next trip and we will be happy to provide you with a recommendation and free flight quote.

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: What Makes Assistants Successful at Multitasking?

In this article, Author Jan Jones discusses multitasking 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: We’ve been hearing that “multitasking” is a myth and we should stop trying to do multiple things at once. But I recall you saying that being good at multitasking was vital to your success as an
executive assistant. Can you clarify? 

Jan Jones: Yes, I did say that and I fully believe that multitasking – as it pertains to the role of the executive assistant – is a fine art that many executive assistants have perfected. But I should make the
distinction about what I mean regarding “multitasking” as it pertains to the executive assistant, as opposed to executives and others.

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

So when I say that being good at multitasking was vital to my success as an EA, it comes down to that ability to switch back and forth
between tasks at a remarkably rapid pace, and then quickly
regaining laser focus. It takes discipline and practice and is not something everyone can do effectively. But for me, and some
assistants I’ve observed, it seems to be less arduous. My opinion is that because of the demands of the EA role, assistants are
constantly multitasking and as a result have mastered the ability to switch from task to task very quickly, along with the ability to regain focus. Obviously, some are better at it than others. The key is not to multitask with projects that require 100% of your concentration. That will result in you making mistakes, doing the job poorly and
taking longer to do it. It helps to batch similar tasks so that it’s easier to switch back and forth, but realistically, EAs don’t always have that option when requests are piling up, so you end up devising your own system and style of working in order to get it all handled.

I think another part to the talent of multitasking as demonstrated by assistants is revealed in an article published in Scientific American in April 2010. The article says that the brain can keep tabs on two tasks at once, even though we can’t actually do two tasks at once. I think this ability to keep tabs on two tasks at once is crucial to EAs being successful in their job. I liken it to sleeping with one eye open. You’ve always got your eye on all those balls you are juggling, to make sure nothing gets dropped. Nothing escapes your attention. This is a
desirable talent and one that is highly developed in goal-oriented executive assistants.

The world of the EA is one of constant interruptions, and if you
support more than one executive, that’s even more applicable to you. But that’s the nature of our job. We don’t have the luxury of
taking ourselves off to some quiet corner where we can focus on one thing at a time, as the experts are constantly advising executives to do. Assistants have to operate in the thick of it all day and everyday, so we must get better and better at recovering our focus as our brains rapidly switch back and forth between tasks. I don’t know of any scientific evidence to back up my assertion, but I know from
personal experience that I’m quickly able to adjust back and forth. I’m sure other assistants have this capability as well, and I’d be
interested to hear from them about it.

Multitasking can be tiring and one clue to help reduce the stress it causes is to give your brain a re-set if you’ve been doing a lot of
multitasking. Take a break, or focus on one task only. I know this sounds like wishful thinking to assistants, particularly with the
current Covid lockdown, which is forcing assistants to multitask business and homelife demands. So you must allow your brain even a brief rest. Reduced stress allows your immune system to function better. I was just reading a conversation between a medical working group that includes surgeons and neuroscientists. This comment caught my eye. “Threats fire up the immune system. ‘Threats’ are all sorts of stuff. Viruses, bacteria, a bully, a difficult boss, your thoughts and repressed emotions. Thoughts and emotions are processed in the brain the same way as a physical threat. Anxiety also fires up the immune system.” So, please take a break and calm your nervous system.

Another clue to successful multitasking is to have a priority list. It will help you to meet your objectives. Sometimes, the most
important task may require the highest amount of concentration and time for completion. Knowing this, you can quickly knock off a bunch of lesser items that don’t require a lot of time or
concentration, and then get down to uninterrupted time with your key projects. With those lesser items completed, you’ve probably satisfied some of your stakeholders, and you won’t be anxious about all those other things you have left to do, while you are trying to
focus on the complex, big-ticket items.

It’s true, science has shown you lose time when you multitask. Time is lost as your brain switches back and forth between tasks. (Studies say as much as 40% in some cases). But you can learn to make up for those precious lost seconds by quickly regaining your focus. The ability to focus and not give way to needless distractions is a skill
assistants must develop, especially during these times where smart phones and social media platforms are purposely designed to
distract us by keeping us addicted to checking them constantly.

This is not a joke. Some brave souls in the technology arena are
finally speaking up about the way devices are programmed in order to addict us. We need to be vigilant about this so our devices don’t rule our lives in a negative way, destroying our ability to focus and putting us into overwhelm and overload.

EAs may wish to view the 60 Minutes piece on “Brain Hacking” where former Google product manager, Tristan Harris (also in the Netflix film “The Social Dilemma”) discusses how Silicon Valley
exploits neuroscience to keep us addicted to technology.
Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker says Facebook is designed to exploit human vulnerability, by creating things like the “like” button, which give users “a little dopamine hit” so they continue to upload content. These revelations are an eye opener and should give pause to every assistant to examine if they are using technology, or if
technology is using them. I repeatedly say to assistants that
technology is a tool to help you get better at what you do. It can’t be a substitute for the human skills the job requires. In this case the skill is focus which technology is inadequate for, because it
constantly distracts your focus and robs you of time. However, don’t overlook that technology may provide a solution if you are able to automate some of those repetitive tasks that slow your productivity.

Multitasking, even as we understand it scientifically today, will
continue to be an essential component in the arsenal of exceptional executive assistants. It’s not feasible for assistants to stop
multitasking, so get really good at it. Develop your ability to switch back and forth rapidly between tasks and quickly regain your focus. The benefits of learning to focus go far beyond multitasking. It
dramatically increases your productivity and the quality of your work. The partnership of focus with multitasking is a paramount skill for time-pressured assistants. Once you master this combined skill, you won’t resent interruptions because your remarkable ability to focus will help you to quickly get back on target again. And this
ability is why I say, despite the science, many executive assistants have multitasking down to a fine art.


©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.