Admin Wizards Bend Things to Their Will

Admin Wizards Bend Things to Their Will
July 15, 2018 No Comments Best Practices,Featured Susan Spreitzer

Picture yourself as the organizer of a Board offsite event. Your executive asks you to schedule a few ad hoc meetings prior to the start of the meeting. “No problem,” you say. “I got this.” You’ve already signed a contract with the hotel and made all the arrangements so adding a meeting at the hotel restaurant is easy.

You reach out to the proposed attendees, check their availability, and communicate the topic of discussion. The stars align and all the attendees are available to meet over lunch prior to the meeting. The restaurant onsite is the perfect location, and it’s quiet during the lunch hour. Plus, everyone can order off the menu so no extra catering required. Reservations are made. Everything is ready.

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There’s only one small problem. You learn minutes before the meeting that the restaurant is closed during the lunch hour. Due to a downturn in the economy, and since there wasn’t a large crowd during lunch time, the decision was made to make the change. Yikes! No one told you about this change and the last time you were there (just a few months earlier), the restaurant was open. It never entered your mind (or your checklist) that you would need to reconfirm that the restaurant would be open during the lunch hour.

This exact scenario happened to me. With the close of the restaurant during the lunch hour, I suddenly was hit with a problem to solve immediately! As the attendees would soon arrive for what they thought was a lunch meeting, I had to pull out my magic wand and conjure up a solution with only minutes to spare.

To learn what steps I took to change a crisis situation into a successful solution, check out this story in my new book, The Wizard behind the CEO: Enchanted stories from the assistant with the magic WAND. This story is about two people who take action using collaboration, creativity, confidence, and humor.

From that experience, I learned a few lessons or what I refer to as WAND (What Assistants Need Daily). Here are some of the following strategies and tips:

  • Like wizards, when you get in situations outside of your realm of experience, remain open-minded, take a chance, and learn new skills.
  • If you’re planning an offsite meeting, double-check all details, even if you think nothing has changed.
  • If you have a “can-do” attitude, small glitches in a plan can be resolved with minimal stress and a lot of ingenuity.
  • When you work with a team committed to a good outcome, it’s more fun than doing everything yourself.
  • If you need to make special arrangements, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • If you explain the situation, exceptions can be made.
  • Instead of putting blame on others, work together to find an amicable solution.

Add your comments about the lessons you learned from this story or a similar situation you encountered in your career.

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