Phil Castle, The Business Times
Sue Hansen has observed over the course of her career as a corporate trainer and motivational speaker the tendency of some people to underestimate their abilities, not to mention the extent of their influence.
That’s why Hansen frequently encourages those with which she works and talks to “be the one” — the one one who taps personal strength, takes control over destiny and ultimately makes a difference.
“Those folks have a lot more than they think they have,” she said.
It’s an important concept for business owners and managers who expect the best from their office staffs. And it’s important for the administrative professionals who play integral roles in those operations, Hansen said.
Hansen will talk with administrators and administrative professionals during a Grand Junction event organized by the Book Cliff Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
The event, set for Administrative Professionals Day on April 24, is part of an ongoing mission, said Pam Eastridge, president of the group. “The IAAP Book Cliff Chapter hopes to attract professionals that want to make valuable connections, learn new leadership skills and hard skills that translate into professional development. Our chapter provides the internship environment to become better leaders and better administrative professionals.”
Hansen will direct her keynote luncheon address to business owners and managers, while working primarily with administrative professionals during an afternoon workshop.
Hansen lives in Montrose, but works with clients across Colorado and the United States. Her consulting contracts and speaking engagements put her in contact with leaders in a variety of industry sectors. The challenges businesses face usually fall within three categories, Hansen said: people, profit and processes. Of those three, people are usually the most important, she added.
Leaders make or break a business in they ways they manage operations and staff, Hansen said.
Business owners and managers must look at employees with new eyes that recognize potential, she said. “People can rise to all sorts of unbelievable heights. If you expect the best, you get it.”
It’s a matter, she said, of communication, encouragement and trust.
Administrative professionals in particular play increasingly important roles in business operations, Hansen said. “They’re frequently the go-to people.”
Still, administrative professionals also can use some encouragement to be the one. And they can use some help in developing the strategies, habits and positive thinking that can help them to achieve success and gain more credibility in the process, Hansen said.
Eastridge agreed. “Be the one is our theme for the year. Administrative assistants make the magic happen for their bosses and managers. We are the ones behind the scenes working to make the impossible happen and make the company run smoothly.”
In the wake of a recession and slow economic recovery, administrative professionals have had to do more with less, Eastridge said. “Keeping up with changing technology, increased workload due to downsizing and doing more with fewer resources have been the biggest changes I have seen over the years.”
In addition to Hansen’s presentations, the IAAP and Book Cliff Chapter offer help to administrative professionals in a variety of ways, Eastridge said. “The IAAP Book Cliff Chapter’s mission statement is to unite individuals in the administrative profession by encouraging personal and professional growth through education, mentoring and leadership.”
The IAAP, which introduced annual administrative professionals observances in 1952, has become one of the largest associations of its kind with more than 600 chapters and a total of 40,000 member and affiliates worldwide.
“Membership to our chapter includes professional certification opportunities, online resources, Office Pro Magazine, discounts on training, education and conferences, leadership development, personal support from other admins and monthly educational programs,” Eastridge said.