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Debbie Gross

Author | Speaker | Trainer | Former Chief EA to the CEO of Cisco

Author | Speaker | Trainer | Former Chief EA to the CEO of Cisco

Debbie Gross knows that administrative excellence is about more that juggling schedules and managing tasks. An intuitive leader, she offers a fresh approach to teaching administrative professionals how to upgrade their soft skills and build confidence. Whether on stage or in the classroom, she has an innate ability to transform staff into leaders, drawing out their inner “Office Rockstar.”

As the former Chief Executive Assistant to John Chambers, the past CEO of Cisco – a global corporation based in Silicon Valley – Debbie supported the company’s growth from a multimillion-dollar business to a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Known as John’s “right hand,” she increased his productivity by 40 percent. Now she is using her thirty years of experience to help the next generation of administrative professionals’ transition from overwhelmed task managers to strategic business partners. She has spoken globally and conducted interactive workshops and motivational talks at companies such as Cisco, Veritas, Facebook, FedEx, Comcast, and Intel.

Debbie inspires and incites greatness. Her distinctive teaching style blends creativity, fun, and new thought processes to help administrative professionals gain a greater satisfaction, recognition, and promotions.

  • Thinking Like a Business Partner

    If we want to truly transform from being considered just a support person to one of a strategic administrative business partner to the executive we support, we must start thinking from the other side of the desk.

    In this session I will impart several key strategies I successfully implemented in my own role to become the Chief Executive Assistant and the right-hand for my CEO.

    Learning Outcomes

    • How to understand the bigger picture of the executive’s world and their business and incorporate that into the ‘partnership’ role
    • The techniques and strategies to “optimize” the executive’s time and productivity
    • Helping the executive make effective decisions through the strategy of research and analysis
  • Creating Successful Business Partnerships

    Would you like to have a better relationship and greater trust with your leader?  Do you feel sometimes your relationship is rocky or wavering a bit?  Are you striving to be a business partner vs. just an administrative support person? Building a great relationship with the person we support is not always an easy one.

    This workshop will focuses on the strategies that :

    • Give you greater confidence in doing your job – you understand their priorities
    • No longer keep you second guessing yourself – you know the right decisions to make
    • Create clearer communication – avoiding costly mistakes
    • Lower your stress – and having more fun!


    3 Hours

  • The Wow Factor – Communicating for Successful Outcomes

    Do you have a hard time saying “No”?   Is it challenging to tell someone that you have an issue with their behavior or actions?  Do you wish you could be more successful getting what you need or want from others?

    Discover the key simple strategies of communication that can increase your confidence and overall effectiveness in communicating with others and ultimately:

    • Lose the anxiety! Have the confidence to say what you need to say
    • Confidence to say “no” without feeling guilty
    • Turn challenging relationships into lasting friendships


    3 Hours

  • Rev Up Your Brand: Executive Presence!

    Could your professional “Brand” be holding you back from your career goals? Maybe your “Brand” just needs a bit of polish?  Do you know what your Executive Presence says about you?  Your “Brand’ and Executive Presence is a combination of many things that speaks volumes about you to others.  In today’s ever-changing business world it is our “Brand” that will either bring us opportunities and job satisfaction or will keep us from reaching our goals and dreams.

    This workshop will have you creating a  “Brand” and Executive Presence that will:

    • Give you the recognition that leads to potential higher financial rewards
    • Have you highly respected by management resulting in greater job security
    • Make you the “Star” they want to hire leading you to the job and the career you truly want


    3 Hours

  • The Resume That Gets Results

    Are you in the job market looking for a new opportunity? Do you get frustrated when you have sent out your resume to a number of companies and you don’t seem to be getting any calls for interviews? In today’s business world where employers now want more from the administrative professional candidates they interview competition is fierce!

    This workshop will show you how your resume can stand out above all the rest of the crowd by:

    • Having just the right components in the resume that peaks interest
    • Shining a light on accomplishments that potential employers value and hire for
    • Knowing what impresses the recruiter that makes them want to call YOU above others


    3 Hours

  • Building A Great Team – The Recipe For Organizational Success

    Do you ever feel as though you are the only one playing on “the team”? Do you often wish that your team mates would play “nice” in the sandbox and collaborate instead of isolate?

    This workshop looks at the essence of what true teamwork is all about and how great teamwork leads to organizational results and ultimate success.  As in a recipe in a recipe book, we will explore all the various ingredients that make up a high performing team and how to get there.

    • Create better interactions that make it fun to work as a team
    • Discover the power of “team” that delivers results that are recognized and rewarded
    • Develop strong relationships that last a lifetime


    3 Hours

  • Communicating With Confidence

    Do you often wish you could express yourself more freely when talking to your leader? Do you cringe at having to have a difficult conversation?

    In this workshop will drill down on the 3 major components of visual, verbal and written communications and then show proven tools and methods that when combined and applied in the right way:

    • Build on your confidence making even difficult conversations easy to have
    • Gets you amazing results allowing you to achieve your goals
    • Develop the relationships you want and need that will support you long term


    3 Hours

  • Time Management

    Are you constantly feeling overloaded and overwhelmed with your workload? Do you ever feel like you are never going to get it all done? Is your work/life balance out of balance?

    In this workshop we will identify the challenges that get in the way of our abilities to manage our own time effectively and then we will focus in on some of the key strategies you can use to overcome some of those challenges:

    • Learn how to get your time back and have more control of your workload
    • Put yourself back in command giving you a better balance both in your professional and personal life.
    • Eliminate the stress of being overwhelmed and start enjoying your role


    3 Hours

  • Managing The Executive’s Calendar – The Great Challenge!

    Do you ever find yourself saying “there’s no way I can squeeze one more meeting into my executive’s calendar today!”  Does your level of frustration and anxiety go up when you receive multiple requests a day for your executive’s time?

    This workshop will look at the calendaring aspect of the administrative roles and the “continually” temporary, sometimes ambiguous pieces that make up scheduling and focus on strategies that remove the stress and uncertainties and assist you in:

    • Removing ambiguities of calendar requests– knowing you made the right call
    • Creating processes that streamline scheduling – putting you in control of your executive’s schedule
    • Feeling less like a daily task doer and more one of a true business partner


     3 Hours

  • The Art of Influence – When You Have No Authority

    Is there something you know you need or want in your job but are unable to figure out how to get it?  Do you ask yourself,  “how can I influence this person to give me what I need when I have no authority over them”?  As administrative professionals we have to influence others on a daily basis in order to be successful however it is often not an easy task when the people you need to influence are not receptive, willing to budge, or are higher up in the organization.

    This workshop will drill down on those strategies that can open the infinite possibilities of getting what you want:

    • Discover what you possess that others value and desire – applying those to get what you need and want
    • Learn who and what you want to influence -creating successful approaches to convince
    • Know who can help you influence – using the power of additional support


    3 Hours

  • Interviewing to Impress

    So, you have been on multiple interviews, you felt it went well only to be told that there was someone more qualified for the role or the company has decided to hire internally.  Looking for a job and being rejected can become disheartening and if we are not careful, we can lose confidence in ourselves.

    This workshop focuses on the various components and strategies of interviewing:

    • Know the tough questions the interviewer is going to ask – be relaxed AND prepared
    • Learn the questions you as a candidate should be asking – impress them
    • Distinguish yourself from all other candidates so they will want to hire YOU


    3 Hours

  • Administrative Excellence – Become Recognized & Indispensable

    Do you sometimes feel unappreciated for the job you do?  Do you worry that changes made in the company such as re-organizations could effect you and your role?

    This workshop focuses on a combination of strategies that take you from being just a task doer to becoming a strategic thinker:

    • Building on your business partnerships –becoming indispensable
    • Using strategies that give you control – giving you greater job satisfaction
    • Develop communication strategies that will give you the recognition and ultimately potential career advancement


    3 Hours

  • Presentations

    Become Recognized and Indispensable – Be a Game Changer

    Have you often wondered if you might be effected by the next organizational change?

    Do you wish your executive would give you more recognition for what you do?

    This presentation will have you thinking differently and playing at an entirely new level in order to secure career and financial success


    No Limits- Seeing Beyond Our Administrative Roles

    What do Administrative Professionals do that limit them from seeing their dreams come true?

    This presentation explores how just a shift in our thought processes can bring about amazing changes in ourselves, bringing new opportunities and greater career satisfaction,


    The Power of The Administrative Professional

    Administrative Professionals bring a certain power to their role each and every day to create success for their leaders and the organizations they support.

    This presentation pays tribute to those amazing powers that we sometimes just take for granted but should never be taken for granted by ourselves or the individuals we support!


    The Evolution Of The Administrative Profession…What’s Next?

    The administrative profession is continually changing from our work environments, the technologies we use and even the way we communicate in today’s ever changing business world!   How can we keep up with it and remain resilient in times of change?

    This presentation explores some of those changes that have occurred, and what will possibly transpire in the future and what strategies we will need to incorporate to keep up with those changes.

  • Martha Ekblad

    Dear Debbie, I want to tell you again, your workshop “Be Recognized and Indispensable – Be A Game Changer” truly made a difference for me.  You were articulate, very clear and gave an inspiring “call” to “up my game” and I am now thinking in new ways of functioning and managing myself. 

  • Helen Benson – Executive Assistant

    …thank you for the excellent and useful information on strategies for mastering your executive’s calendar.  I have been an Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of our organization for 10 years have found myself overwhelmed and defeated when I look back at the end of the day consumed by the calendar.  Thanks to your workshop I am encouraged to take measurable and realistic steps to gaining a better sense of control over my day and my executive’s calendar! 

  • Sharon

    Thank you for developing the workshop Building Great Business Relationships!  I loved the exercises you designed. So many of your topics were different from the “usual” for business relationship-building courses.  The insights you shared on presence, quieting the mind, turning conversations to neutral or positive and the DFAA formula were all fresh and fascinating topics.  Perfectly suited to the Administrative Professional’s unique set of challenges.

  • Iris Kabert – Executive Assistant

    Just wanted to get in touch and thank you. You were truly wonderful and your ability to present important information and “life in the day of an Administrative Professional” type lessons in such an engaging manner were amazing!  What you had to say inspired and impacted each and every one of us in some very important and meaningful ways and I was fortunate to have been there to hear you speak!

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