‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants’ Isaac Newton

The end of every year brings the promise of the new one. Before that happens though, my mind is always pulled to think about the year that was. As I travelled to more places than I ever have in my life, I learned so very much from the leaders and assistants I met. They are my compass, my mentors and my guides as their whispers keep me clear about why I do what I do.

Our teachers are everywhere. Here are quotes from people who have inspired and changed me. Some are famous and some are not, but to me, they are all wise giants. Read what they have to say.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela

“Let me do one thing well and not two things badly.” Olympia Dukakis

“Women must talk to and support one another to succeed. Talking can transform minds, which can transform behaviors, which can transform institutions. The more women who attain positions of power will become the new normal and we will all stop being so surprised by it.” Sheryl Sandberg

“Assistants are starving for training.” Wendy Blagg

“The difference between excellence and mediocrity is the acceptance of uncertainty. Immerse yourself in the wisdom and expertise around you.” Lucy Brazier

“Our lives begin to end when we stay silent about things that matter.” Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

“What if there is no Saturday? What will people say at my funeral?” Jeff Hoffman

“Whatever you think you deserve, you will get.” Melba Duncan

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

“When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.” Creighton Abrams via Gail Hoofnagle

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” Michael J Fox

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Marianne Williamson

“This is an explosive time for the administrative profession. Every day we witness Assistants in positions of leadership pushing the boundaries, investing in their future and standing tall while not always knowing what the future holds.” Victoria Louise Rabin

“You gotta name it to change it.” Anne-Marie Slaughter

“Be the one to walk towards a problem. Figure out ways to scratch their itch and ease their pain and you will never be unemployed.” Nancy Fox

“The most important quality that I look for in a person is integrity.” Warren Buffett

“Employers can stop workplace bullying if they want to, but only 5.5% are doing anything about it. Suffering in silence is not the answer.” Gary Namie

“Be present and in the moment. Don’t be in the room and not be in the room.” Anikka Fragodt

“The average user of MS Office uses only 13% of the software’s capabilities. I want to make it 25% and give assistants at least one extra hour of time in their week.” Vickie Sokol Evans

“The time is always right to do what is right.” Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

“Leave the world better than the way you found it.” Ruth Low

“The Assistants who succeed are the ones committed to life-long learning.” Leni Miller

“The most important career decision a woman makes is the choice of a partner.” Sheryl Sandberg

“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” John Lennon

“Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs

“Make every day your masterpiece.” John Wooden

Stay open to your teachers. They are everywhere. You are one of them. I wish every reader of Executive Secretary magazine an outstanding and inspiring 2014.

Bonnie Low-Kramen is the founder of Ultimate Assistant Training and is one of the most respected thought leaders on workplace issues. She is a TEDx speaker, bestselling author of Be the Ultimate Assistant and Staff Matters, and her work has been featured ... (Read More)

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