Judging by the picture you see here you can probably tell, I’m excited. Or weird.
Really, I’m excited! I was privileged to work on this very special project with Joan Burge and Office Dynamics – which I also happen to be a part of. In September 2011 we held our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence. The conference was different than any other we had ever held before (in the company’s 20 year history). The conference was larger than any other event we had put on before either!
When we started planning the event we knew it was big but I don’t think we grasp just how big this will be (still).
The 240 attendees at our event participated in a team building exercise that afternoon and I don’t think they knew exactly what it was they were creating just yet. Each of the tables (24 tables of 10 people each) listed on a large poster paper with Crayola markers and star stickers their BEST ideas on how they add value to their work-life everyday! What is it that they do in particular that makes them one of the greatest assistants their executive has ever worked with? We bottled that. We put each tip as it was written into this book. We all knew we were creating a book but we also sort of thought it was going to be a tiny little book with some tips and that was it. We didn’t think we would add much, we didn’t see the need. Then something interesting happened – after breaking out all the ideas, Joan Burge (creator extraordinaire and CEO of Office Dynamics) thought she might add more subject matter to each chapter she was seeing develop. She also realized this was bigger than she could chew for all that she needed to accomplish in the next few months.
We knew our deadline was tight on the book. Writing started late October 2011 and the book needed to be in our hands by April for Administrative Professionals Day. Joan enlisted her talented writer, Nancy Fraze! She started interviewing me (her Chief Executive Assistant) for her chapters. She realized I had some ideas to contribute and she decided to assign me some chapters of my own to work on. Wow! This was all happening so fast but she seemed to know what she was doing. (One of the people she works closely with calls her the conductor of an orchestra and we are creating a symphony – oh how true this was!)
As the team wrapped up our assignments and pulled the why, how, what it looks like, tips, etc. together for each of our chapters and Nancy polished and filled throughout the entire book we sent everything off for editing and then layout.
In the meantime our graphic designer worked on the cover art. She didn’t have to start from scratch either. Another unique feature to this project was that the assistants at the conference used their creative exercise to put together their own cover art and book title submissions! All 24 were submitted for judging and the top 3 emerged. The top 3 were taken to the audience for a poll. They were projected on the large screen at the conference for attendees to ooh and ahh over as they decided what title/look would interest them most as they key consumer who would be picking up this particular book. A clear winner was chosen and it was announced that Table #19 with the title: Who Took My Pen … Again? Secrets from Dynamic Executive Assistants was the new book’s title! A roar erupted from the crowd and the winners quickly jumped up to claim their immediate prize – an Amazon Kindle for each of the team members! They will also receive the first copies of the eBook when it is released (which will be a real treat). All of the conference attendees received their own complimentary copy of Who Took My Pen … Again? as well for their part in making the book happen.
But wait, there’s more. The book was developed at our conference in the month of September. We had also made a special announcement at the event that 50% (FIVE-OH) of the proceeds from this book will be donated to the treatment and research of children’s cancer. How about that for making an impact for a lifetime? So exciting!
In it’s first two weeks on Amazon.com, Who Took My Pen … Again? climbed to the number one spot on the Best Seller List for Secretarial Aids and Training as well as several other business skills categories and has been listed as a “Hot New Release.”
Even you aren’t an assistant, I am sure you or someone you know closely would benefit from the material in this book.
Watch this video. See for yourself. I’m not making this stuff up!
Thank you for reading.
All my love,
The Wild, Wonderful, Working Jasmine