Tara Sims is Sr. Manager of Administrative Services at Comcast. She supports the newly named President of Xfinity and Central Division President, and leads a team of administrative professionals that support the Central Division Office.

Tara Sims Comcast Leader Assistant

In this fun and engaging conversation, I chat with Tara about confidence, leading an administrative team, building community through consistency, and paying attention to leaders around you.


You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.

– Maya Angelo


Tara Sims Comcast Leader Assistant


Tara Sims is Sr. Manager of Administrative Services at Comcast. She supports the newly named President of Xfinity and Central Division President, and leads a team of administrative professionals that support the Central Division Office. She has been with Comcast over 8 years and has more than thirteen years of administrative experience in the industries of banking and consumer product goods.

Prior to becoming an administrative professional, Tara spent the early years of her professional career in college recruitment, serving as Assistant Director of Admissions at selective and proprietary colleges/universities. She has held leadership roles, training and managing teams of college recruiters. Tara also has extensive experience in corporate and private event planning and coordination.

Aside from her career, Tara has a diverse array of talents and interests. She is a licensed cosmetologist and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a volunteer with various organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Hands On Atlanta.

Most recently, she became a Patient Advocate for the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research and served as moderator on several sessions during one of their 2020 Patient Advocate Summits.

Tara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Denison University. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia where she spends her free time working out, enjoying new dining experiences, and traveling.


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Tara Sims 0:00
I’m Tara Sims and today’s leadership quote comes from Maya Angelou. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.

Podcast Intro 0:22
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistants.

Podcast Outro 0:30
Thank you for listening to The Leader Assistant Podcast in here’s your host my data.

Jeremy Burrows 0:37
Hey friends, welcome to episode 114 of The Leader Assistant Podcast you can check out the show notes at leaderassistant.com/114. Before we jump into today’s interview with Tara Sims from Comcast, I wanted to invite you to join us in the leader assistant premium membership. We have over 200 members now, we’re very excited to have a great rest of the year. And really spend a ton of time diving deep into professional development, training, coaching and community so you can join us at leaderassistant.com/membership That’s leaderassistant.com/membership. Hope you can join us and enjoy this episode with Tara Sims. Hey, friends, thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast. It’s your host, Jeremy Burrows. And today I’m very excited to be speaking with Tara Sims. She is in the Administrative Services Department of Comcast. And we’re really, really excited to chat with you today. Tara, Tara, could you first start with where you’re at. And maybe just a little bit of backstory of how you got into the whole admin career.

Tara Sims 1:55
Hi, Jeremy. Thanks again for having me. I am actually in Atlanta, Georgia. And I began my career when I graduated from college initially is a college recruiter. So like the first 10 or 11 years of my career, I started as a college recruiter and then made the decision to do something that was kind of off the beaten path a little bit, I wanted to get my cosmetology license. So it was something that I always wanted to do. And in order to do that, I needed to look for an opportunity that would give me some flexibility to go to school in the evening. And working as a college recruiter, I was traveling, I would sometimes work on the weekends. And I really didn’t have the flexibility to put school in my schedule at the time. And so I thought what could I do that would allow me to be able to get off work 435 o’clock, and then go to school to pursue my cosmetology license. And I applied for a position at a bank supporting an Executive leader on the retail side of the bank. So she’s over the branches. And what I discovered, fortunately enough, school was across the street. So it kind of worked out in such a great way that I was able to find a position that would allow me schedule wise to go to school, but then also, it was right across the street. So it was really convenient. And so I started working for her as an assistant, and realized very quickly that it was something that I enjoyed and that I did very well.

Jeremy Burrows 3:41
What did you enjoy about it.

Tara Sims 3:43
So I think for me, I am naturally gifted in the areas of being able to create order in chaos. And I am someone who thinks in a linear way. So I can see a situation that may be a little bit confusing for people and put some structure to it, and then give you an output that makes sense. I also liked being able to help someone who was she was definitely someone who was more of a visionary as opposed to someone who could really manage the details. And because I’m really good with the details, I thought to myself, you know, this feels like the right place from a professional standpoint for me to be I just think I’m really good at it. I’m organized and structured. I can see a situation that may meet some adjusting and put the right adjustments to help things flow better and more efficiently. And it just sort of comes naturally to me. It felt right.

Jeremy Burrows 4:51
Yeah. Yeah, sometimes it’s, I kind of felt that same thing. It was like Oh, I’m good at these details. People around me aren’t very good at this stuff. You Yeah, and you know, just feels like, man, there’s something here like, I’m actually there’s something to say, yes, there’s challenges. And yes, you want to grow and whatever. But there’s something to say first, for a task or a role that just feels like it comes naturally to you.

Tara Sims 5:18
Well, and you know what I always felt a sense of accomplishment. Every day, I would walk away feeling like I was able to impact her day her schedule. And that felt good to me. So I think, you know, in being in that role, Never had I thought I would stay in the profession, but just in taking the role in trying to pursue something else. It just felt like the right fit for me.

Jeremy Burrows 5:49
Yeah. Do you feel like you talked about? They were they were very visionary. Do you sometimes feel like you work for the idea, people and then you’re the execution person.

Tara Sims 6:04
Over the years, I’ve had a mixture of both. Yeah, I definitely have had a supported executives that I feel like are like really true. visionaries. They are the idea generators they are, and could not even figure out how to put the pieces of the puzzle together, if you pay the millions of dollars to do so like so I’ve definitely had those people that are just all over the place. They’re generating all of these ideas. And they have you know, they’re they have strategic minds, but in order, but wouldn’t even know the first thing about how to execute and get it actually done. So definitely have had that. And then I’ve also had executives who have a nice balance, which is always nice to have ones that are obviously visionary, but also wonder. So take the time to stop and think about the details and how you get from point A to point B. And truthfully, I’ve enjoyed working for both, right? I think once you learn your executive and the person that you’re supporting, you then know how to pivot and behave and adjust in situations that might come up. So for example, I had an exec executive who would always, always wait last minute to get things done for a major meeting. And I mean, whether it be getting the presentation together, making decisions around whether we were going to get swag or collateral for these meetings and events. And so I just learned to adjust to that. You know, as we began to schedule events and meetings, I always made sure that I cleared my evening schedule, I knew that I would be at work late. For several nights before the meeting, I would tee up vendors to say, hey, there’s some things coming down the pike be prepared for this. And so yeah, I’ve enjoyed having a mixture

Jeremy Burrows 8:09
of both. Do you feel like over the years that you’ve become more of an idea person? Hmm,

Tara Sims 8:19
that’s an interesting question. I think I’m become a more of an idea person, but I don’t know that it’s necessarily focused toward the work that I do in the support of my executives. And so what I mean by that is, over the last couple of years, and probably even more intensely last year, partly because there was more time built into my life as a result of COVID. I was so so productive as a relates to generating ideas to invest in the administrative community. In my organization. We don’t have an internal network or we didn’t for the assistants that sit within the division that I sipped. And it gave me some time to really start figuring out a way to create a space to engage and collaborate exchange ideas, promote professional development for this group, in a way that hadn’t been done, either by the company or by any individual within our division. And so in that respect, I think I’ve become more of an idea person I think, I probably always have been sort of an idea person, but I think it’s, um, I’m always so focused on driving someone else’s vision or executing on someone else’s vision or completing two tasks related to someone else’s projects. And so I think just in the last year, I’ve been able to really focus on things that have originated with me, in particular with the with the administrative community within the Division I work, which has been quite fulfilling, actually.

Jeremy Burrows 10:21
Yeah, that’s awesome. So what are some, we’ll get into kind of how you lead your team of admins. But what’s some of the things that you’ve done as far as the professional development and the community as a whole.

Tara Sims 10:35
So I started, actually January of 2020. Before we all went home, I hosted the first Administrative Professional Summit. For the assistants that actually sit in the office in which I sit and built an agenda had guest speakers was able to do some things have HR group come in, and we did insights training, I don’t know if you’re familiar with insights, but it’s sort of the behavioral training. So you can learn a little bit more about, you know, the way you communicate and the different styles of communicators and how to interact with them. We had a great guest speaker who actually supports a pretty high profile executive to come in and talk to this group about her career path and her career journey, how she got into the place that she’s currently sitting. And then when COVID happened, we all went home. And in March, and around June, I decided to create a Administrative Professionals teams channel. So through Microsoft Teams created a channel partnered with someone in communications, and began to create content for that space, posting every Monday in our general channel. And then we created an ideas exchange and collaboration space that anyone could post. And I was also posting once a month there. And then in a social space in this time, including not just the folks in my office, but also including all of the assistants that sit within our division, which is about 59 or so assistants, that represent about 17 states or so, and started creating content in that space professional development, talking about training opportunities, highlighting things that were happening within our specific organization. And it really gave a space for this community that’s really not getting much attention as it relates to training and professional development, it gave us an opportunity to really get to know each other and to exchange in that space. And so as a result of doing that, this past February 2021, we did an Administrative Professional summit to include virtually, obviously, but to include all of the assistants in the division, which was an opportunity for me to be able to provide a guest speaker for this group, for them to get some professional development as an entire team. Since that time, I’ve done Meet and Greet sessions with this group to really get to know because it’s such a varied and vast group of Administrative Professionals as a relates to the work that we do. So we have some that are working in call centers, supporting director level executives, we have some that are working in tech spaces, we have some that are in Division offices and region offices. So such a very group of individuals that we’ve been doing these meet and greet sessions, which I’m currently doing those now, which have been really nice, because we’ve been able to get to know each other, identify what things are hot topics for each other in our individual workspaces. Talk about things that would be of importance and a value for them to learn as they grow as Administrative Professionals. And you know, for me, it’s just been so fulfilling, because I’m so passionate about the role that I’m in and the work that we do. And I thought one of the things I said on the last Meet and Greet last week, I said, you know, this, this type of engagement wasn’t happening. And I thought if I wasn’t going to create it as the person who is essentially the lead Administrative Professional as I support the president, if I wasn’t going to create it, I didn’t know who would so why not have it be me to create it? Yeah.

Jeremy Burrows 14:51
Awesome. So what’s one thing that you discovered about your team through throughout this whole process.

Tara Sims 15:02
I’ve discovered Well, specifically because I actually have, well, I had four originally reporting directly to me, I now have three, because we didn’t backfill one after when COVID started. So we just distributed the word. But what I’ve learned about my team, my team specifically, has been that they are incredibly resilient. And that they have been able to pivot in this new environment that we’re all working in one of the things that we did, when we first went home, as I sat down with my team, and I said to them, I said, Now, you’re not doing expense reports, you’re not booking travel, you’re not running around the office, getting visitors and shuffling interview candidates from room to room, you’re not making sure catering has arrived, you’re not ordering meals. What are you doing? Like, what, where are you adding value at this point. And so the one of the very first things that we did was sit down, and we basically did a brain dump, we sat down and talked about skills that they have, that they hadn’t been using, when we were in the office and how to take those skills, and apply them in a virtual environment, how to connect with their executives in a more intense way, how to manage their calendars in a more intentional and intense way, how to be able to get into those meetings that they otherwise would not have been in and be able to take notes, look for opportunities to contribute to the conversation, look for opportunities to assist their executives by, you know, just being in the room, you’re able to learn more, you’re able to understand a little bit more about the business and what your particular executives actually do for the business and how they move the business forward. We weren’t in those rooms prior to COVID. And so in a lot of instances, right. And so what I’ve learned about my team, and I’m incredibly proud, especially at this past week, I’ve been doing performance feedback gathering from our VPS, which I do that quarterly, to have a conversation to see how things are going. And I’m so proud of how they’ve been able to pivot, how they really become more business partners to their executives, how their executives are now seeing them a little bit differently, seeing them as real value adds to the group. And so for me, that’s been great to actually see it. And the truth of the matter is this. The role of the Administrative Professional has been evolving for some time. COVID has escalated that, and I am so grateful that the folks that I get to work with every day have been able to adapt and pivot in this new environment.

Jeremy Burrows 18:15
And it’s amazing. I love to hear just the stories of teams like yours, being flexible and adapting and innovating in the crazy, crazy change in chaos. So thanks for sharing a little bit about that. curious to hear we had talked a few weeks ago, and you’ve shared a little bit about how you lead your team, your professional admin team. And there was one thing that you mentioned about basically like a shared services or ticketing kind of example. And you just mentioned we also talked about encouraging the executives to provide feedback which you just said you just gathered that before we get into the shared ticketing services example. What do you do with or what have you found has been helpful when you’re trying to let’s say you started the community with the admins and you started these, these meet and greets. And you started getting well how do you encourage those that aren’t really engaging in that, you know, on your team or on the on the broader team? You know, people are just tired of zoom calls or they’re just tired of meet and greets, or they just they just want to clock in clock out. They don’t want too much more. How do you engage them? How do you really challenge and gently encourage and push them and into that engagement?

Tara Sims 19:56
So that’s a good question. And I have to be honest with you. Here’s The approach that I’ve taken, and people have asked me about this before, particularly one of my counterparts who is in my same role within another division, she’s she was starting something similar and wanted to know how I am able to get folks to engage. And here’s the way I have to think about it. I built a space, right, and I built a space. All of these Administrative Professionals don’t directly report to me, the space that I’m building is not something that is a requirement. As it relates to their work and their job and their role, it is not required engagement. And so my thinking in creating this space was that I’m going to put this out here. And I’m going to put it out here, because they are things that are a value, I think, to me as an administrative professional, I spent time sort of engaging externally, with Administrative Professionals and what things were happening in the administrative profession space, and hot topics and doing researching. And so I thought, I am just going to create a schedule, a content schedule, and I’m going to just start producing this content that I think is a value to this group of individuals. And I’m just going to pray that something resonates. And, and, and truthfully, interestingly enough, over time, you know, there were people who weren’t engaging. And you know, though, at first I thought, okay, is this going terribly wrong, I’m not sure what’s happening here. But what I realized is, when there was something in the in the channel that was resonated with an individual that maybe had been otherwise quiet, they would engage, they would even if it was just a thumbs up, you know, to say, Hey, I saw that I liked that this is good. And so partly, I think the way I was thinking about that was because I don’t, I didn’t want to feel like what I was creating was going to be an epic failure. But I also realized that this had never been done before. And I didn’t want people to feel like again, like they were obligated to, to engage. But I wanted to create the space and for those who wanted to, they have. And so just to give you like some a number, with our meet and greet sessions completely explained to everyone those were optional, it was going to be an opportunity for, again, for us to get to know each other to learn a little bit about each other. And of 59 of the assistants, over 35 of them are participating in Meet and Greet sessions. So, you know, I’m pleased with that number. Yeah. The other thing I’ve done is recognize that I am not the expert, or the only voice that needs to be in the room. And so, I have brought along some of our regional Senior Vice Presidents assistants. And they have agreed to take over each quarter a portion of the team channel, we’re calling it the region takeovers, and so to have other voices have a space because I’m very clear that the level of which I support their folks doing things that either I’ve never done, or I’m no longer doing in the seat that I’m that I sit in as an administrative professional. And so I wanted to make sure that other voices were going to be represented in the space. And we’re in the beginning stages of this, right. So this we just started doing this, the middle of last year. And interestingly enough, it’s organically, in my opinion, growing the right way. And I’m engaging people the right way. And it’s been slow and steady. And engagement is I think increasing and I’m very pleased with more than half of the group wanting to actually get on a, a teams meeting and talk about themselves and their experiences and what they’re doing in their individual workspaces. So that’s really how I’ve approached it. I also didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself, because nobody asked me to do this. This was this was something I decided to do because I thought it was important

Jeremy Burrows 25:00
Yeah, yeah, you know, it’s it sounds like consistency has been a big thing for you. And I found that throughout the COVID pandemic, and really in the heat of it last year, you know, we started doing weekly zoom chats, just opening up to administrative assistants and executive assistants all over the world every Wednesday, 2pm, Pacific, 4pm Central. And we just said, Hey, we’re gonna hop on for 30 minutes, and we’re going to talk about certain topics, we’re gonna split up into breakout rooms, do some icebreaker questions, but essentially, we’re going to just say, Listen, you’re not alone. And we’re all going through this together. There are other assistants in the world who feel your pain, and share can share and your successes. And we just, I mean, we’ve, I think we’ve done it for like, we might have skipped one week. But we’ve done it for like 60 weeks in a row or something like, Oh, wow. And it’s just like, sometimes I’m like, You know what, I have some time to log on and do this. Do I really want to do this today? But did I do it? And I’m glad I did. Because I see these faces that I’ve seen almost every week, and just just helps build the community up as far as we’re not alone. And we’re in this together. So yeah, props to you for taking a risk and throwing it out there. And you never know what’s gonna stick. But it sounds like some help. And

Tara Sims 26:24
the philosophy was, and I’ve said this, in the last week, I said this to two different people, I decided I was just going to throw something up against the wall and see what stuck. That was my philosophy. Last year, I had no clue what I was about to do. I had no clue I just, I just did it. I just started doing it. And then, you know, I went to my communications partner, and I was like, just roll with me, I just need your creative input, I’ll create the content, you helped with the creative because the the the team’s channel is, is quite creative. And it’s, it looks very nice, if I might say, so myself. But I needed a professional to handle the creative pieces of it. And, and it’s just grown. And I’m really proud of it. And I have shared it with others in other divisions, and they are doing things similar as a result of it. And I’m really pleased with the fact that it worked. And it’s working.

Jeremy Burrows 27:27
Yeah, that’s amazing. Well, let’s Alright, let’s jump in talk about the shared services ticketing example, you told me? So basically, you have a team of admins, and you have a lot of employees, Comcast is obviously a big company. A lot of people asked, in fact, in our membership coaching session last month, I think it was we talked about the attributes of a high performing team EA team, because a lot of people keep asking us about like, Okay, what do you what do you recommend if you’re leading a team, or if you’re part of a team, and you’re not the leader. So I really liked your example. And I’m going to, I’m going to segue slash slash Titus into AI and automation and how we are future proofing our roles. And I really liked this example. Because it felt like a way where your team could take on more for the company, and be more valuable to the company and increase the ROI of your team. But in a structured way, versus just everybody taking on too much and working too much and saying yes, everything and burning out. Right. So tell me a little bit about that. That system in a little bit what you told me the other day.

Tara Sims 28:50
Okay, so the division in which I sit has grown so much over the last few years when I started in 2012. We probably had three or 400 people in our office. And today after today, we probably will nobody’s in our office at the moment. But today, we have probably 800 or so individuals attached to the building. Each day, we probably had somewhere between six and 650 walking through the doors every day, right? And over the years as we’ve gotten larger. I’ve watched executives doing all kinds of things that were truly administrative in nature and thinking to myself now is this really the best use of their time? And so the ticketing system so I have a team of administrative professionals who provide direct administrative support to our VP level executives, right. So they manage their calendars. They’re, they’re managing their meetings, those are those meetings that they’re actually in the room for now, um, and capturing notes and, you know, for following up on deliverables from their teams, but then they also operate in this shared services capacity. Clearly, this has slowed down a bit since nobody’s in our office. But when in the office, the way the shared services model worked is, we created a ticketing system, a ticketing system that we use as a sign, I think I may have mentioned that. And if you are an individual who is below the VP level, that may have the need for an administrative hand, to support a project, maybe to enter data for you, maybe you’re having a large meeting, and you just need an additional set of hands to put things together for the meeting, organize handouts for the meeting, you just need another set of hands and helping you from an administrative standpoint, you can put in a ticket for that. And when the ticket is when someone puts in the ticket, it’s a very simple ticket, just asking a few details around what type of project it is, the urgency around the project, how quickly it needs to be done, the date of the completion for the project. So just some simple details very quick to complete. And the ticket then comes to me, I will then take a look at the ticket and decide who on the team should be the best person to respond to the ticket. And I do that based on a couple of things. So it’ll depend on capacity and workload. For for my team, sometimes it’s based on interest. For example, I have someone on my team that’s very creative. And so if it’s something that’s, you know, we need help building a newsletter, or it would be her that I would give it to. It can be you know, editing documents, if it’s something like an edit of a document, I have someone on my team that you know, has done. She used to do contracts. And so, capacity, interest, those are the things I sort of take into consideration when I decide who’s going to handle the ticket, and then it’s issued to one of my direct reports, they will then reach out to the client and get additional details. If additional details are needed in order to execute. Then they execute on that, once it’s complete, I close out the ticket. And that’s then we’re done.

Jeremy Burrows 33:12
So these assistants are doing tasks and projects from VPS that they don’t report to

Tara Sims 33:26
write, they report to me on paper directly. And they are supporting VPS. And interesting. Interestingly enough, it’s an interesting dynamic, because I then am sort of in the middle of that a little bit. And it’s gone well, because part of my responsibility when we created this, this structure was to explain to I call it like a campaign, I almost went on a campaign of executive education, where I wanted to make sure because some of these VPS had never had a dedicated administrative resource. I wanted to make sure that number one, they were clear around the work that this team would be doing. I also wanted to make it very clear to them that while I would be coaching and training and developing this team on best practices that it will be very important for them to provide direct feedback to the team. Because while I can coach on and train and develop on best practices and ways to do things I cannot speak to VP X is nuanced kind of the way he like he or she likes things done or what works for him or her or what doesn’t work for him or her. So there’s been a bit of a campaign when we started this destructor it’s been in place for a little while now, where I would just talk to these VPS, right and talk to them about, okay, you have to be able to coach in the moment, if there’s something that works for you is not working for you, or you would like, you know, one of my folks to do that they’re not doing and so it’s been an interesting, but it’s actually, it’s been fairly smooth. I think once executives are clear on what they can go and ask for and what their boundaries are, and it’s actually worked out pretty well. For the group, I think

Jeremy Burrows 35:38
that’s awesome. Well, what would be okay, if someone’s listening, and they want to lead a team like you’re leading someday, what’s one thing that they can do now to prepare themselves to lead a team of assistants,

Tara Sims 35:55
I think experience in the profession helps. I think also to having an understanding of so one of the things that I think worked for me are was really great for me is, in my time that I’ve been there, I’ve worked for many of the departments supporting other executives in those departments and having a real understanding of what the needs may have been in, in each of those departments. from an administrative standpoint, I would also say that the best way to get to one of the best ways to get to the next place in your career in terms of leading a team is to be an example to follow, right in and, and build a brand and a reputation that you are someone who is really effective in the work that you do, which in my opinion, starts with the person you support, or with the executives that you support, making sure that you’re operating in your current role with excellence. Because before you can get in a place where you’re coaching and training and advising and mentoring others, you want to be in a place where you’re operating in x, y, you know, with excellence in your current role. I would also say that, you’ve kind of got an you got to know what the administrative needs are for the business. In order to be able to lead a team and lead them to a place where they’re effectively providing support for the business or for that group of employees. And build yourself a personal board of directors, I’ve said this before, I say this to a lot of people, like have a group of trusted individuals that will help you learn how to become a great leader, pay attention to great leaders in what they focus on, and what they spend their energy and time on. And pay attention to the things that they don’t focus on as well. Have a peer that can be a sounding board for you. Like if you have ideas, I think, I think part of growing into leadership is having people around you that are leaders that give you honest feedback, who can help you get to a place where you can be a strong leader. So there’s a lot I mean, it you know, I’ve been at this for a long time. And I started managing my first person that I manage in this role or in this in the administrative world was was just in 2017. So it took a while I wasn’t you know, I didn’t come out the gate like oh, well, I’m leading a team here. And so I think there’s a lot that goes on to get to this space in place. You want to you want to try to be seen as a resource, you want to make sure that people trust you and that they see you as someone who really understands the work that we do as assistants. And then we’re able to then effectively be able to communicate that to folks who would potentially be reporting to us. That was a lot.

Jeremy Burrows 39:22
No, that’s That’s great. Yeah, I think that leading by example, and I really love what you said about pay attention to what the good leaders do around you and what they don’t do, what they don’t spend their time on.

Tara Sims 39:40
Listen, I one of the things that I’ve learned from my current boss is, you know, he doesn’t get worked up over things that I would think would drive somebody crazy. Like he just doesn’t sweat certain things about personnel issues and you know, those guys As the things that can derail people, he just and I’ve learned so much, because I’m a fairly excitable person, like, there are things that because I, you may be able to relate to this as an assistant, you know, we like things a certain kind of way we’re structured, we like order. And when things deviate out of that space, it can make me a little crazy. And so I’ve learned so much to be able to say, You know what, I’m not going to spend a bit of energy, trying to correct whatever that was, or if I think if it needs correcting in my mind. And so I think what you learned when you began to leave people is there’s a level of learning how to take a beat when things happen, and just pause for a minute, and letting certain things roll off of your back.

Jeremy Burrows 40:54
Love it, well said well said. Let’s, let’s kind of wrap it up on the topic of confidence. So kind of tying in to what you just talked about with trying to stay steady in the storm and in the chaos, staying steady? How? That’s another one of the biggest topics like how do I get how do I get more confident? You know, how, how are these leaders around me? Are these leader assistants and these executives around me? How are they able to be confident when they don’t really know what they’re doing? Or when oftentimes, they are just kind of thrown into situations. So what’s what’s kind of your number one tip for growing that deep rooted confidence?

Tara Sims 41:41
You know, I think I hear this all the time, from assistants, and I see it all the time with assistance. And in fact, yesterday, I had an assistant call me and just wanted to talk to me because she really is struggling with her confidence. And so and I think it’s beginning to affect her work performance, because there’s someone another assistant in the office, who is the exact opposite, who is overly confident, who’s shining all over the place. And I think it’s causing this individual to shrink even more. And so she called me and she’s like, I want to talk about competence, because I am struggling. And so what I say, said to her, and I say this to others is confidence is really built on accomplishment. I think it’s about setting small goals, during the preparation that you need, learning all the things that you need to achieve those goals and then achieving them over time, one by one, over and over again. Because I feel like when you I tell my team all the time is, Listen, you know what, you know, don’t let someone who carries a VP title or an SVP title tell you something that that, you know, there’s a better way to get something done, you know, what, you know, you know, it’s, um, and I think it’s important for us to operate in a positive mindset and understanding that the things that we tell ourselves, you know, for she called this this individual club yesterday, she’s, I’m having a confidence issue, well, Nope, we’re going to change that statement, you’re not having a confidence issue, because we tell ourselves these things. So I, for me, it’s about positive self talk. It’s about consistently doing well in an area, because that helps you to be confident that you know what you’re doing and you know what you’re talking about, you know, our work doesn’t change that much. It really doesn’t. And so if you focus on becoming an expert in an area or really learning all that you can, whether it be working with other assistants to get better, whether it be taking courses in a particular thing, maybe it’s a software that you’re trying to learn or you’re trying to get better at. It’s like focus your energy in that space and continue to work on it and then go for it like you know what, you know. And so, I see it all the time. I think sometimes we assistants are tentative to make decisions. Yes, there are going to be times when you make a decision, it will be the wrong one. But guess what the world will continue to move. And if you have the right relationship with your executive and they trust you they Know that you made a mistake. But you but you have to be able to operate in a space that shows that you know what you’re doing as it relates to your role. And so that’s, that’s what I would tell think of take it, take it in small bites, if there’s a thing that you want to master, learn all the things you need to know to master that thing, and then start practicing it. And keep doing it. And again and again. And yes, you’re gonna make mistakes, but you’re supposed to learn from those mistakes. And that’s how you build confidence.

Jeremy Burrows 45:39
Yeah. Yeah, it’s funny, I watched this Netflix documentary with my boys yesterday called Speed cubers. And it’s about the Rubik’s Cube, where they like, solve the Rubik’s Cube in like six seconds. And it was these two kids. They started off really young, and they’re not kids now. But 30, Fiona doing it. And one person asked him, he’s like, how do you how do you do this? How do you get so, so good? And he just says, practice?

Tara Sims 46:12
What occurs? Like?

Jeremy Burrows 46:14
Okay, well, to shake it to kick to shake?

Tara Sims 46:19
I mean, I think I think we make these, I think there’s so much about, I mean, so many assistants who are, have this mindset that because someone carries the title, that they are the expert and authority on all things. If they were the expert and authority on all things, they would, there would be no assistance. You know, there we do things that others can’t do. For sure. And so it’s about really shifting your mind around thinking, Yes, SVP x is the expert in this particular thing, but I am the expert in managing this calendar, dealing with the collisions on this calendar, understanding what things should go where on the calendar, how to resolve comp, I am the expert in that area, he or she is not. And so, you know, I think I think that we should be really, we should really take the time to understand ourselves the value that we add, and recognize that everybody can’t do our job.

Jeremy Burrows 47:32
Yeah. Well, and the other thing is, you know, if your executive is an expert at something that you don’t know that much about you, your job is to allow them the space and the time and the energy to focus on that expertise. So that the company is getting the highest ROI from that executive. So

Tara Sims 48:02
apps? Absolutely. There’s no question. No question about it.

Jeremy Burrows 48:08
Awesome, Tara. Well, I know I kept you a little longer than I than I promised. But you’re you’re dropping some truth bombs, and I couldn’t stop.

Tara Sims 48:19
I love a truth bomb.

Jeremy Burrows 48:22
How? How can we get in touch with you? Is there any way we can support you? Or reach out and say, Hi, I know a lot of the listeners probably are resonating with what you’re saying. And we’d love to connect if you’re open to it. So how can we connect with you?

Tara Sims 48:39
So I am you can find me on LinkedIn. And it’s Tara sims with one M Sims. I’m in the process of revamping my LinkedIn page. So stay tuned for that. But it’s definitely up and running. I look forward to folks reaching out. I’ve had such a great year, as it relates to networking and engaging with folks in our profession outside of the network that I work in. And it’s been tremendously rewarding. And I feel like we’re such a great group of individuals in this profession. And we have such great ideas and so much that we can share and take back to our individual organizations that we work for. And so I am open and welcome anyone who wants to connect to reach out to me.

Jeremy Burrows 49:33
Awesome. Well, I’ll share the link to your LinkedIn in the show notes so people can get to that quickly. But yeah, thanks again. Really appreciate it. I look forward to staying in touch.

Tara Sims 49:46
Thanks for having me Jeremy.

Podcast Outro 49:58
pleased to have you on Apple. All podcasts goburrows.com


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