Melissa Peoples is a Certified Microsoft Trainer with over 25 years of experience supporting C-Suite level executives in companies such as National Instruments, Dell, General Motors, The Ohio State University, AllState, and Eli Lily.

ep13 melissa peoples

Tune in as we chat about managing board meetings, being vulnerable, and dealing with online trolls.

I hope you enjoy our conversation!


When you finally do get a seat at the table, make sure you actually have something to say.

– Dr. Irene Petrick

About Melissa Peoples

In 2013, Melissa shifted her career focus to training and educating other Administrative Professionals in the art of developing strategic partnerships. Because she is a passionate advocate for professional assistants and has a strong belief in evangelizing the evolution of the profession, Melissa uses her expertise in tools, technologies, meeting management, virtual collaboration, connecting remote/global teams, and problem-solving, to teach others in her field how to be faster and more productive.

Melissa Peoples Headshot

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Melissa Peoples 0:00
Hi, this is Melissa Peoples. Today’s leadership quote is from Irene Petric. When you finally get your seat at the table, make sure you actually have something to say.

Podcast Intro 0:11
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become irreplaceable, Game Changing leader assistance.

Jeremy Burrows 0:23
Melissa Peoples is a certified Microsoft trainer with over 25 years of experience supporting C suite level executives in companies such as National Instruments, Dell, General Motors, the Ohio State University, Allstate and Eli Lilly. In 2013, Melissa shifted her career focus to training and educating other Administrative Professionals in the art of developing strategic partnerships. Because she is a passionate advocate for professional assistance, and has a strong belief in evangelizing the evolution of the profession, Melissa uses her expertise in tools, technologies, meeting management, virtual collaboration, connecting remote and global teams, and problem solving, to teach others in her field, how to be faster and more productive. I’m very excited to have Melissa on today’s show. I hope you enjoy it. Hey, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast. I’m super excited to have Melissa Peoples with me tonight. Hi, Melissa.

Melissa Peoples 1:32
Hey, Jeremy. Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Burrows 1:34
Yeah, thanks for joining. And we’re going to talk a little bit, a couple topics address a couple topics, and then we’re going to do a fun little experiment where we do a lightning round at the end, where I asked you a bunch of questions, and you give me short, brief answers, and see how many questions we can get through. So to start off, why don’t you tell me how long you’ve been an assistant? How many years you’ve been an assistant? And then what companies have you been an assistant at?

Melissa Peoples 2:05
Oh, wow. So I have been in the industry now for 25 years clearly started when I was five. So I have worked a gamut across high tech and across education. So I worked at companies like Dell National Instruments, Eli Lilly, the Ohio State University, General Motors, so I just I have a wide range, which I’m really grateful for.

Jeremy Burrows 2:31
That’s awesome. I did not know you were at The Ohio State University, my wife’s parents, my wife’s parents met there. And yeah, my father in law’s in Ohio State Hockey Hall of Fame. So that’s crazy. Go bucks.

Melissa Peoples 2:49
Go bucks.

Jeremy Burrows 2:50
Why did you become an EA? And what did you love about the role?

Melissa Peoples 2:55
Wow. Um, so I got into the profession when I was 18. I was a teenage mom and I got my first job at 18 as receptionist. And I had no idea that I would be doing this, you know, wow, I just gave everybody my age.

Jeremy Burrows 3:10
You said you were five earlier, that’s changing.

Melissa Peoples 3:14
And so I had a really interesting experience that really propelled me in my career. And it just started this role is working at a law firm as a receptionist, and the manager came out and said in front of a roomful of people, Melissa, you need to get down on the floor and see if there’s gum, I think that’s gum on the floor, and you need to get on your knees and figure out what it is. And I thought I when I was 18, I was really young, but I knew I never wanted anybody to ever talk to me like that ever again. And so for me, that really propelled me in my role to, you know, kind of crush it to kind of shove it in her face. So that started my progression. Way back in the day. And I just found that I really enjoyed really kind of working around all of the issues and the problems and being that person who could find a solution. I really enjoy problems, problem solving and process improvement. And so I really found that I enjoyed being that go to person and figuring it out. And I just Yeah, worked my way up from being that receptionist to all the way up to supporting CEOs So yeah, that’s a little bit my story.

Jeremy Burrows 4:22
Awesome. Do you have any crazy, crazy stories from that exciting career as an assistant?

Melissa Peoples 4:28
Oh, wow. Probably none that I can share I think I think probably the craziest, the most insulting I think might be the craziest, but I once had this executive who was really mad at me. Because somebody had ate a cookie that she felt like it was hers. And so she threw a stack of papers in my face. I mean, that’s probably like the craziest. You know, like I almost had to come to Jesus moment.

Jeremy Burrows 4:55
Wow. That is a little crazy.

Melissa Peoples 4:59
Yeah, I mean, that was full on like, crazy psycho moment. Yeah, that was probably the craziest that anybody’s ever treated me. All the other stories have to stay in the closet because I can’t really say those.

Jeremy Burrows 5:12
Fair enough. Fair enough. So tell me a little bit about how you got into being a certified Microsoft trainer.

Melissa Peoples 5:20
So when I came to Dell, I left Ohio I was each one of my family had moved from Columbus to Austin, Texas. So I was the last one to move and I got a job at Dell. And I was super excited. I was big techie. And I was thrilled to be working at a technology space. And when I got there, I realized that there was a pretty big technology gap for the admins. And I wanted to reach out and kind of share as most of us do, we want to share information and kind of bring each other up in the profession. And so I suggested that we do a two and a half day training session, and they looked at me like, oh, that’s crazy. You know, you’re the new girl. And then I just really pushed hard. So we did it. And then the following year, I met, we had Vickie Sokol Evans and Viola Craven came in and they saw me teach and they said, Hey, have you ever thought about doing this for a career? I was like, No, that’s ridiculous. Like, thank you, but but that put a seed in my head about Could that actually be a possibility? And so I went and got my certification and walked, you know, sort of step by step. And then just decided, no, I really love doing this. And I want to train everybody. So kind of worked my way up over the last six years now. So

Jeremy Burrows 6:37

Melissa Peoples 6:38
I’m a techie. What can I say?

Jeremy Burrows 6:39
So you’re so you’re a Microsoft techie. And I like to I like to consider myself a Mac techie, and a Google techie. Now, I don’t have any official certifications. But But I do know my way around Google Calendar and a MacBook Pro. Which I also side note think is the best laptop ever made the 2015 version, I believe. But you know, we can we can fight about Dell versus Yeah. All that fun stuff. So while I am curious, though, there’s a lot of startup companies or small companies that are on the Google ecosystem.

Melissa Peoples 7:23

Jeremy Burrows 7:23
But I did an informal poll, in a Facebook group, asking EAs if they used Microsoft or Google, you know, business or Office Suite. And I think it was like 80%, maybe higher, I can’t remember exactly. It’s a small sample size, but like 80, or 85%. Were on Microsoft. And so it just, which is fun is just kind of just eye opening to me, because I’ve been on a Mac and Google world for, you know, the last 15 years. And I just didn’t even I haven’t even used my Outlook, probably once in my career. So I’m just curious how, you know, you’re in Microsoft world, obviously, how is that seen? Is Google seen as like, Oh, nobody uses that? Or is it really like, that makes sense?

Melissa Peoples 8:20
Yeah, it does. I think that there’s a big shift, right. So I think that a lot of people that have used MAC at home and for personal, you know, for their personal life, I think it works really well, I don’t think it translate nearly the same as a Microsoft environment, especially for assistants because Microsoft intentionally built tools into, you know, all of their applications that are for Administrative Professionals, and Google just doesn’t have the same. So for example, I can pull a report from my executive to see how much time he’s spending in you know, a, b, and c, all of the quick steps and the rules and the automation that’s available, it’s just not available. There are some workarounds even on there, I know people that are on a Mac that use O365, it’s still not the same. You know, the capability of it is very different. And so I always advocate, I know a lot of Administrative Professionals love, love, how quickly they can get things done, because of the automation that’s available in Outlook. And it really is mind blowing when I actually saw a success story. I was supporting an executive who was like diehard Mac and I finally convinced her you know, after all of these conversations about the productivity that you can have when you’re on a PC versus a Mac, and she finally agreed to switch over, but then once she’s like, but I need you to get me a cover because I don’t want anybody to see that I have a PC. But I do think that productivity is very different. But I also would say there’s a lot of, you know, I think companies just need to be more aware of there’s a lot of assistants who love Google. And they’ve never been in an outlook environment, like you were saying, and you’re just not as comfortable. And then you have someone who’s been in a Microsoft environment their entire career, and they switch over to Google environment. And it just, it’s like night and day. So I think it’s something really, you know, that people just assume that you can do your either, you know, you’re great if you’re great with computers, or people say this ridiculous term about being tech savvy, which I don’t really love that term for an assistant, because I’m like, there’s no other job that anyone labels that out, like nobody says, are you an analyst? That’s tech savvy, they’re like, you know, it just doesn’t happen. So I think people just assume that if you’re great with one, you’re great with the other. And that’s not always the case. And so finding the training and technology pieces that are out there for whatever platform you’re you are on are really important, I think.

Jeremy Burrows 10:50
Yeah. So that’s, yeah, that’s great, great way to put it, I’ve kind of come up come along a little bit in the sense of, okay, if there’s that many people using Microsoft, then I, you know, should be a little more open to potentially using it in the future. I’m not there yet. But, but maybe someday.

Melissa Peoples 11:10
You let me know. And I’ll give you the hookup.

Jeremy Burrows 11:12
Sounds good. Sounds good. So let’s, let’s talk about a scenario. Let’s talk about for EAs, having to run a management team meeting, board meeting management, team meeting, leadership team meeting, whatever you want to call it. Let’s say an EA is kind of new to be having the responsibilities of whether it’s taking meeting minutes, following up with action items, coordinating all that. How would you maybe quick, step by step, How would you encourage and empower assistants listening as they are many of them, myself included, are tasked with kind of overseeing and running and actually running the meetings, oftentimes? How would you go about counseling assistants in that?

Melissa Peoples 12:03
Yeah, so I’m actually super passionate about this topic. Because I think that the industry really struggles sometimes in finding where do we really drive strategic impact. And I think this is one way that regardless of where you are in an org, that you can really impact the business, and being very strategic with meeting management. And so for me, I like to say, especially, you know, 20 years ago, you probably manage the content, more than you manage the process. And so back in the day, you know, we were, people would send a slide, you know, different pages on their slide, and we would merge them all together and made a beautiful deck. And we spend a lot of time doing that. But a lot of times people don’t need us to do that piece in the anymore, and they’re very capable of building their own deck. And so for me, I think the benefit really is managing the process now and not necessarily always managing the content. And so for me, it really is utilizing a collaborative tool, if you are in the Microsoft environment, you know, you can use teams and OneNote absolutely is the go to piece if you’re in the Microsoft environment. If you’re in Google, then you can use Google Docs or, you know, just different collaborative tools. Some people use Trello. Some people use Slack. I mean, there’s all sorts of different collaborative, collaborative tools out there for you, for you to use. But so let me let me give you a scenario. This is what used to happen. And this is what I think that we should avoid as Administrative Professionals. So someone used to say, Okay, we’re going to have a meeting, let’s just say our weekly staff meeting for this conversation, and the EA would send a note out that says, Hey, everybody, I need your agenda items. And then Jeremy might send me an email that says, hey, Melissa, I want to talk about this topic. And maybe you didn’t tell me how much time that you needed. Or if there was a pre read, or if you know what type of a meeting at work, you know, what type of a topic it was. So there’s a lot of back and forth. And by the time we get done figuring it out, you and I have exchanged 15 different emails, versus, you know, having a place a collaborative space, where you have clearly laid out the agenda for the next, let’s say, three months for the quarter. And when there is an opportunity for an open topic, than Jeremy just goes into the collaborative tool and types in all the information that I’ve asked for, and then I can manage that process of it versus, you know, having 20 different emails going back and forth. And it really I think, wastes our time and it’s not valuable. So I’d say one is make sure you set up a collaborative space two, I never schedule meetings unless I know these five things. So I have to know what meeting type it is. And when I say type, Is it a Is it a decision that needs to be made? Is it a problem solving? Is it a brainstorming session, like what’s the expected outcome? So I asked for the type of the meeting. Should this have a pre read or not? That way, if people need to consume information to make a decision, they’re not making it on the fly, they would have time to consume it, you know, gather their thoughts together and come prepared with an idea versus kind of winging it. I also make sure that there is a meeting purpose. So, you know, one or two sentences that clearly define what the purpose of the meeting is, and then an agenda if it’s over 30 minutes, I require a very thought out agenda. Like it can’t just say, Jeremy is going to meet with Melissa like, like, what are we going to meet about for that hour. And then the last thing is an expected outcome. So even if I’m establishing who’s coming in to talk and my staff meetings, like I asked for all that information, so I know how much time I need to give them. If I need to make sure that there’s a pre read that sent out, like all that information, allows me to do my job without having to chase and be someone’s babysitter, which I think is really important. So it really does require a lot more process than it does necessarily, tactical pieces. And I think that’s the shift that Administrative Professionals have to make. So one have a collaborative space to kind of get your mind space around the fact that you are going to run this meeting from from beginning to end, which is really challenging, I think, if you’ve never done it before, it can be very intimidating, it’s really hard for you to, you know, take that step and be willing to look at a roomful of executives and tell them when to talk and you know, when their time is up, and when you need to move on, I think some of that can be really, really challenging. But you can absolutely do it, then I think the other thing, too, is, you know, it’s important to do administrative benchmarking. So if you don’t do something like meeting management, well reaching out to those that do and get their best practices, and you know, even like, do a mock session so that you can feel comfortable. You know, I think the very first time I don’t know about you, with the very first time that I had to tell an executive that their time was up when we needed to move on. Like that was really intimidating. That wasn’t just something that, you know, just, I was doing, like I had worked myself up to that. But once you do it, it becomes it becomes easier, but it’s the competence, I think a lot of times what we miss is that executives are looking to us, and when we become silent in meetings, and we don’t own it, and we, you know, sit against the wall, and we literally don’t sit at the table, they get to the point where they don’t look to us as a trusted partner. And so they start ignoring you and they don’t look to you, but when you you know, just decide that you’re going to have the confidence to run it and to manage it they do look to depend on you and ask questions. And they do they take your leadership and the meeting. So it’s definitely something that I think is evolving in the industry. And not every it’s not always accepted. Not everybody’s happy when an admin goes in and crushes the meeting like that. I think sometimes it’s a little bit harder. But yeah, I think it’s I don’t know, what is what has been your experience and managing meetings?

Jeremy Burrows 18:09
Yeah, I mean, I think you put it well, when they look to you, and you’re just kind of like, well, I guess, you know, doesn’t really go well. But that said, I do think there are times when that’s happened to me, that’s kind of, you know, challenged me and kind of made me wake up and and say, oh, okay, they are they do trust me, and they do want to trust me. And so yeah, I think I think you put it very well, I think the you know, I’ve done something, occasionally, depending on what I’m trying to learn about or what I want to really get in and get to, you know, get the bigger picture on things. I’ll say, Hey, can I sit in on this meeting? Not because I want more work to do. But just because I want to be aware of what’s going on so that as I do the work that I have on my to do list, I have the context needed to be more efficient and productive.

Melissa Peoples 19:06
Right. I think the biggest, probably eye opening conversation that I had concerning the management, I was supporting this executive, and, you know, our staff meetings were not going well. And I was I had taken over I was new into the role and taken over from a previous EA. I was being judged on how the meetings were running. But it wasn’t my process. And I would not say that any of them are best practices, but I didn’t feel empowered to change it. And so this is a phrase that I use all the time. And I think if you’re getting to the point where you’re wanting to manage meetings, or you’d like an opportunity, I went to him and I basically said this is a development opportunity that I see. And this is how I would like to, you know, this is how I would like for us to consider changing it. And so then we sat down and I gave him some suggestions and he was looking for something that was very rigid because it was sort of fluid and, you know, people really didn’t care that there was a deadline, they wouldn’t send it in. Or I hated this, people would send things to me like literally three seconds before the meeting would start. And then I’m fumbling around looking like the idiot, like, unprepared, it was really the other person who, you know, so I was trying to figure out, like, how do I make sure that I’m confidently managing this meeting in a way that I’m okay to be accountable for, like, it’s a process that I’m behind, and I’m okay to be accountable for it. And then also letting everybody else know that, you know, this isn’t a free for all. And so we came up with some pretty hardcore rules. And now if you attend my meetings, and I’ve, I’ve done this ever since, is if you I set a deadline. So if we have staff meeting every Tuesday, my expectation is that you have uploaded your deck to either teams or Skype for Business, whatever tool that I’m using, by noon the day before. And if you haven’t, then you’re automatically off the agenda. Because the assumption is you’re not ready. And so we have conversations with the team to let them know the expectations. So they’re not they’re not blindsided. And the first time they do it, you know, I let them know, I’ll check in with them. But after that, like the expectation is you’re either on it or you’re not, which is a it’s a big change, because people aren’t used to Administrative Professionals being so hardcore with things. They’re used to us being all friendly and sweet, nice to be like, Oh, it’s fine that you do that, like nobody cares. It doesn’t matter that there’s eight executives in the room, they’re all expecting this presentation. It’s okay. But I think that when you start to develop those kinds of boundaries, people will respond to them. You just have to communicate them and have those conversations and then they’ll, then they will start to respond.

Jeremy Burrows 21:45
Yeah, totally, totally agree. Let’s transition a little bit to putting yourself out there, this kind of ties in well, so putting yourself out there and being vulnerable and kind of stepping up in those moments, whether it’s, Hey, there’s a deadline, you gotta meet this deadline. Or, you know, there’s there’s those very practical, specific instances. But then talk a little bit about how you’ve kind of put yourself out there, in the sense of getting certified and teaching other assistants, and kind of going and speaking and doing a YouTube channel and putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. And maybe having to deal with some trolls here and there. Talk about that a little bit of how you’ve done that. And then just what what you would say to those that are very hesitant or afraid, or nervous or anxious, like most of us are, to really be vulnerable and try to even within work within the job and within your office, but also outside your office.

Melissa Peoples 22:50
Yeah, I think it’s it is I’m glad that you bring it up, because it’s definitely one of those things that is really difficult for Administrative Professionals specific to our function, because there’s this history behind us where we are not always valued. And somehow we believe we know everything, and we don’t share that with the rest of the administrative team that, you know, will people will come to us, and they’ll value me, which I think is a really challenging mindset to have. And so I think the biggest thing for me is I went into things, very naive, I think sometimes and didn’t realize that there was going to be pushback, and I think like it or not, it shouldn’t be this way. But the truth of the matter is, is that you are going to have to deal with trolls. And you’re gonna have to deal with people who aren’t going to like it, that you have a voice or that you found your voice. And I think getting to the point that you’re okay with that. I really wanted to help other so I’ll give you an example. So when I was at Dell, I was working with this one assistant, and she was so frustrated because her boss expected her to do an org chart and PowerPoint. And he really wanted the flag of every nation. He had, like 1500 people in his org. And he wanted the flag of every nation like so she was literally creating boxes, right, like, and she was so frustrated, but didn’t feel like she had the voice to kind of say, like, do you know that this takes me three days to do this the way that you want to? And so for me, I just that frustrated me for her like I wanted to help her. I wanted her not to feel that way. And you know, I’m a pastor’s kid. So I just kind of have like this compassion towards other people just naturally, I guess. And so for me, I was willing to be the person who took time out of the day to have a class that says let me show you how to import this into Visio. Like take this tool and put it into Visio literally take you five minutes, and you’re done and then have the conversation that says with him, hey, look, this takes me three days or this version takes me five minutes, like which one do you want? And so For me, I guess I just decided that I was I wanted to be that person to help someone else, I wanted to be that person to be a solution for some other person. I personally went through a period in my life, my son when he was very young, you know, he was diagnosed with autism. And at the time, we didn’t know, kind of what was wrong with him, we knew something was up, he didn’t know what it was. And I it was really important for me to have a community because I needed people to help teach me, you know, how, how can I support a CEO and manage the, you know, the needs that my son had at the same time, and that was a hard thing for me. But I relied on my community to help me. And so I wanted to be that for somebody else. Now, on the same side, I will say that people will act ugly, and people will say things and, you know, they’ll be offended that you have the audacity to speak up at a meeting or, you know, just this past weekend. I had like my first like, real troll on one of my YouTube videos. And my son said to me, he was like, Don’t you just realize that that’s like a badge of honor when somebody’s trolling you? Because it kind of offended me. I was like, why would they say that? And don’t they know that it’s hard to put your face on YouTube, like, you know, it’s just kind of one of those moments, but I guess you just have to be okay with being who you are. And owning it. And just, you cannot let other people’s inability to see your value, change whether or not you’re willing to be there to help someone else. And to be the solution, just like, there’s going to be times in your life where you need somebody else to be the solution. So I just always encourage people to be truly supportive of one another. And why can’t we all just be amazing rockstars. it doesn’t have to be this, I’m better than you are. And I’m more skilled than you are. All of us have different skill sets. Some of us are great writers. Some of us are really great with processes, and some people like kill it at events, I think it’s important for all of us to lean on each other so that we can build our profession instead of like, fragmenting each other and saying, you know, kind of this competition that’s sort of pointless.

Jeremy Burrows 27:05
Perfect, that’s perfect. I’m a preacher’s kid as well, so I can relate. Piquet’s. I’m actually a homeschool preacher’s kid. So take that as you will. All right, cool. Well, thanks so much. We’re going to, we’re going to kind of shift into the lightning round. I’m going to ask you a bunch of questions you can answer quickly. And we’ll see how far we get. So until we run out of breath, I guess or the recording stops or my hard drive runs out of space, something like that. All right, let’s do it. All right. So what was your very first job?

Melissa Peoples 27:41

Jeremy Burrows 27:44
What do you hate about the role of an assistant

Melissa Peoples 27:48
that we don’t have a seat at the table

Jeremy Burrows 27:51
Describe a time when you saved the day.

Melissa Peoples 27:56
When I teach anyone how to use OneNote.

Jeremy Burrows 27:58
Okay, nice. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as an assistant? And what did you learn from the experience?

Melissa Peoples 28:05
Oh, my gosh, you’re gonna seriously make me say this. Literally one time. One time I put my I almost skipped the whole part about scheduling the airfare for my executive for the night before. I learned never to let somebody interrupt me while I was making travel arrangements.

Jeremy Burrows 28:24
There you go. That’s good lesson. What’s the biggest challenge that you hear others have? Or that you even have? related to being an assistant?

Melissa Peoples 28:36
Um, I think educating other people about what we actually do, rather than what they think we do.

Jeremy Burrows 28:44
Awesome. Describe the job of an assistant in one sentence,

Melissa Peoples 28:49
a force multiplier.

Jeremy Burrows 28:52
If someone told you they are considering becoming an assistant, what would you tell them?

Melissa Peoples 28:59
I would tell them that nobody is going to ask you to have a seat at the table. So get your own chair pulled up to the table and get to work.

Jeremy Burrows 29:06
Nice. And what’s one thing you would tell someone who’s about to start their very first EA job?

Melissa Peoples 29:12
Um, I would say don’t let anyone else undermind the work that you do understand that you’re valuable that you’re important and that you drive strategic business impact.

Jeremy Burrows 29:23
What should executives look for in an assistant?

Melissa Peoples 29:27
Oh my gosh, this could take me all day. I think executives should look for what they value. So if you’re an executive and you value an activator, don’t partner with a strategist like it that doesn’t work. So find some find what you value in an EA, rather than you know, just assuming that all EAs are the same and we all have the same strings.

Jeremy Burrows 29:49
That’s great. I’m actually going to pause because I want to I want to dig into this a little bit. So my boss and I actually have been having this conversation lately and we we note Just how we’re we’re very different personalities, we’ve kind of known that for a while. He’s an extrovert high extrovert. I’m an introvert. He’s an intuitive on the Myers Briggs, and I’m a sensor. And anyway, they were just like, on the opposite spectrums when it comes to the personality types. But when it comes to what we value, you know, things like hard work and persistence and low ego, you know, et cetera. We’re like, we’re almost in complete alignment. And so we’ve just kind of noticed how, okay, you know, we’re not, it’s not that we are looking for an assistant or I’m looking for an executive who’s exactly like me, it’s that we’re looking to find somebody that has the same value. So you said it spot on

Melissa Peoples 30:53
Yeah, I think it’s really because even the point of being, knowing their communication style. So for example, for me, I’m not someone who feels like if I get an email, I’m not the kind of person that feels like I immediately have to respond in three seconds. And there are people who feel that way. So we don’t partner well together. Because that’s not how I give or receive information. And so someone who feel has like serious FOMO, I don’t partner well with him. So if that’s something that you highly, highly value is like the immediate response with like, no thought or the fact that I’m in another meeting or doing any of that, like, just know that that’s probably not going to be a great fit. And that’s okay, right. Like, be okay with it. Move on.

Jeremy Burrows 31:33
Yeah. Great. Well, let’s keep going, then rapid fire a couple more. What do you wish executives would do differently when working with their assistants?

Melissa Peoples 31:45
I wish they would stop limiting them in their role.

Jeremy Burrows 31:48
And then what’s one tip you would give executives to help them get more out of their assistant or to help them not limit their role?

Melissa Peoples 31:58
I would say let the assist, like Be teachable. It can’t be a one way street. So let the assistant teach you how to use them better.

Jeremy Burrows 32:05
Nice. What are some things you’ve seen assistants do really well?

Melissa Peoples 32:11
Oh, my gosh, run the world

Jeremy Burrows 32:14
Good answer. That’s a good short answer. What do you wish assistants would do differently?

Melissa Peoples 32:21
Stop the drama.

Jeremy Burrows 32:24
What’s one productivity hack? I know you’re the Microsoft productivity world. But what’s one productivity hack you can’t live without?

Melissa Peoples 32:34
Like, I guess you’re gonna say like the entire Microsoft environment. But I guess I’m gonna go I can’t probably live without my quick steps and outlook.

Jeremy Burrows 32:45
Okay, good.

Melissa Peoples 32:46
Or OneNote, both of them. You can’t make me choose.

Jeremy Burrows 32:53
What makes someone a leader?

Melissa Peoples 32:56
Oh, my gosh, I think I would say that a leader is someone who can inspire and reach others to row in the same direction like regardless of what your title is.

Jeremy Burrows 33:08
Love it. Awesome. Well, thanks, Melissa. This is awesome. You did a great job on the my first ever rapid fire lightning round. So where can where can we find you online? And how can how can my listeners support what you’re up to?

Melissa Peoples 33:27
Yeah, so you can find me on my website, which is I have a YouTube channel where we really kind of focus on, we can have two pieces, which is professional development, and then technology training. Try to keep them short. So they’re easy for you to consume and move on. And that is, you can find me on YouTube at admingurus and then, I’m very active on LinkedIn. And if you go to my website, we’ve got conferences that are coming up. So you can join us then, and meet up with us there.

Jeremy Burrows 33:57
Awesome. Well, thanks again, Melissa. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to share your wisdom with the listeners of The Leader Assistant Podcast.

Melissa Peoples 34:07
Thank you so much, Jeremy, I appreciate it.

Jeremy Burrows 34:10
Well, thanks for listening to Episode 13 of The Leader Assistant Podcast. You can check out today’s show notes at Be sure to connect with Melissa on LinkedIn and on our website and I’ll include all of those links in the show notes. Until next time, see you later.

Podcast Outro 34:37
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