Jacqueline Delarue is the #1 best-selling author of WORRY, A Worry Warts guide to Self Mastery and enjoys guest speaking at EA, PA, and VA conferences and networking events.
In this episode, Jacqueline shares advice from her 20 years of EA experience. She talks about managing our worried minds, slowing down, training and development, and more!
A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.
– John C Maxwell
CONNECT WITH JACQUELINE
Jacqueline Delarue is the #1 best-selling author of WORRY, A Worry Warts guide to Self Mastery and enjoys guest speaking at EA | PA and VA conferences and networking events. Jacqueline has been an EA herself for over 20 years and has overcome worry, fear and anxiety. She now offers programs for Executive Assistants | Personal Assistants | Virtual Assistants specializing in self leadership.
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Jacqueline Delarue 0:00
Hi I’m Jacqueline Delarue author of Worry Wart guide to self mastery and my leadership quote is a great leaders courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position by John C. Maxwell.
Podcast Intro 0:18
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident, Game Changing leader assistant
Jeremy Burrows 0:30
The Leader Assistant Podcast is brought to you by Goody if you send business gifts to employees, clients or sales prospects, goodie is a game changer. You can send one gift or hundreds at a time without ever worrying about shipping details. With Goody your gift recipients provide all their shipping info. And they can even swap out your gift for another option if they prefer. It’s free to start gifting and you can get a $20 credit when you sign up. Oh, and if you mentioned you heard about goody from The Leader, Assistant Podcast, goody, we’ll add an extra $10 credit to your account. So go to leaderassistant.com/goody. That’s g o o d y to start gifting today. Again, that’s leaderassistant.com/goody. Hey, friends, thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast. It’s your host Jeremy Burrows. And I’m excited to be speaking with Jacqueline Delarue. Today, Jacqueline, how’s it going?
Jacqueline Delarue 1:38
Awesome. Jeremy, thanks for having me. It’s it’s a real pleasure to be on your podcast today.
Jeremy Burrows 1:43
Yeah, and you’re actually on episode 157. So 157 episodes of the podcast. Not every single one of them have been interviews, but MIT over 100 of them have been. And if you’re listening, and you want to find the show notes for this episode, just check out leader assistant.com/ 157. And you’ll have links to connect with Jacqueline, and all sorts of fun stuff. So Jacqueline, let’s dive in. And why don’t you tell us about your EA career. I’m looking at your bio, and it says you’ve had over 20 years of experience as an assistant tell us about how you got into that field and what types of companies and industries you worked for.
Jacqueline Delarue 2:34
So so I’m based in Australia, and my career as an executive assistant started in my early 20s. I originally started out as a domestic travel consultant for a boutique travel firm, working with the rich and famous and a lot of high profile, wealthy people. And I did that for two and a half years. And then I really enjoyed the travel part. And I think that set me up for, you know, being able to organize travel when I did eventually work in the field of being an AE. But I went to Williams business college in North Sydney in my early 20s. And my first job was a legal secretary at Freehills law firm. And that was fine. I worked in industrial relations there and we had lots of train strikes that we would have to quickly respond to and I’d learned to type really fast, really quick there. But one of the fondest memories I have there was my one of the senior lawyers called me Lucy from the TV show. I Love Lucy. Because I think because I was only in my early 20s. And I was very green. Very raw at my job. I was putting the filing in, not in sequential order. So I went very quickly. He would yell out from his office, Lucy, you’ve got some explaining to do. And we had lots of fun. And then I moved into I left law and I moved into banking and financial services for the internationally renowned Macquarie group. And we had some really fun times there too. I worked in human resources in the investment banking division. Then I found my love for learning and development and I worked with a really strong and passionate leader called in wouldwould. And we did some amazing things. We did a master’s of finance program working with INSEAD, which is a an educational body based in Singapore, France. And I actually got to travel to Singapore, which was really cool. And I saw the start of that cohort. They did a two week training program in finance and accounting. And after that, I moved into I had my first child, Heidi, and she’s now 12. And after that I took six months off to have some time with her. And then I moved back to Macquarie part time. And then I moved into medical device firm for a short period. And then I found the work life balance was really good with the professional services firms. So I worked with EY for a number of years on and off, and I had my second child Fletcher. But EY was really fabulous, which flexible working, they’ll very family friendly, their values aligned with mine, and had a lot of fun working for them as well. And then most recently, I’ve worked in an insurance firm, so lots of different backgrounds, lots of different corporations, lots of interesting people and lots of great experience across my career. So 20 years all up. And now I’m moving into training and development of executive assistants with the EAA Institute. So I’m really passionate about that. And that’s where my leadership quote comes from. You know, I’m passionate to work with executive assistants and see them grow and develop.
Jeremy Burrows 6:18
Amazing, so did you like the assistant role from the get go? Or did you kind of grow into it?
Jacqueline Delarue 6:31
I get I really liked I’m naturally, you know, as an AE, I’m naturally drawn to helping people and seeing others succeed, especially when you’re working with a great leader where they, you know, teach you how to work in a team and that you’ve got a really specific role to play. And they can really pull out your strengths, which I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing leaders who have helped me become the best assistant that I could be. And what you know, you really rise to different challenges working with clients and you know, high profile clients or in capital cities where you, you know, you want to deliver and please them and make sure that you’re delivering high quality work so that you shine on behalf of the company and the company shines and your boss shines. And yeah, so I think I probably grow into it, Jeremy. But yeah, I’ve had a lot of fun and a lot of laughter along the way, as well.
Jeremy Burrows 7:41
Cool. So we’ll see funny stories or embarrassing moments or, you know, interesting stories from your career.
Jacqueline Delarue 7:54
Yeah, I’ve had well, working at Macquarie group was, it was interesting, because it was at the peak of the, you know, really good financial times in Australia. So the company was growing. I was, as I said, earlier, I was privileged to be part of a program that they invested a lot of money into their staff, and, you know, to travel to Singapore and France as part of your career, and to learn and grow as well. was pretty amazing. And we had lots of fun parties, at some of the, you know, funkiest establishments in Sydney. And I, at the time, I lived quite a long way away. So it was that work hard play hard culture where, you know, they would, you know, the workload was really high. And often I wouldn’t leave the office until eight or nine o’clock at night, and I lived an hour and a half away from Sydney. And they would give you a cab charge or a taxi at the time, I had a favorite driver because you know, you you don’t want to be jumping into random taxis all the time. So I had this a familiar person that used to drive me home. So yeah, that was some of my fondest memories, because it really teaches you Yeah, that yeah, work hard, play hard. You have a lot of fun and achieve some really cool things.
Jeremy Burrows 9:19
Yeah, and you mentioned you worked with like, high profile, famous people early on in your career. Is there anybody famous that you worked for that listeners would recognize?
Jacqueline Delarue 9:31
Oh, yeah, when I was working in travel, in the early days, Athena, I don’t know if you know, she’s, she’s not here anymore. But Athena star woman, she, she used to, you know, read astrology and she used to come in and we booked travel for her. Nicole Kidman, and a famous Australian actress. She would come in and who else is Um, that’s tonight. Yeah, just to name a couple of people. Yeah. And I also just worked, you know what book travel for? Everyday people that would come in. And I remember this one story where I booked a helicopter, oh, actually, I should have booked the helicopter. So this particular client went to one of the islands off Queensland. And the seas were so rough that she, she got off and had sea legs at the Winter, by the time she arrived at the island, and she had a bit of a nasty fall and had to spend about two or three weeks in, in a rehab facility resting and recovering. And at the time, I thought, you know, maybe if I was more experienced as a travel consultant, termed I was, in my early, you know, late teens at that stage, I didn’t have a lot of life experience or hadn’t been to some of these places. So it’s not until you sort of experience it that you can really recommend the best, best way. But in hindsight, I thought, Oh, maybe I should have booked her. The helicopter had advised her to do that. But anyway, you live in London, after these things, so?
Jeremy Burrows 11:13
Wow. Yeah, that’d be tough.
Jacqueline Delarue 11:17
Jeremy Burrows 11:19
So what about your book? So when did you decide to write the book? And how was that whole process?
Jacqueline Delarue 11:29
Sure. So in 2014, my, one of my best friends, she developed breast cancer. And from that moment, she went through treatment, and six months later, she was no longer with us. So it was one of those trigger moments in my life where we were, I’d been to school with her, I’d known her for a number of years, we were living next door to each other at the time, our kids were young, we had two kids around the same age, we were spending a lot of time socializing, we were, you know, ingrained in each other’s lives. So to lose her was quite traumatic for me at that point in time, because, you know, early 30s, it’s sort of thinking, Why? Why is this happened to somebody so young? So that was a trigger point for me to, I guess, potentially have, you know, some fear, worry and anxiety around my own life? A little bit of guilt around, you know, why her? Why not me? Why does this happen at all. So I probably spent a little bit of time suffering and still continuing to work as an EA be a mother. And I really found myself struggling to be honest, and thinking, you know why there’s more to life than then doing these, you know, these tasks or these things, and I guess I had a little bit bit of built up anger. So I engaged a coach to work with me around that. So some people might see a psychologist or go and have some therapy. So it gets in my way, this was my therapy. So and I kept running into this particular person, Katrina Friel, and I found her at corporate events, she was an MC at a virtual assistant conference. And then I would run into her at spiritual events, you know, those days where you walk into a convention center, and it’s a spiritual day, you can walk around and get Reiki and see crystal healers, and all that sort of stuff. So she had that side to her as well. And I thought about after the third or fourth time of running into her, we agreed to that, you know, we were there was a connection there. And we decided to work together. So at that time, I didn’t know that I was going to end up writing a book, but we ended up doing some coaching and some therapy, and I started writing down some, you know, we had a workshop day where we wrote down the chapters, and she said, you know, just start focusing in on writing some content. Based on this, you’ve got it all there, you just need to do it. And being a perfectionist and being a busy mother of two and working five days a week as an EA you know what it’s like Jeremy, it’s sometimes challenging to find time for for these sorts of things. So I think the big push was when COVID hit in 2020 20. In Australia, it was like March and I thought, well, there’s a lot of people potentially out there who are worried or you know, suffering with fear and anxiety around what this pandemic is all about and what it means for everyone. So that was the driving force. I thought, okay, the world needs, you know, potentially could this could be of service so I smashed out the rest of the chapters I forgot about it being you know, perfect because being an AI I sometimes get caught up in that perfectionism. mentality. And Katrina was really good with that, too, because she obviously knew that that was something that was going to be a block for me. And she even said, Just title, the book, rough, really rough draft to the DA. And so for me, I felt like I was just working on a rough draft, and it didn’t need to be completely perfect, because it was never going to be, you know, if I kept writing and writing and writing, it was all it was also going to be this huge book that nobody would ever read, or, or get to, because I would never know when to draw the line and say, this has got to go out now. So anyway, I got got it edited, and got it out there. And yeah, hit number one in the worry and anxiety section at on Amazon. So that was, that was a real privilege. And it’s, you know, when I worked at EY, I had the privilege of having these workshops and forums, they let me speak to so Brisbane or the capital cities and the officers really wanted to hear about got my book, and I’ve had a lot of EAs, buy the book as well. And yeah, that’s been it’s been fun.
Jeremy Burrows 16:23
That’s great. Well, sorry, I had to my boy was knocking on the door. So so it took me a second. That’s okay. So tell us about training assistance and networking and community. What’s the maybe one thing that you would encourage assistants listening to do when it comes to their their own professional development?
Jacqueline Delarue 16:51
Sure, so I mean, if you privileged enough to work for a company that develops you and gives you that opportunity, and, and pays and potentially can pay for you to undertake a course where you can uplift your skills or develop and grow personally and professionally for me, I’m an activated learner. So I apparently we’re only I forget the percentage now, but there’s only a number of the people of people out there who you know, look for courses and pay for them themselves and really want to grow and develop most some people are just happy to plod along and you know, learn through experience or whatever. But I’m working with the EAA Institute which is a based in Australia, the CEO Amanda Vinci is in Perth and the team’s Sydney Melbourne and now Sunshine Coast based, were really passionate about developing and growing executive assistant through the high performing EAA course. And it’s a 12 month program where you get a certification and, you know, you can use utilize that to, you know, put it on your resume or get a promotion through work or, and it’s also about, you know, once you’re operating at that strategic business level with your leader or with your boss, then you’re you’re elevating each other you can, you know, be like mirrors to each other and elevate each other and grow together. And then that also provides amazing results for the company as well.
Jeremy Burrows 18:34
So you work with Amanda vincey? Yes, great. She was on episode 42. For those of you who are listening and would like to learn more, and hear a little bit of Amanda’s story that was episode 42, LEADER assistant.com/four. Two, to check out that interview. So, I’m gonna ask question I asked all my guests, Jacqueline, what makes an assistant a leader?
Jacqueline Delarue 19:06
I guess, in my personal opinion, Jeremy, I think it’s around self leadership. And I talk about this in my book a little bit as well. You know, it’s how do you self regulate when you you are experiencing some stressful times at work? How do you stay in control and, you know, manage your time and deliver results, when there are obstacles and challenges and roadblocks in your way So, and also provide, you know, show empathy and some emotional intelligence? Because I mean, I’m sure we’ve all come across people in the workplace who could do with a little bit of emotional intelligence, shined upon them as well. And they stand out as well. If you can identify them as well, but yeah, I think it’s self leadership because once you You can control yourself, you realize that there’s something’s external to you that you’ve got no control over. And you just need to learn how to respond to that in the best way. With empathy, with compassion, with kindness with the best of intentions, or yourself for your and also in line with your values as well. And I think that comes with a bit of maturity. Yeah.
Jeremy Burrows 20:32
Yeah, well said, and you talk about worry in your book, and you’re talking about giving up control and realizing that we’re not in control. You know, I talk a lot about the idea that if you’re worrying a lot, oftentimes, the root behind your worry is this desire or over desire for control. And when you feel that control slipping away, or realize that you’re actually not in very much control. That’s when that’s when you worry. So what’s what’s maybe kind of to wrap wrap the conversation up? What’s one practical tip that you would like to share? Maybe it’s from your book or from your training institute that will help those listening who are worried we’re orts?
Jacqueline Delarue 21:26
Yes, Jeremy. So one thing that’s really helpful for me is meditating. And mindfulness, I’m really focusing in on that. And being mindful about, you know, at certain times during the day, you know, when you’re having a shower, just think, Okay, well, is steam rising from from the shower outlet is the water hot or cold? What’s the sensation, even thinking about your feet and feeling the water around your feet and, and just taking those simple moments in your day driving the car, or, you know, walking the dog and just setting your intention and having a mindful experience when you’re doing something that potentially could be, you know, something that you do all the time, and you do it unconsciously, without thinking and spending for me now, you know, maximum or minimum 45 minutes or 30 minutes meditating, just finding that space, just to be still with yourself and not, and not judging your practice, but and not saying, Well, I can’t meditate or I don’t like it or, you know, having some sort of judgment about the whole process, it’s just giving yourself that time to sit with yourself and find some clarity. And I mean, for me, it’s, it can be quite challenging, the first five or 10 minutes is sort of wrestling with with yourself around, I shouldn’t be doing this, or I’ve got a list of things that I need to get done. But just sitting in that, in that space of being allows you to be better at all of those things that are on your list when you get to it. But just allowing that small amount of time. Just to have a little bit of peace come through your body and that mental clarity. And when you come away from that experience, you might even reprioritize what was on your list, because when we get too caught up in worry, and fear and anxiety and the doing and the busyness we think we often might be doing things that aren’t in alignment with our intentions or our values or our priorities. So it’s just coming back to center and and what’s important.
Jeremy Burrows 23:57
Yeah, well said I, the world we live in does not allow or easily allow us to have space and be still and you know, instead we are overstimulated and distracted. And yeah, just think that’s good, good advice to slow down and meditate and just pause and then kind of get refreshed and like you said, Maybe you will really end up realizing that some things on your list are not priority or more priority than other things and just helps you do a better job and be a more pleasant person to be around.
Jacqueline Delarue 24:48
Exactly. And it’s also showing love and care for your body as well. Because it’s not it’s not great physically to be living off coffee and, you know, for a lot of women, our whole hormones can get out of balance when when we are stressed all the time. And some people live in a heightened state of stress for a very long period of time. And it can lead to, you know, some fairly major health issues down the track.
Jeremy Burrows 25:17
Yeah, definitely. Well, Jacqueline, thanks so much for being on the show. How can people find you if they want to reach out say hi and learn more?
Podcast Intro 25:26
Speaker 1 25:27
My website is worrywart.com.au you can also find me through the EA Institute and LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram are my main main ways of contact.
Jeremy Burrows 25:42
Perfect. Well, I’ll link to those in the show notes at leaderassistant.com/157. And yeah, thanks again. Best of luck to you keep reminding them to slow down so I’m trying to say trying to slow down as I watched my kids play basketball in the driveway and yeah,
Jacqueline Delarue 26:03
thank you, Jeremy. It’s a pleasure to be on episode 157. And yeah, it’s been awesome talking to you. Thank you so much.
Jeremy Burrows 26:23
Please, you on Apple podcasts. Goburrows.com