rita reis leader assistant podcast

Rita Reis is a longtime office manager and executive assistant in Portugal who is passionate about networking and getting things done.

In this episode of The Leader Assistant Podcast, Rita and I talk about the importance of networking, not being afraid to raise your hand, and developing your emotional intelligence.


Leadership is about allowing people to be themselves.


rita reis headshot leader assistant podcast

Rita Reis, 35 years old, and is passionate about networking and getting things done.

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Rita Reis 0:00
Good evening. My name is Rita Reis. I’m 35 years old, and today my leadership coach would be leadership is about letting people to be their true selves.

Podcast Intro 0:21
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistants.

Jeremy Burrows 0:35
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Rita Reis 1:48
Thank you so much, Jeremy and good evening.

Jeremy Burrows 1:53
Part of the world are you in Portugal, Portugal. Wow. And so it’s it’s late evening for you. Exactly a little later than me. So appreciate you taking time out of your busy day and busy evening to chat. So tell us a little bit about yourself personally, What hobbies do you have? Do you have cats or dogs or kids or all the above?

Rita Reis 2:19
So, my name is Geeta, as I mentioned, I’m 35 years old. I am a mum to toddler, baby boy with 20 month. I have two cats, Obi Wan Kenobi and Princess Leia. And I don’t have any dogs. So in terms of obvious, I really like to go to the cinema. I really like to go to the theater. I really like to read and spend time with my family.

Jeremy Burrows 3:00
Awesome, and I’m assuming you’re a Star Wars fan based on your cat’s names.

Rita Reis 3:04
Exactly. I am.

Jeremy Burrows 3:08
What’s, what’s one of your favorite books that you’ve read recently?

Rita Reis 3:12
Uh, one of the books that I read recently, I was reading the biopic. It’s not official, but it was a biopic of Angela Merkel. I really think that she’s a very powerful woman. And these, this was the last book that I read.

Jeremy Burrows 3:33
Awesome. And how did you start about your career? How did you end up being an assistant.

Rita Reis 3:40
I went to college, and when I left, I went to law school. And when I left law school, I decided that it was not really what I wanted. So I do a master in event management. So I took the master. And I ended up working in a pharmaceutical company, a French one where I used to be an event manager, and also backing up the executive assistant to the general manager of the company. And then I figured out that I was very good in managing in coordinating organizing. And this was the beginning of my career. Then I moved to another company. And then I moved to the company where I’m still in and when I’m almost 10 years as work anniversary, and these would be pretty much the summary of my career.

Jeremy Burrows 4:55
Nice and what’s been your favorite part about being an assistant

Rita Reis 4:59
um, Honestly, Jeremy, is to be everywhere, let me explain you this, as an executive assistant, I really think that we are one of the few areas that really is in all the parts of the business. You have a relationship with your boss, you, you have a relationship with finance, with the people team, with the functions with everyone, and you have a Nelly copter view of the business of the companies. And this is something that is truly interesting and inspirational in the end of the day. And then as an executive assistant, you really have the possibility to touch the other’s lives. Because really, sometimes, you deal with all the emotional parts of your colleagues of your boss. And, and it’s a tough job. Because you really need to be super focused in terms of emotional intelligence to deal with so many different personalities.

Jeremy Burrows 6:12
Yeah, well said, What, uh, speaking of emotional intelligence, and soft skills, what have you done in your career? And what do you continue to do, and encourage other assistants to do as far as developing and cultivating and growing in your soft skills?

Rita Reis 6:32
Let me tell you my own experience that in the end of the day, it’s only my own experience. I do therapy for almost nine years. That’s interesting. And this really helps me to stay focused, to look after my well being and my mental health. And this really allows me to be 100% focused in my work, because working as an executive assistant is really almost a 24/7 work. And we really need to have this availability, in terms of our well being our mental health, to deal with all the different aspects of the role, though going to therapy really, is a must have, for me, to do my work, and to be balanced, and structured as a person and as a as a professional. And obviously, doing going to therapy for so many years. Your soft skills really grow. When you have your path with therapy, your soft skills would be better than my soft skills were 90 years ago. And this is something that really helps.

Jeremy Burrows 8:00
Yeah, you know, I talked about it in my book, and I’ve talked about this on the on the show before but you know, what’s, what’s a characteristic of a very good therapy session or counseling session, or conversation with a friend or interview and one of the common and key characteristics are good questions. And so if you’ve been in therapy for a while, or even a short amount of time, you’ll notice that they ask a lot of questions. Exactly. You know, as an executive assistant, we also ask a lot of questions. And there are times when we need to ask a lot of clarifying questions of the people we’re working with and our executives and yeah, it’s, you know, people often say, you know, assistants need to read their executives minds. And some people say, well, that’s impossible. And I say no, actually, it’s not if you ask somebody a question, then you’re essentially asking them to share what’s on their mind. And so therefore, you’re reading their mind. And so I’m sure you’ve learned a lot through your time in therapy, just obviously, helping yourself and all that, but even just how to ask good questions.

Rita Reis 9:16
Exactly. No, that’s a wonder that’s a wonderful point, to learn how to ask powerful questions. That’s a very good and interesting point.

Jeremy Burrows 9:31
So okay, tell us a little bit about networking. How have you networked in your career and what’s what’s maybe a tip for networking, whether it’s internally within your organization and admin team or externally, online in person, any tips for networking for those listening?

Rita Reis 9:48
You know that networking is one of the things that I really find interesting in our roles, and I’m a huge advocate of networking. Let me say explain you something. I really think that as an executive assistant, the more we network and the more we build not only our internal, but also our external network, the better, we would be in our role. Because imagine if you know, and you keep in touch with lots of different people, when you have an issue when you have a challenge, and you call someone to help you, either because your executive would like to go to the most fancy restaurant in town, and you know that when you call them the reservations are for six months from now. And when you know the right people, they will help you. But for these Jeremie, we need to keep in touch, it’s not only Oh, I will go to networking events, I meet people, and then I don’t keep the relationship. No, this is something that we need to meet people grow the network and keep in touch. And sometimes it’s only texting someone calling to ask a Why are you always your family are you doing? So you engage you keep in touch, you build the relationship. And then when you need something professionally speaking, and you call this person, this person will pick up the phone, and we’ll help you. Rather than you don’t keep in touch, you never talk to the person and then you call because you need and the person won’t even pick up the phone. And I think it’s super important because one of the things that I really find interesting as an AEA is that we need to be resourcefulness. Because we need to have solutions for challenges that our execs face that we face that our team face days that the company faces, etc. So what I do to network, normally, I have one or two lunches per week, either with another executive assistant in in the, that works with me, outside of my company, with people that I know, at an event or something like that. So I can keep in touch. And then the it’s interesting because I need to submit my annual objectives in my company. And one of the objectives that I put for this year was to meet third tee view people internally and externally and keeping in touch. This, this is super powerful for executive assistant, because in the end of the day, we are the ones that put the wheel working. So this is super important. As I like to say, executive assistant should network as a CEO.

Jeremy Burrows 13:10
Yeah, that’s great. How do you are you an extrovert? Do you like like getting out?

Rita Reis 13:16
Yes, yes. Yeah, I

Jeremy Burrows 13:19
could tell I could tell you’re so excited about these lunches. What do you what do you say to people who are not as extroverted? And maybe you’re like, I don’t know, I kind of like, you know, being in a closet working on things by myself. How do you encourage those introverts like myself, listening, who have a hard time putting themselves out there to meet other people?

Rita Reis 13:42
I think for an introvert is more challenging, but everything is possible in in life. And in the end of the day, for an introvert, I think it would be good. If you have a person in your organization, that also works as an AE, one of your peers that is an introvert and please start engaging with with this person. Start having a relationship with with this person. I can give you an example one of the executive assistants that work with me, in my company. She’s an introvert, and we get along very well. And the other day she was telling me now we are arriving Christmas time. And you know, hate that I’m going to I’m going to have lunch with an EA from a company that I work with. And if it was not for you, really motivating me to do this. I won’t go because I’m an introvert and this is something that for me, is not so Chris so clear. But we learn so much from from each other, because she has amazing skills that I don’t have. She’s super talented in terms of technical skills, in terms of PPTs, building presentations in terms of Excel, in terms of all the organization, all the hype, the articles that are super valuable, valuable in an executive assistant, that we are so complimentary to each other. That is amazing to see.

Jeremy Burrows 15:36
Yeah, that’s great. So basically, having a little bit of experience and putting yourself out there with one of your trusted colleagues, and to learn from them, maybe an introvert learning from an extrovert and encouraging each other, and then that now that your your colleague is doing the same with others, so that’s, that’s awesome.

Rita Reis 16:03
Exactly. And in, we all learn from from each other, and no one is perfect. And as executive assistant, we gain a lot from learning with each other, because each person is unique. And each person brings to the table, a different set of skills that are valuable for an organization. And if we work as one team, amazing things can happen, honestly.

Jeremy Burrows 16:32
Yeah. Yeah. Well said. Well, Rita, thank you so much for taking time to chat. What what’s one thing that you would tell yourself nine years ago, if you could go back in time, and just kind of, you know, you said, You’ve been at this company for nine years all are going on 10 years? What’s one thing that you would kind of encourage or inspire yourself to do or be or just a note of confidence? If you could go back in time and talk to yourself 910 years ago,

Rita Reis 17:12
I would say, Never be afraid to raise your hands and to have a voice. Because executive assistant are the will that make the company really work. So always speak up. Always give your opinion. Always raise your hand when you want something.

Jeremy Burrows 17:39
Great, great, great, great advice. Great advice. I’ll send it, I’ll send it back to my time machine so that you can you can listen to it.

Rita Reis 17:52
No, it would be you know that nine years ago. It would be great if I would have someone saying this to me. Yeah, it would make things easier. Yeah.

Jeremy Burrows 18:08
Awesome. Well, thank you again, for being on the show. And keep up the good work. Good luck with your toddler. And yeah, is there if somebody wants to reach out and say hi, is LinkedIn the best, best place to do that?

Rita Reis 18:22
Yes, it is. It is. It is. Perfect. Well,

Jeremy Burrows 18:25
I’ll put that in the show notes leaderassistant.com/205. Leaderassistant.com/205 If you want to reach out to Rita and say hi, thank you for being on the show and just network with her practice some of the networking tips that she just shared. And yeah, Rita thanks again for being on the show and best of luck to you.

Rita Reis 18:46
Thank you so much, Jeremy and please keep up the good work because you are really a voice that is super relevant for executive assistant around the world. Please keep up the good work.

Jeremy Burrows 19:00
Thank you. Thank you. I will definitely try.

Unknown Speaker 19:13
Please review on Apple podcasts.

Unknown Speaker 19:23

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