My first interview episode of 2020 is with Amanda Vinci, Founder and CEO of The EA Institute. It was fun interviewing Amanda from the other side of the world (she’s in Melbourne, Australia, I’m in St. Louis, MO).
Amanda is an internationally accredited coach and trainer, Meta Dynamics Practitioner, Accredited EDISC Consultant, and International Keynote Speaker.
We talk about mentors, mistakes, recognizing and avoiding burnout, developing leadership skills, and Amanda also shares what she’s up to with The EA Institute. Enjoy!
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You will get all you want in life, if you help other people get what they want.
– Zig Ziglar
CONNECT WITH AMANDA AND THE EA INSTITUTE
One of the most inspirational and empowering Executive Assistant trainers in Australasia, Amanda started out as an entry level administrator 14 years ago in Perth, Western Australia. She has since gone from Senior Executive Assistant to Executive Coach and in 2017 founded The EA Institute, a global consultancy and training institute – industry leaders when it comes to creating high performing partnerships between EA’s and their Executives and strong EA Leaders. Their unique approach focuses on three main areas; developing thinking, challenging behavior and elevating leadership skills, which has a significant impact on their effectiveness, performance and overall experience of contribution.
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Amanda Vinci 0:00
I’m Amanda Vinci and today’s leadership quote is from Zig Ziglar. You will get all you want in life if you help other people get what they want.
Podcast Intro 0:11
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistant
Jeremy Burrows 0:21
episode. It’s episode 42. Thank you for listening to The Leader Assistant Podcast. Hey leader assistants, welcome to episode 42. I’m excited to speak with Amanda Vinci from the EA Institute all the way in Melbourne, Australia. But before we jump in, just wanted to remind you to join our Slack community that is now up to 600 members at Slack.leaderassistant.com. Also be sure to subscribe rate and review the show if it’s helpful to you. I really appreciate everyone who’s left reviews so far, I gave away five t shirts a couple of weeks ago to those that left reviews and sent me in a screenshot. So I really appreciate you all supporting me and supporting the show. This is the first interview episode of the year 2020. Or the year two zero to zero or the year 2020. however you’d like to say it. I’m very excited for the new year, lots of exciting interviews, lots of events coming up. I’m going to be in Kansas City in February. I’m going to be in Chicago in a couple of weeks in January. And then I’m going to be in London in March. And then I’m working on a San Francisco event later this year to do a book launch party slash training event. I’m turning in my book manuscript tomorrow. So I’m very excited to bring to you the leader assistant book, if you would like to stay up to date on when that is releasing. Be sure to join my email list at leaderassistant.com/signup. All right, well, we’ll jump in show notes are at leaderassistant.com/42. And let’s get right into the interview. Hello, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast. Very excited today to be speaking with Amanda Vinci. In Australia. Well, I’m all the way over here in St. Louis, Missouri. And she is the CEO and founder of the EA Institute. Thanks, Amanda, for joining us.
Amanda Vinci 2:28
You’re welcome. You’re welcome. I’m so thrilled to be to be here. And it’s amazing how we can be on the other side of the world and still create some pretty epic stuff together and collaborate like this. So yeah, it’s awesome. Thanks, Jeremy, for having me.
Jeremy Burrows 2:41
Yeah. So what was your very first job? And what skills did you learn in that job that you still use today?
Amanda Vinci 2:51
Oooh, good one. I, okay. So my very, very, very first job I did was I was working as in McDonald’s, actually. So I was a full McDonald’s, front staff person, I loved that job in so many ways. And I learned a lot from that role. I’ve learned that taking care of listening for listening to what someone’s concerns are, is ultimately what stops someone getting someone taking getting there. What am I trying to say here, listening to someone’s concerns, like really, truly listening to someone’s concerns is what stops things escalating to that next level. And that’s something certainly that I had taken throughout my whole career. And even now, I think that we don’t do enough listening. And what I mean by that is truly listening, not listening from the perspective of just nodding your head and saying, yes, really understanding seeking to understand what someone’s concerns are. I think we definitely, that’s something that I find, you know, certainly with executive assistant, and I know for myself something that I’ve had to develop over over the years, and certainly something I don’t see enough of nowadays. So I think that’s really interesting that that’s just come up for me because I hadn’t really considered it like that. But that’s been a big learning from from that job for sure.
Jeremy Burrows 4:21
So when did you become an assistant? And why?
Amanda Vinci 4:29
Well, I think for me, and I think this is something that I hear a lot of with other executive assistants that for me, it really was something that I just landed into, I finished school. I was 17 years old, and I thought what am I going to do with my life? And I really didn’t have a clear direction. I wasn’t like some of my other friends that was really clear on where they wanted to go with their career, what they wanted to achieve in life. That was so fun. From it for me, I just had no idea. So, for me it was what’s available, what could I do that that earns me some reasonable amount of money and allows me to get exposure to different areas, different areas in the business in different industries. So that’s kind of what led me to the looking down the path of administration. And I started as an as a receptionist in a temp agency for the first year before I travelled. And that was, yeah, it was great to really see whether this would be something that I want to do going forward. And, and I think, for me, throughout my career, certainly in the first, I would say, anywhere, but probably in the first six years, it wasn’t, it was never a career for me in my first six years, it was always I’m trying to find my purpose, trying to find what’s next trying to find where am I going with this. And it wasn’t until my last role, my last couple of roles, but specifically my last role as an executive assistant that I really got it. And I got what we could do and what how I could really create value in the business. And it wasn’t until really having an amazing mentor that that that opportunity started to open up for me. Before that it was really just I fell into it, which I really hear a lot from so many executive assistants. And, you know, I’m very grateful that I did, because the amount that I’ve learned from that has been phenomenal.
Jeremy Burrows 6:33
So you said that you had a mentor to kind of help you kind of get to that point where you saw that you were a more of a career? EA? What were some things that they did? And how did that kind of maybe some examples of how they brought that out of you?
Amanda Vinci 6:53
Yeah, so I’m such an advocate for mentors. And I think, up until this particular mentor, I really didn’t have, I didn’t really have direction in terms of what value I could provide. And for me, what was the biggest, there were really two key things that he did, that really had me see how I can provide greater value. And what I mean by that is, firstly, he he challenged me to grow and to think differently, or actually challenged me to grow and contribute in a greater way. So anything that I in the past would say, that’s not my job. I don’t understand it. You know, finance isn’t my thing. I’m not a numbers, person, anything like that. It was He then started to challenge me to start becoming curious around this stuff, start to look into what understanding all of the different pieces and how things work, so that you can see what’s needed and provide that support. So that was one side, the other side was that he would challenge me to think differently, and teach me how to think and I think thinking is really interesting, because a lot of people don’t really see that thinking is an actual skill, it’s something that you have to develop, it’s a developed skill, and thinking teaching me how to think was me being able to see the solution. And without someone telling me what that solution was. So having those two spaces really be positioned and influenced on me, really had me start to see not only understanding all of the different pieces around the business, but I started to see what I could contribute to, and then ultimately contribute to things that I wouldn’t have contributed to earlier in my career, mostly based on fear. worry that I don’t know enough that I couldn’t possibly speak up because I’m just an assistant. That was the kind of thinking that I had in my earlier career. And it wasn’t until that last role where he really had me say that I’ve got a lot that I can add, I just need to see it for myself and start to expand my thinking and my ability to learn that, you know, I’ll start seeing it for myself and start adding adding it where it’s necessary. So I think they were the two big things. And I think ultimately, you know, it’s that thing where if you don’t feel like you’re contributing to something, it’s just why get up every day. You know why why get up every day and go to work if you’re just going to work to get your paycheck. And for me, it was really being invested in something so much bigger than just going to work and that was the real shift for me.
Jeremy Burrows 9:57
So once you once you get into that mindset, did you find yourself maybe working too hard or burning out? Because you were just so into it that you just, you know, couldn’t turn it off?
Amanda Vinci 10:13
Yeah. Oh, yeah. So yeah, the flip side of being passionate about something, and really caring about something is that you do, I certainly had experienced burnout in that role a couple of times. In fact, more than a couple of times, I can think of a handful of times that I got myself to the edge where it would knock me out for weeks. And, and, or I would take leave, and the minute I take leave, I am sick, because my body’s like, oh, relax. And then I just, you know, I’m sick the whole time I’m on on leave. So yeah, I think that it’s a real, it’s a real skill, to get yourself to a point where you can be passionate about something, really care about something, and not let it get to the point where you are sacrificing your own self well being. And that’s something that I’m a real advocate for now. You know, now starting in my own business, the AI Institute, I, you know, I’m incredibly passionate about it, and I could, there are days, I was just saying to my husband the other day that I didn’t want to go to bed, because I just had so many ideas. And then the only thing going letting me go to bed. So this is I’m working all night, the only thing having me go to bed is the fact that I want to get up first thing, I get up at 5am, I’ve got a full morning routine around that. So I wanted to get up at 5am to get started. And that doesn’t work either. So it’s knowing what your triggers are, and knowing when you are going down that path that I think is the most important thing. And that’s something that I’ve had to learn. And I think, you know, there’s, there’s definitely, you know, if you’ve ever heard this, Jeremy that the whole saying around life will keep throwing you throwing you the same challenges the same problems until you’re ready to learn from it. And I think that, you know, there’s been many times that I’ve seen the signs and ignored the signs. So I, you know, I have a really strong routine around this now. So it doesn’t, so it doesn’t happen. And you know, there are going to be times that it does I’m not, you know, we’re human, we we are not perfect. However, you know, doing as much as I can to really notice what what’s at play really is important to me.
Jeremy Burrows 12:43
So what’s one of the signs? And then what are you doing to prevent it from happening again?
Amanda Vinci 12:49
Yeah, so jeez, for me some of this, this is going to be so different for everyone. But for me, I find that when I am doing busy work. And what I mean by busy work is when I’m just going from one thing to another, I’m trying to chase the time, I find that at the end of the day, I’m like by the clock, and I’ve got to keep going, you know, get an extra two hours in today. And I don’t feel like I’ve actually achieved anything at the end of the day. That’s one sign. That’s kind of early on. Because you know, I can think of many times that I’ve let that spirit creep in for for months before anything really happens. So that’s an early sign. It’s trying to Yeah, so beating the clock is a big one. So starting early, or finishing later, a huge one for me, working through lunch breaks, as well as another example of trying to beat the clock. That’s when that’s happening. I know that that’s, that’s, that’s one warning sign. The next thing for me is when I noticed myself having a lack of clarity to make decisions. So I’m finding it really hard to decide about something or be assertive around something, there’s usually there’s usually, that’s usually a sign that I’m experiencing some form of fatigue. So that’s usually a good one as well for me. I also have a physical sensation as well happen. So when it’s really starting to get bad, I actually noticed that there’s a lot of tension that I’m carrying around my jaw so strange, but that’s just an observation that I’ve really seen for myself. What else? Yeah, I I’m letting like all of my structure, you know, being an executive assistant and I have a huge amount of structure and routine in my days. However, when I’m not doing that, so even though I’ve got some amazing processes and procedures of how I do things. When I notice I’m not doing the things I know that’s going to make a difference. Yeah That’s a sign big sign Archie’s I’ve got heaps.
Jeremy Burrows 15:04
So those are the I was gonna say so those are the signs. So what? What’s the number one thing you’ve done? That’s been the most helpful in kind of not getting to those points.
Amanda Vinci 15:23
Yeah, I think it’s when you see it. So when I’ve seen it, and I’ve gone, there’s two ways that this can go. One is that I’ve seen it and gone, oh, well, let’s just push through anyway, because I’ve got too much time to think about it. Or the second, which has been the one that I this is the thing that I the one thing that I do now, that makes a huge difference to get me back on track. And that is to stop work. It’s like, everything down complete stop work. And what I do in those moments is, I take stock, I literally get myself notepad and pen, take myself away from any technology, turn my phone off. And I literally go and take myself away and write down every single piece of thing that I’ve got on my mind. Because that bog is getting in the way of me seeing what’s that next thing that I need to do, then once I’ve done that, what’s that next thing I need to do? Because what I find is, when I don’t do that, then I keep swirling, and then that extension is in working longer hours, missing breaks, that just keeps happening until I get to the point where it’s just you have to your body shuts down. So taking myself away and writing down everything that I need to do, and then coming up with a strategy of what’s next. And that might look like so I use my calendar a fair bit for mapping out my days. So I actually use my calendar for me to put things that I need to do in there. And it might look like going okay, these are all the things that I need to do. What do I need to communicate? Because that’s always the first thing for me, as in out of everything that I’ve got to do here, all these things that are coming up? What did what is my number one priority? What’s the number one problem I need to solve this week? Today, tomorrow? And then what do I need to communicate to the people around me? So I find that when I’m finding myself getting into burnout, and like I said in that last role that I had as an executive assistant, it happened a lot. The main catalyst for that was I, I would say yes to a lot of things because I wanted to see the success of the business, I wanted to fulfill the possibility that we saw for the business. So when I get myself really clear on what are the things that I’ve committed to what are all my commitments, what are the things that I need to do? And then recommit. So it might look like going back to my executive and say, You know what, I’ve committed to get this too by this week. But I really can’t, you know, given my commitments to x, y Zed, this will need to wait for next week or next month. And then often I find is what I often found by doing that is that a lot of the time things that I thought were complete priority this week, or I had it in my head like it was really wasn’t. So that exercise was extremely valuable. And then you know that sometimes that would take me anywhere between 20 minutes to sometimes two hours. And I Yeah, so for me that was it’s so valuable to just stop what you’re doing. And then give yourself a time out to then calibrate and then re and then relook and plan. Yep, and setting yourself up really to win.
Jeremy Burrows 18:58
That’s great. So what would you tell someone who’s considering becoming an assistant?
Amanda Vinci 19:07
Oh, what would I tell someone that’s considering becoming an assistant? I think that as an assistant, there are two real important things for me that you need to bring to the role and that is that there needs to be an eagerness to learn. I think if you go into the role of an assistant thinking that you can just do the day to day what’s in your role description, and that’s, that’s enough, you’re going to be set up for a serious awakening when you start. I think your ability to constantly be looking at where you can provide value and your ability to learn. What you don’t know is 100% going to set you up for success. They’re probably the two things for me yet.
Jeremy Burrows 19:58
So what was One of the biggest mistakes you made as an assistant, what do you learn from it?
Amanda Vinci 20:05
Oh, geez, I’ve made so many. I made so many mistakes in my career as an assistant, I think
Jeremy Burrows 20:16
you need to turn your turn your devices off and get a notepad and write them all with a pen.
Amanda Vinci 20:26
That might be really useful. I think that if I so look I’ve made I’ve made all of the mistakes that I think any assistant can put their hand up and say that then they may have done at some point, well, maybe not. Maybe it’s just me. But you know, booking someone, someone’s travel on the wrong day, booking transfers for the wrong day. You know, some some of them had massive impact. But what’s interesting, what’s showing up for me right now isn’t necessarily the big mistakes that I’ve made. And it’s it was the one it was there was this one mistake that I made, where in my last role working as an executive assistant, where I suppose it was like, everything kind of just how do I explain it, it just opened up a whole heap of things that I hadn’t seen up until that point. And I think that if I think back to my earlier career as an executive assistant, you know, I would if I, if I ever noticed that I’d made a mistake, I would usually do what I, the minute, I noticed that I’d made a mistake, I would do what I could to catch it, fix it, you know, resolve the problem, whatever it was, and then I would usually sweep it under the carpet and move on to the next thing. And I wouldn’t really take the time to go, what was that about? Why did that happen? You know, where, you know, what was the what was? Why did that happen today, and not every other time that I’ve done that particular thing? I never really took the time to do that, that analysis. And it wasn’t until this one mistake that I made in my last role. And it’s something that I use a lot. This one, what he shared with me after a lot in a lot of the things that I do now, because it just really resonated. And that was that, oh, it still makes me uncomfortable saying it? Oh, it’s not even a big deal. So let me go. He I’ll just dive in. So he I booked some trouble. I booked a one day training session for where I worked. We did change management consulting. So he, my executive had a one day session. And after the session, he was catching up with one of the people one of the participants in the session, and he had asked to have somebody else in that room as well. I assumed that he meant he wanted that person in the training room, not in the meeting after at the end of the day. So he had the meeting at the end of the day with this other person, it was fine. No issue, called me up after and and said, hey, you know, we’ve had this, we’ve just had this meeting and I was like, Oh, how did it go thinking that everything was fine? Because I didn’t catch this one? And he said, Yeah, yeah, it went really well. But look, I noticed that so and so wasn’t in the meeting. Was there any reason for that? And I said, Oh, no, he, you know, I didn’t think that you wanted him in that particular meeting. I thought you wanted him in the training only? And he said no, no, I wanted him in the in the meeting. And he said, Look, what’s what did you hear in that? And then I replayed what I heard him say he was okay. He said, so what? What does what are you what? What does that mean? Or what are you making that? What are you missing here? What what’s missing for you? What was missing for you after our conversation? And he just kept, I suppose, teaching me to think and look at really what had happened. And I suppose at that point, I was so uncomfortable. You wouldn’t even believe because it was, you know, even uncomfortable sharing it. And I think just because I had never really considered what was missing up until that point. So I started looking and we started talking, you know, maybe I didn’t, I assumed, you know, x y Zed. And he said, Ah, that’s it. That’s it right there. So this is after about 10 minutes of us talking and him coaching me and doing his thing. And I was like What do you mean, what do you mean? That’s it? Said you’re, you’ve just said you assumed? And I said yeah, well, you know, that’s what I did. That’s what we do. You know, I know that you’re really busy. And I you know have to part of the role of an executive assistant is to you know, see what’s missing and then and put the pieces together even with some missing pieces, try to put the picture together I should say, even with some missing pieces. And he’s like, ah, that right there is the problem. That’s what’s that’s what’s happening. That’s what’s that’s what’s caused this. It’s your your, you see that there is a puzzle, and you see that you have about 80% of the pieces and you go, Oh, okay, it’s, you know, it’s a horse, or it’s, you know, it’s a beautiful water feature, or whatever the picture is, right? But I, but my ability to then get completely 100% clear, is not there, I don’t really take that time to make sure that I’m 100% clear before I move forward. And, well, that really just shook me to my core. In so many ways, I think. If I think of any other time that I’ve made a mistake, my, my, the first thing I do is fix it. And when I can’t fix it, I blame something, whether that be you know, I’m stressed, I’ve got so much on my plate right now, I can’t handle all this, this stuff going on in my personal life, whatever it might be, at that time, I will blame something when I can’t catch it. And this had me really go, I need to take full responsibility for this and full responsibility for not in the past, learning from my mistakes, just going oh, yeah, that’s happened, let’s sweep it under the carpet move on. And it wasn’t actually. So that was like a huge, huge light bulb for me. And that was when I started to really understand that making mistakes is such an awesome opportunity to learn. There is and we don’t do enough of it. It’s like we get to a certain part in our career. And I think that is certainly resonated with, you know, it resonates now with me, when I’m reflecting about this, I got to a certain part of my career as an executive assistant, where I had, you know, a huge amount of experience behind me, I was senior in terms of who I had supported in the past and and you feel like at that point, you can’t make mistakes anymore? Well, I certainly did. I felt like you know, I can’t make these errors, I should know better, I need to do better. So anytime I would, it would be an opportunity for me to blame something else rather than going no, you know what I fully own that I stuffed it. And this is why I stuffed it. And this is what I’m going to do about it next time. And that really kind of just opened up a whole opportunity to just go, You know what I’m missing out? I’m missing out on so much growth, so much learning. And actually, that was really, you know, similar to the question that we that you asked me earlier, Jeremy, in terms of what really had me look at the role differently. I think that was a huge thing for me, you know, this, if I look at this now, I think this it just had me say that, if I just own my crap, as in the things that I’m not doing very well. And not only just go Yeah, you know, what I stuffed up, but also having the vulnerability and the courage to share it. And learn from that has just been such a huge opening for growth and contribution. And yeah, just that that was a huge learning for me massive, massive learning. And I think, since then I’ve read a book called blackbox thinking, which is just unreal in terms of really, the whole premise of the book is in planes, they have a black box, and when it crashes, they take the black box apart to really understand what happened on that crash. So it doesn’t happen again. And I think too much too many times in, in organizations in business, we worry about how it’s going to look. So we don’t bother doing the time to really unpack what didn’t work. And I think it’s it’s so important for us to take that time and yeah, it’s uncomfortable and it’s thought icky. But I think changing the frame to so now you know I sell it we celebrate our mistakes here. But every time me or one of the staff here make a mistake. It’s like oh, we made a mistake or what did we learn? You know, we go through that whole process. And that, you know, that really changes the the relationship that we have to making mistakes, which I think is also really important.
Jeremy Burrows 30:00
That’s great. My, one of my former executives said something similar one time or he said, Never assume anything.
Amanda Vinci 30:11
Yeah. Yeah. So important.
Jeremy Burrows 30:15
Yeah. Just yeah. Always. They’re always asking clarifying questions, since you said that, what 12 years ago or whatever. So tell us a little bit about the EAA Institute and kind of what you’re about how you got it started. And what you’re passionate about helping EAS with?
Amanda Vinci 30:35
Yeah, so we’ve been going for what is it now it would be just under two years, and we the whole idea of creating the EA Institute. And it’s changed a fair bit, actually, since starting. But if I think back to the why, behind starting the EA Institute, the where I was working in my last role, we did change management. So a lot of the consultants would go into organizations work with a lot of the leadership within the organizations and really look at ways to develop their leadership skills. So I was surrounded by that, and I loved it. And I was extremely passionate about that. And while I was working there, I was doing some external study around that. And, you know, bringing that to the role, which I also loved. And was there was kind of like a point where I was starting to do more and more stuff that was in the consulting frame in that role. So I was facilitating or CO facilitating, never leading, but co facilitating some of the workshops with the participant with the consultants, and really doing a lot of the backend stuff. And I started to observe that they were developing these senior executives to be phenomenal leaders. And what was missing for me was that they were leaving their executive assistants behind on that journey where a lot of them were anyway. So what would happen was that there was this, the executives and the CEOs and the leader, senior leaders were developing their thinking, and developing the way that they see things and developing their skill set in this space. And the gap between their thinking and their assistance thinking just got bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And, you know, one of the things I really believe is that an executive assistant is your pathway to succeeding in your role and executing your vision and your goals and the organization’s vision and goals. So if you’re not on the same page, then that’s really hard to achieve, it’s really hard to be able to move towards. So that was something that I started to see certainly in that role. And I shared that with the leadership team where I was working. And then I remember them saying, Yeah, we you know, we get it, Amanda, we can see that too, we can see that. But we’re just not really that interested. But it’s not really interested in doing anything about that we see it, but we just don’t think it’s marketable. And we just don’t think that that will do very well. So I was like, okay, no worries, triggered me a little bit, I’m not gonna lie. And then I thought, well, that’s, that’s fine. I’ll just continue to support how I see here and, you know, add what I see. And then I just kept seeing it. It’s like, you know, that that. That metaphor that when you see when you buy a new car, and it’s the same in red, for example, the minute you walk away with that car, you see it everywhere, like everyone has got the same car in the same color that you just purchased. But before that it wasn’t anywhere. It’s like didn’t exist. So for me, the minute I saw that, it was like, that was all I could see, all I could see was that gap. And not only there but in my own career as an executive assistant, I saw that gap for me as in I didn’t have until my last role, I never really had a strong leader mentoring me to see how I could develop my own thinking and support that growth. So I know, I knew that that was really missing for me in my career. And also. So there’s two things to this. That was one real big thing. And then the other piece to that was that when I would go to training and development, I found myself going feeling a little bit inspired and feeling excited and meeting some really amazing people. But then I would go to work and it was nothing more than a thought within a month and within a year. It was nothing more than I’m cleaning my desk and I’d find that manual that I did for that training that I did a year ago. And that was it. So those two things were just incongruent with what I saw was possible for the executive assistant so I, at that point, I started to do some market research and really started to see what was out what what executive assistants were looking for, what they needed, and what the gaps were. And one of the biggest things was the leadership space. And I think, for me being so passionate about that, and knowing the difference it can make when you are developing your ability to think when you’re developing your ability to shift your behavior and adapt your behavior. When you’re when you’re elevating your self leadership and leadership of others. When you work on those three skills, it’s like you are an unstoppable executive assistant, like there is nothing getting in your way, if you master those three things. Because I kind of frame it that there are the technical aspects of the role that all executive assistants can do. And well, at least I would hope I can’t imagine anyone going into the role without having that basic foundation. And a lot of us get stuck there, we get stuck there. Or we move into processes and procedures in terms of creating processes and procedures, and managing people. But we don’t really take it to that next level, or at least a lot of us don’t know how and that was certainly my experience. So that’s why that was why I decided to leave and start the EAA Institute. And for me, the whole the importance for me with the EA Institute is that we are not we’re not about technical training, we’re not about giving executive assistants the skills to do the foundations, we are about really elevating their thinking, shifting or teaching them how to think looking at their behavior and how they can develop their behavior to be more effective in their roles and leadership looking at self leadership and leadership of others. And yeah, we really have seen such a huge impact since since starting in since working on those three areas. So I’m really, really fortunate and lucky that others see the value in it, too.
Jeremy Burrows 37:14
That’s great. So what are some, maybe one or two practical things that EAS can do to develop their leadership skills?
Amanda Vinci 37:25
You Yeah, I think if if they start by? I think influence is a big one. Right? So and I mean influence from three different perspectives. I too many people think of influence and think of like, let me how do I say this? Let me say this into how to pause them add on too many good ideas, pause, and then recalibrate. I would say with influence, there’s two different perspective of two different perspectives of influence. There’s positive and negative influence. And I like to look at it from that way. And I think if we’re looking at it from the perspective of being a positive influence within your organization, that is one of the key elements inside of the leadership framework. And I think that if we were to look at that, from what does that actually look like? What does it look like to be inside of being a positive influence? So within the organization, it really looks like teaching people to think and what I mean by that is asking people to asking people, when people come to you and ask you for things, or when people come to you and say I’m really stuck about this, don’t just give them the solution. Have them look by asking really great questions. I just think questions are way too valuable and underutilized. But asking them really effective questions for them to see it for themselves is really important. So that’s what I mean by teaching people to think. And I would also say encouraging people to grow and contribute, is also really important as well. And those, so that’s the that’s in the framework of influence. And I think on top of that, I would also add, being being people’s number one fan, being people’s number one supporter. And I don’t mean by saying, you know, you’ve got this, you’re so good at this, you’re also not pumping people up in that way because some people don’t see that yet in themselves, but having their back and knowing that and giving them what they need to be able to see that in themselves. So whether that is challenging, challenging them, and this got again goes into their influence into the influence model, challenging them to step outside of their comfort zone, giving them the courage to be able to speak up and allow for them to gain that little bit more confidence. I think that they’re really important traits that, as executive assistants, it’s so important for us to have inside of the leadership framework, it’s just really important for us to have those in the role. So I would say they’re the two things that show up for me.
Jeremy Burrows 40:19
So if somebody wants to have more positive influence, what’s something that they could do tomorrow? In their job to do that?
Amanda Vinci 40:29
Yeah, if I would say, a great way to start is by role modeling the way so be how you how you want others to be being yourself. So what I mean by that is, Are you challenging yourself? Or us? Are you challenging yourself to learn? Are you challenging yourself to be your best? Are you developing your skill set? Are you challenging your own thinking? Are you seeking to understand? What are the traits that you want to impart on others? What are the traits that you want to influence in others? And then what what could you do today that would have that move the needle forward? I’m a big believer that if you role model the way others will follow, it doesn’t work to say, I want to influence people to be X, Y, Zed, but I won’t do that myself. It’s really looking from within and going, what could I do that would move the needle forward? And I even said, I even went even looking for yourself, I would even be looking from the perspective of what, what am I currently doing? And what do I What could I be doing that I’m not currently doing that would make a difference? So from those both from both angles? And I think with this as well, it’s important to note that you could be doing this and not get any kind of acknowledgment or awareness from others. And it’s not something that happens overnight. I think anyone that would say, Well, I’ve been role modeling the way I feel like I’m doing that for the last 12 months, and nothing’s changed. There’s two questions that I’d be asking, What, what’s missing? firstly, and secondly, you it might take longer than 12 months, there’s no timeframe around that. It’s, it’s just keep showing up and keep being your best version of what you want to see in others, and it will eventually turn. And I think, you know, asking the question, what’s missing is, is a great way to sort of fast track that.
Jeremy Burrows 42:41
So I’m gonna push on you a little bit. So what’s the if I, if I get up in the morning tomorrow? And I’m like, Okay, what’s missing? What What can I do to model for others, this positive influence and this leadership? What’s something that maybe you literally do yourself, or that you’ve seen other EAS do? Maybe it’s, you know, reading a leadership? Or maybe it’s taking somebody to lunch and encouraging them? What’s What’s some, something very bite sized, if you will fit that you could just wake up tomorrow morning and do it?
Amanda Vinci 43:26
Yeah, well, I mean, we going bite bite size, I would start by bringing human factor back in. And what I mean by that is that a lot of rapport, a lot of strong, positive influences are built from relationships. And a lot of us in business, forget that human relationships are the foundation of building rapport. And that could look like, you know, sitting down with somebody and saying, we’ve worked together for so for so long. And I’ve just realized there’s a whole heap about you that I don’t actually know. I know, I know that you have a family. I know that you have kids. But I don’t know what gets you up every day. I don’t know why you love working here. I don’t know what inspires you at work, really taking it back to that level of what do people stand for? What do people care about? I find that that conversation is incredibly valuable in gaining you access to influencing within the organization for sure. I mean, there is so much more to it than that. But yeah, if you start there, I I’m, I can guarantee that that will start moving things forward for you.
Jeremy Burrows 44:39
I love it. That’s perfect. That’s exactly what I was hoping for something that you know, I’m a pretty can’t tell yet. I’m a pretty practical, you know, yeah, tell me what to do. Kind of a person. So that’s very, very helpful. I appreciate you sharing that. It’s, you know, something that myself, I can do that tomorrow. The listeners can to jump in and just Yeah, it’s great advice. So appreciate that. Excellent, excellent. So what can we do to support what you’re up to? And where can we find you online and find out more about the EA Institute?
Speaker 1 45:16
Yes, so well follow us on all of our socials. So we’re on Facebook, the EA Institute on Instagram, the EA Institute, we are in the process of going through a massive rebrand. So I would say within the next month, we will be launching a new website, we do have a website. However, if you head to www.theeainstitute.com. Today, you can check out what we have there. However, we’ll be launching a new website shortly, which is really exciting. We can’t wait for that. And we also have an online community, which is myeainstitute.com. Do a u. And this is where we have where we have exclusive access areas to people that are in our training. But we also have free resources where we offer webinars, and a whole bunch of other things in there as well. So if anyone wants to come in there, it’s a safe community. And it’s free. It doesn’t cost anything at this stage. And yeah, we would love to have you in there. We’d love to have you join our community.
Jeremy Burrows 46:24
Awesome. Well, I’ll put all those links on the show notes. And actually, by the time this is published the new website, we’ll probably be live so you all can check out the new website. Awesome. Excellent. Thank you so much, Amanda. I really appreciate your insight and from the other side of the world, and yeah, thanks so much, and we’ll talk soon.
Amanda Vinci 46:43
Yeah, sounds great. Thanks, Jeremy. Thanks. Really appreciate it. Talk soon.
Jeremy Burrows 46:47
Thanks again, Amanda, for taking time out of your day to share your tips and tricks to our listeners. Again, you can check out the show notes at leaderassistant.com/42 And don’t forget to join our Slack community at Slack.leaderassistant.com Talk to you next week.
Unknown Speaker 47:18
Please love you on Apple podcasts. Goburrows.com