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Time Management and Decisions

Recently, I read an article about decision-making.  The focus was that we make many decisions every day and our brain gets taxed with each decision.  As we progress through the day, making thousands of decisions while our energy level wanes, our decision-making isn’t as effective.  Experts feel that if we made less decisions, our end-of-day decision-making would be easier, perhaps more effective.

The article talked about how many people have noticed that President Obama has limited his wardrobe to two suit colors.  “He wears only blue or grey suits in order to cut down on non-vital decisions. ‘You need to focus your decision-making energy,’  he  old Vanity Fair. ’You need to routinize yourself.’"  My take-away was that he limits his clothing choices to allow himself more energy and time to make other decisions. I will interject that most of these “other decisions” he makes are more important than in what he should clothe his body each day.

Obama’s self-limits on suit colors brought back a personal reminder regarding time-management.  I can get out of the house faster, and on my way to work more quickly, when I choose my outfit before I crawl into bed.  Mind you, I am a lark – awakening with a lot of energy and no need for caffeine - and tiring as early as 4 pm.  So evaluating my clothes, shoes, and jewelry at bedtime, making one more decision at night, is taxing for me.

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I wanted to bring you up to date on the activities of The Foundation of IAAP and what we’ve been doing to support IAAP and those working in the administrative profession.

We approved two new grants for IAAP last month. The first project is the IAAP CAP Exam and CAP Exam Review Guide. The IAAP CAP Exam and certification is a distinction that sets administrative professionals above the rest of their colleagues. It’s an investment in your career that shows employers, clients, and coworkers commitment to the administrative profession. First, IAAP is updating the CAP Exam to create learning outcomes. This will define exactly what skills are mastered by passing the CAP exam. The new, comprehensive CAP Review Guide will ensure Exam applicants have the tools to prepare for this challenging, yet rewarding exam. The Foundation approved funding for $194,000 to support the progress of this certification initiative.

The Foundation previously funded a grant for the CAP Review Guide. That money went to fund viability studies for the Review Guide. These studies needed to be completed before the actual creation of the study guide. This new grant greatly expands on the first by also updating the exam as well as completing the work on the Review Guide.
7 people recommend this.

Leadership, you just can't hear enough about it!  I attended our November meeting this week and our Georgia Division Treasurer Kerri Gibson, CAP-OM, shared some value information with us that Leadership is a Journey and that you should understand your purpose as a leader and she shared with us a book by Bill North with Peter Sims, True North Discover Your Authentic Leadership.  I ordered my copy today and is looking forward to discovering My True North.  I attended a banquet last evening hosted by my church organization and our Bishop Patrick L. Frazier, Jr. reminded the members that we are all leaders and that we must have love for the ones we serve.  I am so excited about where my leadership will take me.
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Webinar: From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan

Presented by Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, MBTI Certified, Founder & CEO of All Things Admin

 1 Recertification Point has been approved by IAAP Headquarter for this webinar.

 DATE: Thursday, November 13, 2014

TIME: 7 PM CST / 8 PM EST

Do you sometimes feel like your career or job responsibilities have veered off the road? Are you looking for more productive ways to manage the constant change in your work environment?  Does staying current with your profession and trends in technology stress you out?

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One complaint I have seen over the years on feedback surveys following educational programs I have chaired or attended is that the topics weren't advanced enough. I decided to combat that complaint by developing a series of webinars that were focused on advanced content. My next webine will be held Wednesday November 19, 2014 at 7:00 PM CT. The focus will be Advanced Techniques for Manipulating Data in Excel.

This 90 minute webinar will teach you tips to save hours of time. We'll be showing you some advanced techniques in Microsoft Excel to manipulate data and help finetune your results.

Participants will learn how to: 
 
- Summarize your data into one simple table using Excel's Pivot Table feature.

- Consolidate multiple lists into one list, eliminating duplicates at the same time.

- Use Excel's built in subtotalling features.

- Filter your data to show only unique values.

- Separate data from one column into multiple columns, such as splitting a cell with City, ST Zip into three separate column entries.

- Combine multiple cells of data into one cell, such as merging the first name and last name into a full name field.

1 person recommends this.

I have not attended any leadership classes or workshops taught by Eeyore, but reviewing the recent discussion about the “value of IAAP” brought the above quote to mind. Granted, the quote can apply to a variety of subjects, and its meaning is certainly open to individual interpretation. Please let me expound on what it means to me right now.

During my 23-year membership in IAAP, it has always been my contention the value received from our membership is directly proportionate to our interest, involvement, participation, and commitment. It didn’t take long after joining for this realization to set in. The theory played out for me personally, and I saw it work both ways with other members too. I jumped right in, obtained my certifications, and progressed through the ranks of office at the chapter and then the division levels. I loved learning about bylaws and parliamentary procedure and watching it used effectively in actual meetings. The apex of my membership was chairing the International Bylaws and Standing Rules Committee in 2011-2012.

Despite my love for parliamentary procedure, rules, guidelines and taking care of business, it became all too obvious during the past decade how the structure of IAAP was causing undue stress, forcing chapters and divisions to try to survive under the infliction of many unenforceable rules and practices. It needed to end. While I was not necessarily pleased with the manner in which the change came to be, I knew it was long overdue. Because I am in the “twilight” of my membership – at age 68 and having been retired from the active workforce for eight years – the restructuring and revitalization of IAAP has not hit me so hard. I will continue my membership…out of curiosity if for no other reason...even though I no longer need to avail myself of the many educational opportunities.

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The IAAP Revitalization initiative, with its variety of organizational enhancements and multitude of member driven activities, is currently underway. As many of you are noticing, things are changing around us. Just a few days ago, new information about Branches and LANs was released. These new local educational and leadership opportunities will be “governance free” and rather than an emphasis on paperwork and compliance tasks will focus on IAAP’s revitalized emphasis on valuable education, networking, and professional development. Branches will ensure IAAP members have a wealth of opportunities to connect, learn, lead, and excel. Branches will advance the mission of IAAP through professional development, volunteer/member service and networking, and renewed opportunities like Branch events to stimulate membership growth and retention. LANs (Local Area Networks) will serve as a frequent, local touch point for members. LANs will be member-driven, member-created, and member-supported just like the former chapters. However, because governance and the need to fund and support chapters has been removed—LANs and Branches will focus on what matters most to IAAP members: being the best at what we do – and being recognized as the cream of the crop in our profession. For more information, take a look at the Branches and LANs documents in the web community.
5 people recommend this.

Dear IAAP Members,

The VIP Chapter cordially invites you to the next chapter presentation, "Power Up Your Writing," is scheduled for Thursday, November 13 at 7 p.m. CST with Ms. Daphne Gray-Grant, author of the blog, Power Writing. Click the link 
to register for this free educational meeting. 

If you want to write, faster or better, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Join this presentation and let Daphne show you how you can strike power into your writing.

Objectives:
*The benefits of mind mapping versus and outline
*Fend off “writer’s procrastination” evil twin brother to “writer’s block”
1 person recommends this.

I have been a member of IAAP for a long time and I've made many friends over the years. Those relationships are a key part of the appeal of our organization and I'm so grateful to have so many of you as my friends. Weeks like this are when I am especially appreciative. :)

My Cranapple Turkey Pizza recipe was selected as a top ten finalist in my local grocery chain's Holiday Recipe contest. I've been putting out the word to my fellow IAAP members asking them to vote for it and you have been coming through in droves.

My fingers (and toes and eyes and...) are crossed. The grand prize winner gets a set of Cuisinart cookware, a private lesson with a chef from a local restaurant, a gift card to the grocery store chain and two VIP tickets to Chicago's Thanksgiving Day parade. That's a pretty awesome prize package, so you can understand why I am excited about possibly winning.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your votes and support!!! I currently have a comfortable lead, but I'm not taking that for granted. However, regardless of what happens, I am appreciative of all that has been done already. 

Today and tomorrow are the last days to vote.If you felt like wandering over and voting for me, the facebook site is
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Do you know what Microsoft Lync is and how to use it? If not, join the Cutting Edge Chapter as Kyle Sheldon-Chandler explains the details to us! Join us for this webinar on Wednesday, November 12th, at 8:00 pm ET. You will learn:

"Microsoft Lync ... What? How?"

1. Overview of Lync
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I was excited to see the communication on the Local Area Networks we can form within the branches of the revitalized IAAP. There is more clarity now on what a LAN will look like and how it will operate.

Reading the questions and discussions going on in the General IAAP Discussion e-Group, I see several comments along the lines of, “Isn’t this just like a chapter?” I see several differences between a chapter and a LAN, and all of them are favorable to a LAN:

  • No governance – Aren’t just about all chapter leaders exhausted from begging people to step up to take leadership roles? If there were no other differences between LAN and chapter, this makes all the change worth it.
  • Standardization – Let me use my city as an example. There are 3 chapters in the city of Charlotte. One is 65 years old, one is 40, and one is 5. The 3 chapters all differ in their quality of program presenters, program topics, energy level at meetings. The guidelines HQ has established for the new structure means you will get the same experience no matter where you go. That is something in which Toastmasters excels. Each club has its own personality, but no matter where in the world you go, if you walk into a Toastmasters meeting you will hear some prepared speeches, Table Topics (to develop impromptu speaking skills), and evaluations. I’m very happy to see IAAP move to emulate that.
13 people recommend this.

From the Desk of the President

As We Continue to Process Change …

… which is one of the most complex actions or activities we face. Change can be very subtle or blatant, however in any form, it is constant. As we continue to move through the intrinsic myriad of changes during the International Association of Administrative Professional’s reorganization and revitalization process, we look for some sense of hope that the positive results that we hope for will come to fruition.

I believe that the guiding hope is that the organization which has been the torch bearer for secretaries, administrative assistants and/or administrative support will grow and deliver a new era of highly respected professional training, networking, and certification opportunities to multigenerational progressive administrative professionals. As this organization, which is being imitated in various forms must now compete to regain its identity while maintaining a relationship with current members, and attract new members who may have a different set of expectations for the organization’s deliverables (professional training, certification, and networking, etc.)

4 people recommend this.

I'm super pleased to announce a brand new Advanced Techniques Webinar!!! On Wednesday November 19 at 7:00 PM CT, I will be presenting a 90 minute program on Advanced Techniques for Manipulating Data in Microsoft Excel. This program will include many high level tips that anyone who works in Excel should know. Date not convenient? No problem! People who sign up for the webinar will also receive a link to the recording afterwards. This program will qualify for 1.5 CAP recertification points. Space is limited!!!

To learn more, drop me an email at iaap@mrhenterprises.com.
2 people recommend this.

I often find it difficult to talk about myself, but I’m glad Marie made this homework assignment mandatory. I never considered joining IAAP or taking the CAP or OM exams until last April. While attending a chapter seminar, I won a free one-year membership to IAAP as a door prize. I took this as a sign that perhaps it was time to focus more attention on myself and some of my dreams that have been put on hold.

I have worked up through the ranks over the years from clerk typist to executive secretary senior and soon will have almost 30 years of service. While I have always taken the opportunity to increase my knowledge by attending workshops, seminars, etc., I always felt that “something” was missing. For various reasons, I didn’t complete college, and perhaps it is the void of not having a degree – something that signified an accomplishment – that I yearned for.  Whatever the reason, a little voice kept saying to me, “Now is the right time. You can do this. Go for it!”

I started inquiring about the CAP and OM exams. The thought of committing myself to more than the occasional one- or two-day workshop was a bit scary but exciting as well. For the first time in a long time, I am pursing something that is just for me - not to please anyone else, not because I have to, but because I see certification as an added bonus to my career. I have a real passion for my work, and I want to contribute as much as I can to my organization before I decide to retire. I know that my sound a little corny, but my entire 30 years of service has been with one organization, so there are some deep roots there.

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Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working

together is success”.


As a Board, Western Canada Division is working hard to serve our Division members.  

Collectively, we are working together to ensure that our Chapters and members have the level of 

support needed to in order transition into the new structure.


The WCD Board is actively embracing the future and looks forward to the revitalized International 

Association of Administrative Professionals.  We applaud each and every member in our Division 

for your ongoing and continued support of IAAP.

In the midst of change, the essence of what makes our Association excellent remains.  Be 

encouraged to actively work towards the 2014-2015 Member of Excellence designation; consider 

obtaining your certification or continue working towards a successful recertification.

The essence of IAAP has not changed – be proud to belong to and collaborate with like-minded 

administrative professionals.
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I am writing this blog, my first ever blog, to fulfill an assignment by my CAP Study Group leader.  To start, let’s just say that I love words!  I truly appreciate the skill, patience, and commitment it takes to pull together a nicely written letter or document.  While I have never written a true “blog” before, and I am not absolutely sure that this one-time event could even be considered a true “blog,” I accept the challenge. 

Why am I taking the
CAP Examination?
In a nutshell, I am taking the
CAP exam because I know I can learn more and offer more to my employer all the while improving how I feel about myself. 
 

1 person recommends this.
Tags/Keywords:
Topics : CAP, Certification

A blog posting from another of my students. :)

******************

I have been in the Administrative field for about 5 years and I love it because my passion has always been to help others. Not until recently I came across IAAP and the CAP Certification. In my institution, no one knows what the CAP is, but in my research I was opened up to a whole new world. Everyone who is currently or has taken the certification seems so motivated and loves the career path that they have chosen. Having this certification will give me a better understanding of my institution and will in turn help me to be a better EA for my boss.

In deciding to choose the study group was easy, I looked at the study guide and the questions were much more involved than I anticipated. That made it easy; I needed to get into a study group! Choosing to be in a group will allow me the opportunity to share and gain new insights on particular topics which will in turn enrich my knowledge. I love my job and to have the CAP under my belt will only set me up for success and I can see that my future is bright.
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Pursuing my certification as an administrative assistant has been a goal of mine for several years.  When my employer offered to pay for the exam I jumped at the chance.  Having been out of school for quite some time though, I realized that my study and test taking skills were a little bit rusty to say the least so I knew that a study group would be well worth my money and time.  I had been searching for a study group for several months before I found the listing for Marie Herman's online study group. The fact that it is online worked  not only works perfectly for my busy schedule but also allows me learn and interact with the other students attending. I believe that a study group not only reinforces better learning skills but also builds confidence which I know I will need to pass the exam. 
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I have attended IAAP meetings in the Golden Corridor Chapter for the last few years and have thought about looking into the certification, but kept putting it off.  When my co-worker told me that she was looking into the study group to take the certification test, I thought it would be a good time for me to seriously consider signing up as well, so I did.  This is the first time I have taken an online course, which I am enjoying. It is convenient to take the course from home, the timing works out very well for me. I get home from work, walk my dog, eat some dinner, and then it is just about 7:00pm, and I am ready to log in and listen. 

I have been an administrative assistant for many years, so this is good information for me to review and get tips to improve my skills.  So far, I find the chapters to be interesting, and feel it should help me to grow, and get better at my job. I don't retain what I read very well, so reading and then reviewing it with the study group is very beneficial for me.  If I just relied on my reading to study for the certification test, I would not feel as confident as participating in the online study group classes.  The study group is making me feel more prepared for the actual test.  
2 people recommend this.

It has been some time since I have had to take a formal exam (with the exception of work related training).  It has also been some time that I have been thinking about taking the CAP Exam.  With the encouragement of a couple of IAAP members and friends, I have decided that now is the time! 

I have been fortunate enough to find an online study group to help me prepare for the exam. We are now two weeks into the study group and I can honestly say I look forward to "meeting" and learning each week.  It has truly helped to be a part of the study group in that is has reinforced some things I already know and clarifies those things that I might be on the fence about as far as my job is concerned. I am still a bit nervous about taking a 3 hour exam, however, as each week of the study group goes by I become more confident in what I already know and the new things I learn.  I am really looking forward to taking and passing the CAP Exam in March of 2015.

2 people recommend this.

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