Looking to Become an Effective Leader Assistant?

August 4, 2018

 

Today we have guest Jeremy Burrows, who is an Executive Assistant to the CEO at Jane.ai and an Executive Coach at Go Burrows. He has created some fantastic resources to help assistants (and executives) excel in the workplace. I look forward to sharing those with all of you today!
 

CH: Hi Jeremy, thank you for joining us! Could you please share an overview of your background?

 

JB: Hi Christina! 

 

I grew up as the oldest of 4 in Kansas City, MO, where my brothers and I spent most of our time playing and watching baseball, riding bikes, and taking care of our little sister. 

 

I moved to St. Louis, MO in 2004 and married my beautiful wife Meghan in 2010. We have 2 boys; Weston, who is 6.5, and Silas, who is 4.5. Here’s a pic in case you need some cuteness today… :)
 

 

Professionally, I have 10+ years of experience supporting fast-paced and high-capacity leaders as an Executive Assistant.

 

I’m currently an EA to the CEO and Co-founder of an artificial intelligence software company here in St. Louis, MO. You can check us out at Jane.ai. We are building an AI platform for enterprise companies – it’s fun to be part of the future! (If your company is interested in a Siri for the workplace, let me know!)
 

I also have a coaching business at GoBurrows.com where I help executives and assistants accomplish their goals without burning out. 

 

Since launching GoBurrows.com in 2016, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to provide group training, one-on-one coaching, free resources, and blog content to help thousands of executives and assistants. Honestly, I’m overwhelmed at how many people have read and shared my blog posts. It’s such a joy to know that something I’ve created is helpful to others!
 

CH: Could you please share a bit more about your coaching practice?

 

JB: Sure! In short, I help executives find, hire, and equip their assistants. I also help assistants become more productive and impactful leaders in their workplace.

 

When I started out, I focused on helping executives, but I quickly realized assistants were the ones signing up for my email list and reading my blog posts – even though I primarily wrote directly to executives. 

 

So I coach executives and assistants. Sometimes separately, sometimes together! 

 

Either way, one of the primary ways I help my clients is to take them through my 5-step process:
 

Step 1: Examine - What am I doing with my time?
Step 2: Evaluate - What drains me? What energizes me? (Where am I wasting energy?)
Step 3: Envision - What are my goals? What do I want to focus on?
Step 4: Eliminate - What should I stop doing? What needs to be delegated?
Step 5: Empower - Who should I delegate to? How can I equip them to succeed?

 

CH: Throughout my career as an assistant, I was always frustrated by the lack of resources for those in our field. I know you have felt the same. I heard you created a fantastic new training to help solve this problem. Could you please tell us about it?

 

JB: I’ve definitely been frustrated at the lack of accessible resources for assistants, particularly in the US. I love the resources you provide, and I also think Nicky at PracticallyPerfectPA.com is doing amazing work. There are also some good in-person events, but there is definitely a lack of practical online training.

 

My long-term plan is to launch a premium online training course for assistants, but one night I had an idea to do a sort of “mini-course” challenge for assistants. Something at a lower price point and possibly less intimidating but still very practical and helpful. 

 

So I started brainstorming and I came up with the plan for the 30-Day Assistant Challenge, focused all my time and energy on building the course, and I launched it in June!

 

Here's the general idea: What if each weekday for 30 days you opened your inbox to an encouraging and challenging email to help you become a more productive and respected leader assistant? 

 

This is exactly what members get if they take the 30-Day Assistant Challenge with myself and fellow assistants from around the world. Members get an email every weekday for 30 days that will include a bite-sized challenge they can tackle that day. 


For those interested, I’m happy to provide a special discount for Tips For Assistants readers. Just go to this special link for the discounted rates. 
 

CH: I know you mentioned that the training helps assistants to be leaders. What does it mean to be a “leader assistant” and how does this resource help assistants in that area?

 

JB: I believe a “leader assistant” is selfless, humble, confident, proactive, focused, others-centered, loyal, strong, and kind. A leader assistant doesn’t just do what is asked, but they ask questions like, “Is this task necessary?” and “What’s a better way to solve this problem?” They are aware of their surroundings and figure out ways to become more efficient and think outside the box.

 

The 30-Day Challenge helps assistants look around them and consider how they might impact their workplace in ways they may have never thought of before. 
 

For example, one of the challenges is to take a coworker to lunch and ask them what their favorite – and least favorite part – about the company is. This is something I never did in my last job because I was so stuck in the weeds. I can’t begin to imagine how much more effective I could have been at my last company if I would have simply taken a few coworkers to lunch and asked them how they thought things were going. 

 

The goal of each challenge is to practically help assistants grow into becoming more respected leaders in the workforce.
 

CH: This all sounds incredible - I’m excited for others to check out this resource! I know it is still new, but have you received any feedback on it yet?

 

JB: Yes, we have about 35 members from all over the world (which is amazing!). Here’s an encouraging note I got from a member just the other day:

 

“I’m getting so much out of your daily requests. They are helping me become more aware of boundaries and how to ‘self-care’. Sometimes it’s easy to forget about yourself when the workplace is so crazy! Looking forward to more interesting challenges!”

 

We’d love more assistants to join!
 

CH: One of the things I love about your blog is how you share such great productivity tips so assistants (and executives!) can be more efficient. What are your top three favorite tips for those in support roles?
 

JB: Hmmm…
I would say these are my top 3 productivity tips:

 

  1. Create and use an Ideal Week Calendar.

  2. Don’t get sucked into the latest productivity app. Just use what works for you and your boss and spend your time getting things done – not trying new apps/software.

  3. Executives and their assistant should meet 1-on-1 every week. If they don’t, they won’t be productive.

 

CH: Is there anything else you would like to add?

 

JB: I would love to have more assistants join us for the 30-Day Challenge! Don’t forget to go to this special link for the discounted rates. 

 

CH: Thank you for taking the time to be here Jeremy. I appreciate all you are doing to help the assistant community!

 

JB: Thank YOU, Christina! Keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing my story on your amazing site!

 

Jeremy Burrows helps executives and assistants accomplish their goals without burning out at GoBurrows.com. He’s also the founder of the 30-Day Assistant Challenge. Jeremy is a husband, father, EA to the CEO at Jane.ai, and a die-hard Royals fan.

 

You can connect with Jeremy on the following platforms:

LinkedIn
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

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