Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to London as one of the speakers for Executive Secretary LIVE hosted by Lucy Brazier, CEO of Marcham Publishing, specialist publishers of Executive Secretary Magazine – a global training magazine dedicated to the professional development needs of senior and aspiring administrative professionals. The experience was, in one word, PHENOMENAL! From the moment I was greeted by my driver at Heathrow until I was dropped back off at the airport six days later, I soaked in every minute. Did it rain? Yes, it was raining when I landed. Did it snow? Yes, it snowed the night before I left. Did I have jetlag? You bet! I think I’m still battling the residuals of the time difference two weeks later. Oh, but what about the good stuff? There’s plenty! Here are some of the lessons I learned from my trip:
- Transparency and sharing your journey can inspire others. I’ll be perfectly honest with you, being transparent can be scary and downright terrifying when you are surrounded by people you know. Now imagine being transparent with people you just met 48 hours prior. Talk about a leap of faith. But here’s what happened. I became relatable. The attendees at the conference saw themselves in me and vice versa.
- You never know who is watching you. There I was minding my own business (after eating a delicious cheeseburger) and from across the room, I hear a woman calling my name. She tells me that she’s an Ayanna Castro fan. Excuse me? A fan? The woman’s name is Melissa Esquibel, a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with more than 25 years in business application technology. She proceeds to tell me that she thought that one of the FB live videos I posted for Work Your Package Wednesday was epic. (Insert a big fat HOLY COW right here). Then it happened again when a conference delegate told me how much she looks forward to my post. I had no idea they were watching, I was just delivering on a promise to myself to show up consistently every Wednesday. Be true to who you are and let your light speak for itself.
- Never stop practicing your craft. Do you know that some of the most world-renowned singers have vocal coaches? When I learned that little tidbit, I decided that I would never stop practicing my craft. It wasn’t my first time giving my signature presentation but it was the first time I was delivering it in front of an international audience and I wanted to make sure I gave the delegates my best effort. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done something a thousand times, practice is part of growth.
- Check your ego at the door. When you do something with the intention to serve and not be served, leaving your ego at the door (or better at home) is an easy thing to do. Once you realize that your gifts and talents are to be given away, it is harder for your ego to show up.
Here’s the bonus…adding this amazing presenters and speakers to my network. Someone asked me if they were my family from London. My response was very simple, “They are my family now.”
Pictured Left to Right: (back row) Dinah Liversidge, Lucy Brazier, Chrissy Scivicque, Cynthia Thomsen, RoseMarie Terenzio, Geoff Richards, Vickie Sokol Evans; (front row) Kemetia Foley, Colette Carlson, Shelagh Donnelly, Andrea Macarie, Ayanna Castro, Marie Herman
I’m excited to be part of the Executive Secretary LIVE speaker family and a contributor to the Executive Secretary Magazine. Check out my articles:
- Five Workplace Behaviors That Need to Stop
- Coach, mentor, sponsor and a personal board of directors? Yes, you need all of them