Assist With Impact

A podcast for assistants and administrative professionals. If you're ready to be more impactful and show up as a Linchpin Assistant then this is a must-listen podcast. Join your host Liz Van Vliet and learn practical tips, strategies and insights that will help you move beyond being simply an order-taker.
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May 29, 2023

Nikki-Lee Prismall is an extremely busy woman. She is EA to the Enterprise COO for KPMG Australia and also National Manager Business Support at KPMG Australia. 

In Part Two of this episode pair, your host Liz Van Vliet explores Nikki's EA role supporting the Enterprise Chief Operating Officer for KPMG Australia and how an invitation to contribute to a project team exploring ways of more efficiently leveraging the Administrative Support Function across the enterprise opened up a new and exciting path for Nikki. 

We discuss the impact of Covid and being intentional around your communication and how assistants can lead by being ambassadors within their teams and for their managers. 

Connect with Nikki on LinkedIn here:

Make sure to catch up on Part One of Nikki's story in Episode 176 if you haven't already!

Learn more about Liz and how she can support you through training, coaching or speaking to your team by visiting the website - The Linchpin Assistant

Connect with Liz on Instagram or LinkedIn

May 22, 2023

Nikki-Lee Prismall is an extremely busy woman. She is EA to the Enterprise COO for KPMG Australia and also National Manager Business Support at KPMG Australia. 

In this two part series, Liz Van Vliet uncovers Nikki's early career experiences and the transferable skills she developed and brought across into her EA role with KPMG. 

We discuss the importance of emotional intelligence and self insight, self belief and confidence. 

Connect with Nikki on LinkedIn here

Make sure to join us for Part Two of Nikki's story next week.

The new and updated website for The Linchpin Assistant

Connect with Liz on Instagram or LinkedIn




May 9, 2023

In this weeks solo episode your host Liz Van Vliet shares five tips that Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants and Administrative Assistants can implement that will ensure they are seen as more than transactional and reactive and instead be perceived as strategic, big-picture thinkers.

Apr 26, 2023

Description: In this solo episode, we explore how AI and ChatGPT are changing the administrative profession and whether they pose an opportunity or threat for you as an administrative professional. We discuss a recent experiment conducted by the New York Times and share insights on how AI can help you in your daily tasks while also emphasizing the importance of adaptability and staying ahead of the curve.

Show Notes:

  1. Introduction

    • Discussion about the recent New York Times article on ChatGPT and Bard as executive assistants
    • Results of the experiment and the implications for human executive assistants
  2. Adapting to AI and ChatGPT

    • The importance of embracing new technology in the administrative profession
    • Historical examples of technological advancements, such as the electric typewriter and early PCs
    • The need for adaptability, flexibility, and curiosity
  3. Insights from Toby Walsh, chief scientist at UNSW's AI Institute

    • AI taking over the four Ds of work: dirty, dull, difficult, and dangerous tasks
    • The limitations of AI, including social and emotional intelligence, creativity, and adaptability
  4. Opportunities for administrative professionals

    • Offloading dull tasks to AI and focusing on more creative contributions
    • Upcoming podcast guests who are thought leaders in the administrative profession
    • Following these thought leaders and experimenting with tools like ChatGPT
  5. Tips and precautions when using ChatGPT

    • Privacy concerns when using free versions of digital products
    • Inaccuracies in AI-generated results and the importance of verification
    • Mastering the art of crafting prompts for better results


Apr 12, 2023

Liz is sharing some big news in this weeks podcast episode relating to her business.

Listen to this episode to hear the what, when and the why!

Connect with me on Instagram and LinkedIn and make sure you're subscribed to my newsletter to be the first to hear when my exciting new program launches.

Mar 27, 2023

In this episode of Assist With Impact, Liz’s guest is Dr. Kirstin Ferguson AM an author, columnist and company director. Liz talks with Kirstin about her experience navigating the career ‘climbing frame’ and her latest book, Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership.

Kirstin shares some pivotal moments in her career, including when she was debating whether to become a journalist or join the military after leaving school. She ultimately chose the military, but her love for writing and journalism remained. She shares that she often suffers from imposter syndrome, but has learned to say yes anyway and trust herself.

Listen to the podcast to hear Kirstin discuss what readers can expect from Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership and why it is different to the many other leadership books that  have been published. Kirstin explains that the book is unlike any other book on leadership because it combines her own research and experience with interviews of a diverse range of people, not just corporate leaders. She also talks about the importance of an Australian view on what it means to be a modern leader and how the book covers a mix of theories and research behind leadership.

The Head & Heart Leader Scale™ is a tool developed by Kirstin Ferguson with Lisa Bradley at the QUT Business School to assess leaders' ability to integrate emotional intelligence with their professional skills. The scale is based on the concept that leadership involves not only technical competencies, but also a range of emotional intelligence skills, including empathy, self-awareness, and social skills. 

The scale consists of 24 questions that assess a leader's ability to lead with both their head and their heart, with each question assessing a different aspect of leadership. The aim of the scale is to help leaders identify areas where they can improve and develop their emotional intelligence skills to become more effective leaders.

Kirstin and Liz discuss the results of Liz’s Head & Heart Leader Scale Survey and how the results should be interpreted.

Throughout the interview, Liz and Kirstin discuss the various ways Kirstin has advocated for women, including her viral social media campaign called #CelebratingWomen and how Administrative professionals can and do lead from within, and we discuss the contribution of Kirstin’s own Chief of Staff Luisa.

Visit to take the 24-question survey and find out where you can order your copy of Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership.


Connect with Liz

Mar 15, 2023
There seems to be a real push on for assistants to aspire to more. 
Even the term 'assistant' is apparently uncool!
On the one hand, you're being told that you're more than 'just an assistant' and then seeing programs that promote you to aim to be more than just an assistant.
I don't know about you, but I'm confused.
In this solo episode I share my perspective on the realities of the assistant career. What it looks like to be an assistant for a 'reason, a season or a lifetime' and why no one path is right for everyone.
I also share why I believe that:

- You are valuable and of value as an assistant

- You can expand the boundaries of your role as an assistant 
- You are not your job and you are not tied to the manager or leader you support
And why I encourage you to:
- Get clear on your value
- Get clear on your values
- Build your confidence and your competence

The Boston Consulting Group I reference can be found here:

Connect with me on Instagram and LinkedIn and make sure you're subscribed to my newsletter to be the first to hear when my exciting new program launches.


Mar 13, 2023

In this episode, Liz shares a simple yet effective framework for assistants to build and maintain their understanding of their manager's needs and priorities. She talks about how managing different needs and priorities across different executives can cause stress and anxiety and contribute to overwhelm.

Liz introduces the 3 Ps - Preferences, Priorities, and Pet Peeves - and explains how they can be used to set up new relationships for success and reset existing relationships.

She emphasizes that assistants are not mind readers and need information, insight, and experience to manage their manager's needs and preferences effectively. Liz breaks down each of the three Ps and provides examples of how assistants can gather information about them, including asking their manager directly.

Liz also emphasizes the importance of ongoing dialogue and structured approaches to checking in with managers as priorities are constantly changing. She suggests documenting the three Ps for managers and keeping the list handy and updated.

Liz highlights the 3 Ps as a dynamic document that can be used as a handover document and shared with other EA colleagues. She encourages assistants to be proactive, curious, and interested in their manager's needs and priorities.

Finally, Liz talks about how to put the 3 Ps into practice, emphasizing the importance of using open-ended questions and fostering curiosity for insights. She also mentions that she provides a workbook for coaching clients and training program attendees that guides them through how to set up a 3 Ps conversation with their manager.

Listeners who want to learn more about Liz's training programs and membership platform can sign up for her email newsletter at

Feb 13, 2023

Liz’s guest is Ruth Kilah, Founder & CEO of Hoxton Hyde. She is an Australian based, International Executive Assistant Coach + Mentor and International Speaker. Ruth provides one to one and group coaching program for Assistants.

Ruth specialises in helping assistants become strategic thinkers and operators. As a former Senior Executive Assistant and Project Manager, Ruth has over 13 years’ experience in managing time for C-Suite Executives in Australia and in the United Kingdom, predominantly for large global corporations.


Listen to this interview to hear Ruth share her background and her experience navigating the career Spider Frame. Ruth also outlines her approach to working with assistants, what motivated her to establish Hoxton Hyde (and the origins of her business name).


Ruth also shares three top tips for upping your effectiveness when it comes to being a strategic partner to your business leader.


Ruth also shares a bonus tip that is pure gold…so make sure you listen right to the end!


Connect with Ruth Kilah via Instagram and LinkedIn and join the Extraordinary Executive Assistants free Facebook Community.

Jan 31, 2023

All good things are worth waiting for, including Liz's word for 2023!

In this episode Liz shares the word that she has decided aptly describes her outlook for 2023.

If you want to stay across all the upcoming announcements around Power Skills for Linchpin Assistants, make sure you're following Liz on Instagram -

Liz also invites you to connect on LinkedIn -

Jan 16, 2023

A solo episode encouraging assistants to embrace their inner 'slinky' and reflect on the Power Skills that enable Linchpin Assistants to stay in that impactful zone. 

Episode 107 - Why Assistants Are The Human Equivalent Of A Slinky can be found below:

The following are two blog posts I wrote on the same topic:

Connect with Liz on Instagram

Connect with Liz on LinkedIn

Dec 19, 2022

My interview today is with Jessica Davies. Operations Manager for Dr. Peter Fuda, based in Sydney, Australia.

Jess has worked with Peter for over four years now. Commencing in an EA capacity and subsequently moving into the role of Operations Manager early in 2022. 

In that capacity, Jess partners with Peter across three key streams; his consultancy; The Alignment Partnership, his leadership app; Enixa and any speaking engagements he undertakes. 

In the Operations Manage role, Jess works across account management, project management, marketing and content creation, always with the intention to amplify Peter’s work.

 Prior to TAP, Jess worked at a Fintech start-up in London as the EA to the CEO, and has held a number of executive assistant and team assistant roles prior to that.

I met Jess Davies when I reached out via LinkedIn to connect with Peter Fuda.  

I was immediately impressed with her professionalism and communication skills. In my interactions with Jess, it was clear that Peter placed enormous value and trust in her and this was articulated by him when I interviewed him in Episode 165 of the podcast…if you haven’t listened to that episode…you must go back and take a listen. 

Peter described how Jess has the ability to '10x' what he is doing. She is a force multiplier. I had already decided that I wanted to invite Jess to be a guest on the podcast, and that recommendation just cemented it. 

It was a delight to speak to someone like Jess who embodies the characteristics of the Linchpin Assistant. In this interview, you will hear how Jess reflects all five levels of the Linchpin Model that I train and teach. 

Jess speaks about how the culture Peter has created is one where busyness is not a badge of honour. Instead, effectiveness and creating capacity are capabilities that are encouraged.

It was a delight to interview Jess and to hear her describe her curiosity, her thirst for knowledge.

In this final episode of the podcast in 2022 it is a delight to bring you an admin professional who  has truly revealed her leadership capabilities and continues to grow and develop. Someone who truly represents the idea that Leadership is not a position; it’s a mindset and a toolset.

 Connect with Jess via LinkedIn or they’re welcome to contact me on email: – and of course, the best way to access Enixa on a 30 day free trial is via

Dec 5, 2022

For two decades, Dr. Peter Fuda has been a Sherpa to leaders, teams and organizations across the globe as a consultant, coach, author, researcher, speaker and professor of management.

Andy Penn, the former CEO of Telstra (Australia’s pre-eminent telecommunications company has said of Peter “If I can only spend an hour with one person, I choose to spend it with Peter.”

Most recently, Peter has been driven by a mission to democratize leadership, via an innovative digital product. It’s called Enixa.

I am a huge fan girl of Peter’s having first come across his thought-leadership when I was an EA.


I will also say that as a proud Aussie, it brings me enormous pleasure to be bringing Peter to you, my lovely listeners who are spread across the globe and who more than likely are unfamiliar with his work. It is so wonderful for me to be able to share such a brilliant and innovative leadership expert like Peter with you. As you know, I’m a strong believer that as an assistant you have the ability to lead from where you are and we don’t need to be leaders of people to be leaders and to demonstrate self-leadership.

In this wide-ranging discussion you will hear

- Peter’s take on this and how leadership is not a position. 

- What it means to have influence: How it’s a factor of two vital ingredients.

- His observations on the value assistants can bring to their leader and in fact he sings the praises of his own former EA and now Operations Manager, Jessica Davies….and, spoiler alert, in my next episode (#166) you will hear my interview with Jess where we talk about how her role as a Linchpin Assistant supporting Peter.

- The ONE resource (aside from Enixa) that Peter feels should be on your reading list

It was an honour and privilege to interview Peter and I want to extend my deepest thanks to Jess for facilitating the interview. Peter shared that he turns down 9 out of 10 speaking/media opportunities. The fact that he chose to spend some of his valuable time with me is a wonderful compliment that I do not take lightly.

What a way to finish off 2023. Two back-to-back episodes with a brilliant leader and leadership expert and his equally brilliant Linchpin Assistant. Stand-by for Episode 166 in two weeks time!

Find out more about Enixa and sign up for your FREE 30 Day Trial at

Follow Peter on Instagram here:

Follow or Connect with Peter on LinkedIn:


Nov 21, 2022

It’s a delight to bring you my interview with Candice Burningham, the Founder of Admin Avenues and a former Executive Assistant to some of the biggest names in media. 

Leaders Candice has supported include the President of NBC News International, Managing Director of Channel 9 and CEO of SBS.

Candice is the Founder of Admin Avenues, an online platform specialising in administrative roles. Launched in late April 2022, it is fast becoming the go–to place for matching candidates with recruiters and employers in the Australian marketplace.

At the time of launch Candice stated that “After 20 years in the industry, I could see a gap in the market for a place where Australian admin job seekers could find great roles and where employers could find qualified admin candidates,”

In our chat we talk about the vision Candice has for Admin Avenues to become a “one stop shop” for all admin roles. It comes to market with the ambition to provide a more curated jobs portal from the established employment platforms.

We also discuss Candice’s experience as an EA and her observations around what it takes to survive and thrive in the role. 

Grab yourself a beverage and settle in for a fantastic discussion with a leader in the admin community and someone you can expect to hear more and more great things coming from.

To connect with Candice and Admin Avenues go to

Sign up for the newly announced FREE membership option here

Oct 31, 2022

Episode 163 is my interview with Jeanette Botha.

Jeanette is an experienced business leader and currently VP of Sales Development for a multi-national based in Bonn, Germany.  Her main responsibility is leading all Sales initiatives, programs and initiatives with the 40 EU countries to deliver their revenue targets. 

Jeanette is also an ICF (International Coaching Federation) accredited coach with a specific focus on empowering professionals with the presentation skills to ensure they are visible in their organisation. Jeanette says:

"Your work doesn't have vocal cords, my friend. It can't speak for itself."

In this wide-ranging interview we cover:

- Navigating career spider frame, moving from South Africa to Germany. 

- How in her experience, “the next best step is not always up”

- Shares her experience of believing that simply being great at her job would make her visible and promotable and the hard lessons she can share in this area where she had to push herself out of her comfort zone and make herself visible

- Valuable tips on presentation skills - that they’re underrated “they’re the black sheep of corporate skills”, not a “nice to have, but a must”.

- How being visible within the org is key to you being seen not just for career profession but also to be visible as role models for others.

- A fantastic suggestion that you as an assistant get time in team meetings…helpful for you to start developing your presentation skills. Helps others see you as an equal member of the team. Opportunity for you to stand up and stand out.

- How presentation skills build your ability to communicate your value

- Why you need to get comfortable with nerves


Four tips for how to get present more effectively

  1. How the word Confidence comes from the Latin word ‘fidera’ which means ‘to trust yourself’ and that is an intentional decision we can make for ourselves
  2. Remember the importance of being concise so your message doesn’t get lost
  3. The value of learning how to use pace in delivering your content and your message. When we speak too fast, we can seem nervous.
  4. Managing pause fillers. Something we do when we stop to think. 

Listen right to the end to hear about a brilliant free tool that Jeanette is making available for you to get an understanding of the strengths you already possess as a presenter and how you can amplify them.

You can find Jeanette's website and the link to the tool here:

Connect with Jeanette on LinkedIn


Oct 18, 2022

This week's solo episode is a 'love letter' to the committed and concerted efforts of the delegates, members and observers that attended Week 1 of the WA-Summit this past weekend.

If you aren't already aware of the tireless work being undertaken by this global coalition of administrative networks and associations then I encourage you to familiarise yourself with it.

If you want evidence of the outcomes that this group of volunteers have delivered, look no further than the Global Skills Matrix which you can find details of here:

I'd love to connect with you if we haven't already done so.

You can find me on Instagram and LinkedIn

Oct 4, 2022

Episode 161 is a solo episode sharing an article I recently read in the Harvard Business Review by Liz Wiseman, author of Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact.


I shared a book review in Episode 145 that you should listen to if you’d like an overview of the book and the valuable research Liz shares. You can find the episode here:


The other authors that I’ve interviewed on the podcast and feel you should definitely listen to if you haven’t already are Jo Miller, author of Woman of Influence: 9 Steps to Build Your Brand, Establish Your Legacy, and Thrive and Andrea Clarke, author of Future Fit: How to Stay Relevant and Competitive in the Future of Work.


You can find the links to these episodes below:

Make sure to follow me on Instagram to receive my Monday Motivation and Wednesday Wisdom from inspirational humans and thought leaders, past and present.

You can find me here:

Sep 19, 2022

Episode 160 is my interview with Steuart Snooks, Based in Melbourne, Australia, he is an Email and Workplace Productivity Expert.

Steuart works with business owners, senior executives, their EAs and support teams who are overloaded with email and crying out for practical, affordable solutions to the relentless demands of email and the workload it drives.

Steuart has over 25 years’ experience in researching and developing best practices for managing incoming email and workload and restoring email to its rightful place as a powerful tool to facilitate improved workplace and personal productivity.

Steuart has developed a breakthrough method that revolutionises the way Executives and their EAs/PAs manage their inboxes. It aims to elevate the skills and knowledgeof the EA/PA to free up their time, energy, and headspace so they can offer greater support to their Executive who can then focus on the higher-order thinking, strategic focus, andleadership aspects of their role.

Much of this work is done with the EA/PA, minimising the time commitment needed by the Executive.

In the episode Steuart shares:

- the three pillars of his framework and why they are key to your effectiveness

- simple tips to revolutionise your inbox (and your executive's) NOW

- how you can find out more about the tactics that will make managing your executive's inbox and your own email less stressful and time consuming.

Connect with Steuart on LinkedIn

Find out more about Steuart's online courses:

Sep 5, 2022

In order to assist with impact you need to be trustworthy, to be that safe pair of hands for your executive. But for you to reach that point you also need to have built and maintained your crediblity.

In Episode 159 of the podcast I share some Stephen M. R. Covey wisdom with you. The four must-do's if you want to be seen as credible. He explored these core elements in his book The Speed of Trust. 

I also discuss this article which talks about the idea of "2 percenters" and how small things can be integral to you building credibility and trust.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram so you can get weekly doses of my #MotivationMonday and #WednesdayWisdom words to live by.

Aug 16, 2022

The final episode in my little three-part series with tips and strategies to help you lift your effectiveness when it comes to managing your Executive's inbox and crafting emails.

In this final episode of the series I share 3 'mini' tips that will hopefully be of benefit to you.

Upping your email effectiveness builds the partnership between you and your executive. It allows you to earn trust and builds confidence in you as a safe pair of hands.

If you're not following me on Instagram, head on over and find me at


Aug 1, 2022

My second hack for upping your effectiveness is about the structure of your emails.

It’s an approach called BLUF which stands for Bottom Line Up Front

A BLUF (bottom line up front) is a framework where the essential information is placed at the beginning of the text, rather than the end. The BLUF framework makes you more credible. You will sound more crisp and confident. That sends a powerful signal that you know your stuff.

Jul 18, 2022

Welcome to the first of a three-part series designed to help you be more proactive and effective.

In this episode I share an approach to crafting email subject lines that have more impact.

Effective subject lines clearly communicate the action you expect or want the recipient to take. 

It’s effectively cuing the person - saving them time and mental energy as they scan their inbox.

This simple approach uses square brackets that show the abbreviated action or keyword.

Square brackets stand out visually so the cue will be clearer

Implementing this approach requires you to be proactive. Incorporating this approach will require you to discuss with your exec to agreen on the abbreviations are that you’re going to use.

Jun 20, 2022

Ursula Kohler understands just how vital an effective EA can be for their manager and their organisation. As the founder and MD of Capital EA, Ursula is a leader and advocate for upskilling and training EAs in Australia so that they can cultivate a "can do" solution focussed attitude. 

It was an honour to interview Ursula for the podcast. It is a 'high-water' mark for me as a host to feature someone of Ursula's calibre. Both in terms of what she delivered as an EA herself and in terms of what she delivers as a provider of training, mentoring and coaching to EAs around Australia.

Connect with Ursula and Capital EA here:

Find Ursula on LinkedIn:

And on social media:

Learn more about the Lead EA Network:



- How Ursula identified her strengths early in life 

Jun 7, 2022

While our emotions have evolved to help us, there are times when our emotional responses no longer serve us for a variety of reasons. Unwanted emotional triggers can range from being a minor nuisance, to in some instances, leading us towards behavior we may later regret.

I like to say we are human beings, not human doings. Assistants are required to give and receive feedback. 

Being able to stay 'above the line' in terms of our thinking and behaviour is a key part of being able to Assist With Impact.

Understanding the six triggers that can get in the way of us being able to engage with people in a healthy and productive way is an essential part of knowing yourself.

In this episode I share:

- six emotional triggers that can be at play in our relationships

- how awareness of these triggers can help us avoid an Amygdala Hijack (what happens when emotion takes over and our lizard brain fires up)

- why this self awareness is important

I hope you enjoy the episode.

Connect with me on Instagram or LinkedIn to stay in touch.


May 23, 2022

Lauren Calvert is a Strategic Business Partner and career EA with over 15 years experience working with CEOs of multi-national and blue chip organisations.

In 2019 Lauren launched The Well-Suited Group -  a ‘go to’ agency for businesses and individuals in need of premium administrative support, creating opportunities for women in senior executive support roles seeking more flexibility and partnering with CEO’s and companies who value good support and champion flexibility that works for all.

Listen to this interview to hear Lauren describe her own experience navigating the career spider frame (as I like to call it). 

Lauren shares how she developed the combination of project management skills and commercial acumen led to her moving out of the Executive Assistant role and how she intentionally returned to the role of EA because of the opportunity to partner with her business leader to deliver strategic business support.

You can connect with Lauren at The Well Suited Group:





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