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.
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 https://www.enixa.co/
Follow Peter on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/peterfuda/
Follow or Connect with Peter on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-peter-fuda-5870ab4a/
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
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:
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
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 https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanettebotha/
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
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:
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
1. The situation/context
2. The gaps we identified and the steps I suggested to help this assistant reset and re energise the relationship and build trust and confidence
3. The five challenges that I present to all assistants who seek out my assistance and why these five challenges are built on intentional communication with your manager
4. Five simple actions you can take RIGHT now if you are looking to assist with impact.
I'm sharing some exciting news in this episode of the podcast that I hope you will be excited about too.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on my news so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on LinkedIn or Instagram
Episode 150 is the third in my series on the three biggest challenges I hear from Executive Assistants.
In this episode I share my own struggles with this topic and how I strive every day to overcome lack of confidence.
I share three resources to help you continue to make progress with building and maintaining your confidence.
I also celebrate that I've reached the milestone of 150 episodes. How this topic is so close to my heart, so it seems serendipitous (you know I love that word) that in this milestone episode I can reach out to you, my lovely listeners, and give you some ideas for lifting yourself up.
Resource 1 - The Confidence Spiral
My Instagram carousel where I shared how it works:
Blog Post - 5 Ways Emotionally Intelligent People Boost Their Confidence at Work
Book - Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person (Shonda Rimes)
The second episode in my trio of episodes focusing on the top three challenges I hear from Executive Assistants.
This one is all about how to manage priorities.
I share three concepts and approaches to managing the shifting sands that EAs deal with on a continual basis.
Resources discussed in this episode:
Book - Managing Up by Mary Abajay
Blog post -
An Administrative Assistant’s Guide To Coping With Conflicting Priorities
Resources discussed in this episode:
Tim Ferriss Podcast - How to Say “No” Gracefully and Uncommit (#328)
Book - Ury, William. The Power of A Positive No
A solo episode kicking off 2022 with a book recommendation.
- What defines a 'giver', a 'taker' and a 'matcher'
- Why this applies particularly to Executive Assistants
- How I relate to being a failing giver and the cost it takes on me
- How it applies to my word of 2022
- My wish for you, my lovely listener
Watch the TEDx talk where Adam Grant talks about these concepts here:
Read more about the book here: