Need a book recommendation for your summer reading? Purchase the book “Be The Ultimate Assistant” by Bonnie Low-Kramen, former Personal and Executive Assistant to Olympia Dukakis and her husband Louis Zorich. This is a must read for every assistant!
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Bonnie, and she’s traveling the globe to help you become “The Ultimate Assistant.” Check out her schedule and sign up for one of her workshops today. Here’s what she shared in our recent interview:
1. You are an accomplished author and trainer. What book did you write? Tell us about it. “Be the Ultimate Assistant, A celebrity assistant’s secrets to working with any high-powered employer” was borne in 2004 out of my awareness of the lack of resources not only for celebrity assistants, but all professional assistants. I wrote it to be the book that assistants would keep at their desks and use as an important reference book. (And that has happened. My absolute favorite thing is when someone shows me their book all marked up with highlighter and post-it notes!) In order to give readers a complete view of the profession, I tapped my colleagues at New York Celebrity Assistants, who generously shared their stories as well. I’ve revised the book five times and I am delighted to report that it is a bestseller with over 100 reviews on Amazon. Many companies and recruiters buy the book to give to new hires as a gift, which helps them get up to speed much faster.
What I now know is that workplace bullying is an epidemic problem around the world and I discuss it in my book. Assistants are too often the targets of workplace bullies and I want to be a part of the solution to end it. My book is a part of that effort as are the BTUA workshops.
2. What advice do you have for administrative professionals interested in working for a celebrity? First, read my book! Seriously, the book will help the reader cut to the chase on most every aspect of this complicated work. Second, commit to ongoing learning and professional development. Attend our BTUA workshop, the larger conferences, and online classes – any and all that will help you to stay relevant, up-to-the-minute and invaluable to your celebrity employer.
Speak truth to power. Be forthright. Speak up about tough issues in a way that moves the work forward and leaves everyone with their dignity. Too many people shield celebrities from the truth. Their assistant should not be one of those people.
Hand-written thank you notes will set you apart from others. Show excellent manners. Power down your phone and devices during interviews and meetings. Show respect for others of all ages. Pick up the phone to speak with others rather than text, especially regarding sensitive matters.
Working as a celebrity assistant is a fabulous career where you can make an excellent living and meet some amazing people. You must commit to life-long learning in order to stay relevant, marketable and employable. Your teachers are everywhere, not just in a classroom.
Be professional always. No gossip, no back-stabbing. Perfect grammar, spelling, appearance. People notice even if you think they don’t. Be the one to walks towards a problem, not away from it. Meet as many people as possible and be generous with help and resources. Paying it forward works.
3. Do you have a favorite quote or saying? I have many!
“The two best days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain
“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” John Lennon
“Your life begins to end the day you stay silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr.
“Make every day your masterpiece.” John Wooden
“Let me do one thing well, not two things badly.” Olympia Dukakis
Bonnie’s website www.BonnieLowKramen.com is an incredible resource for administrative professionals. Both Bonnie Low-Kramen and Vicki Evans hope to see you at one of their upcoming trainings.
Bonnie Low-Kramen – Best-selling author of Be the Ultimate Assistant, A celebrity assistant’s secrets to working with any high-powered employer, Bonnie Low-Kramen worked for 25 years as the Personal Assistant to Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis. Her passion is about improving the American workplace through the training of assistants in workshops and presentations in major U.S. cities, Toronto, and London. Bonnie is a co-founder of New York Celebrity Assistants and is a contributing writer to Executive Secretary Magazine and Glassdoor.com, a workplace blog. Bonnie and Vickie Sokol Evans are traveling the world with their “Be the Ultimate Assistant” 2-day workshops, training inside companies, and speaking at global Conferences. Their commitment is to inspire a healthy, productive and mutually respectful workplace through the empowerment and training of the world’s assistants.
Other ways to follow Bonnie: www.bonnielowkramen.com Twitter @BonnieLowKramen
LinkedIn BonnieLowKramen Facebook Be the Ultimate Assistant page