Chief Executive Assistant to the Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics, Joan Burge
Originally from Iowa, Jasmine made the leap of faith in 2006, when she attended a World Class Assistant Seminar hosted by Office Dynamics and learned that her mentor, Joan Burge, was looking for an assistant. She phoned Ms. Burge, interviewed for the position, and six years later, is making an impact on office professionals all over the world.
Jasmine’s duties include, but are not limited to, arranging contracts with speakers and vendors, making travel arrangements for Ms. Burge, organizing Office Dynamic’s annual conference, event management, marketing, maintaining the Office Dynamic’s blog, and managing all social media outlets.
A day in the life of Jasmine Freeman
As a married, mother of four (ages 1-16), she has learned to balance work and personal life. Her day begins at 4:15 a.m. when the alarm goes off and by 5:30 a.m. she has either went on a run or performed P90X exercises with her husband. Afterwards, she dedicates time to free flow writing in a journal. By 6 a.m. she awakens the kids for their morning routine and is in the office by 7:30 a.m.
Her day starts with a one-on-one meeting with her assistant. During the meeting they review tasks from the day before and discuss what’s ahead. Jasmine comments that this is an important meeting because it gets everyone on the same page.
Brief daily team meetings affectionately called the “team huddle” or “pillar huddle” include the rest of the five office members. The Pillar Huddle is a discussion of the five pillars of life: spiritual, career, family/relationships, wellness, and financial. In the “huddle,” members talk about their inner most personal feelings, attributes, and thoughts. The Pillar Huddle is modeled after a program Ms. Burge implemented where one member of the team shares something special that is related to one of the five pillars; it could be a video, quote, or article to build upon each of the pillars. The pillar huddle encourages self-expression and brings the group closer together as they learn more about each other on a personal and professional level.
Manage yourself, then you can manage time and Stress
Aside from her many duties as a wife and mother, assistant to the CEO of Office Dynamics, and supervisor, she is a volunteer and leader in many organizations. She is a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), Vegas Young Professionals (VYP), VYP Toastmasters, serves on the VYP Advisory Council, and is a recent graduate of the National Speakers Association Speaker Academy and former personal wine consultant.
When asked how she manages so many responsibilities, she said, “Get to know who you are and where you want to be.” For example, as someone who is a “morning person,” this is the best time of the day to hold meetings because she is more alert and open to informal conversations. Optimizing work habits is another method for self-management. She wakes up early so that she has more time to get her daily routine started on the right foot.
Jasmine handles stress with a calm, even keeled, attitude. She refers to herself as a “duck on the water.” Just as a duck sits quietly and graciously on the water, it is still mindful of its surroundings and acts quickly when threats are afoot. On the surface, she is calm with the confident attitude of “I got this!” Her strongest attribute is the ability to remain calm, cool, and collected and she will take over the reins when necessary.
Task management: organize then prioritize
When prioritizing tasks, she first organizes them using the A-B-C-1-2-3 System. She notes that every task has a folder. On a daily basis, she assesses what has to get done, first using the A-B-C process:
· (A) important and urgent tasks
· (B) important but not urgent tasks
· (C) tasks that are not important or urgent at the moment, but are on the “radar”
After the A-B-C analysis, it’s time to number tasks in an order to complete for the day from the (A) pile, hence the 1-2-3 step:
· (1) urgent and important
· (2) important, but not urgent
· (3) non-important or urgent but still need to be completed
Jasmine notes that she reevaluates her tasks every 3-4 days or as needed as priorities may have changed. The key is to identify the importance of tasks by first organizing them, and then the prioritizing process is much easier.
As the right hand woman to Ms. Burge, Jasmine refers to their relationship as a “synergistic partnership.” This is the realization that it takes individuals working together to produce the best results. Her advice to new administrative professionals just starting out in their career, “Get to know who you are and where you want to be, how to communicate with others using their preferred style, and keep learning, growing, and challenging yourself. Don’t leave that responsibility up to other people.”
Jasmine encourages getting connected and communicating with her peers in the administrative profession. Feel free to connect with her through your preferred outlet below.
Follow Jasmine on Twitter @OfficeDynamics
Connect with Jasmine on LinkedIn