Monday I was thrilled and honored to share the announcement that I was selected as one of of the five 2016 OfficeNinjas All-Stars!!!! What an incredible way to kick off Administrative Professionals Week!!!!
What amazing company I'm in. Please read about my fellow 2016 All-Stars:
I confess to needing more than one Kleenex when reading the wonderful nominations my co-workers submitted. I’m truly blessed and very grateful.
What makes Debbi Shaffer an Office Ninja All-Star? There are three characteristics that stand out.
First, she’s both competent and quick to respond – getting it right the first time, and getting it done swiftly is the name of the game when you’re supporting two senior executives as she does, and she does it as well as anyone who’s worked for me over a forty-year career.
Second, once you’ve asked Debbi to take on an initial task, she anticipates the ”next time,” by storing the process she followed, the preferences I expressed, the necessary contact details and other follow-up information where it’s easily retrieved – there’s virtually no reinventing the wheel where Debbi’s concerned.
Third and perhaps most outstanding, she makes time for others in our workplace community – she’s there with advice, assistance and a genuine customer-friendly personality and temperament for her co-workers, clients, visitors from other offices, and vendors/suppliers. Everyone gets the same friendly, professional treatment from Debbi. She’s a credit to our company, and certainly worthy of the title “Office Ninja All-Star”!
Debbi really changed what I understood the role of an executive assistant to be. I previously thought it was a “helper” role for all of the mundane daily tasks. I now know better. She is the ubiquitous force that drives everything. Her executive has many trusted lieutenants. He only has one right hand. That is Debbi.
Debbi is the fine detail that makes ideas reality. She is the thread that stitches thoughts into action. There is no detail too small for her attention, regardless who's responsibility it is when she is on watch.
When a team of our executive elite assemble, from around the world, to determine the focus of our company for the coming year they knew just who to call. She orchestrated the event coordinating the efforts of other executive assistants, support organizations, vendors.
So what? Right? It is not an uncommon event. Often we take little notice of who sends out the communications, who puts out the name tags, who arranges for the reservations and food. It is all background noise to the focus of the day. Her thoughtful execution caused every executive to question what was possible. Many commenting, “why don't we do this elsewhere”. From the thorough welcome packets, that oriented each traveling executive for EVERY aspect of their stay, to the magnetic (not pinned) name tags Deb had taken the mundane and made it appreciably better.
You asked for one story, I have many. I could share individual times where Deb has provided her executive with the cover he needs to be effective. Making sure the right info gets through and the rest held at bay until the time is right. She enables focus.
I could share stories when she was able to rescue her executive from technical details halfway around the world, rallying resources to keep him whole. She is the angel that protects.
I could share stories on how she intuitively knew when to add, and remove people from information threads to ensure a good outcome. She is the force that connects.
But you asked for one story, and one, brief, and poorly written work is all that I can offer. There can be only one. I would take Debbi any day of the week. She exemplifies invaluable.
Dedicated, creative, and professional – is how I describe the work Debbi Shaffer does for her executive managers. Debbi is courteous, articulate, organized, task-oriented and a savvy problem solver. She is extremely diligent and thorough in her approach to work. The senior executives she supports benefit from her attention to detail and organizational skills. She is always willing to help her co-workers in addition to delivering her own responsibilities in a timely manner. She utilizes her technology skills to perform her duties and to assist her team. Debbi’s constant quest to improve her skills are a reflection of her passion and commitment.
Debbi devotes her spare time to non-profit organizations dedicated to fundraising and raising breast cancer awareness and sharing her professional knowledge and resources with her administrative colleagues through her professional development webinars and her Admin Blog.
Debbi is a pleasure to work with.
Debbi is an amazing organizer that never neglects a detail. She anticipates the needs of out of town guests for meetings and contingency plans are developed in advance for the unexpected.
It is a pleasure working with Debbi and I know that anything she is involved in will be well thought out and executed! Peace of mind is what applies when Debbi is involved!
I am writing this paragraph to strongly recommend Ms. Debbi Shaffer for Office Ninja All Star.
Ms. Shaffer is a strong professional who leads multiple groups within our office. She is well respected by all those she serves and works with. I am enjoying working with her and cannot express my joy in having the opportunity to nominate her for Office Ninja. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I truly hope I have expressed strongly enough to you that truly there is not a better candidate than Ms. Shaffer.
What an amazing Executive Assistant she is. Ms. Shaffer immediately came to IT when I started in the office, and asked for our assistance to enable her to support her executives.
After speaking with her and evaluating her level of expertise in the IT field we suited her up with the tools typically assigned to IT support to allow her to support her executives anywhere in the world. We immediately experienced a 95% reduction in calls from the staff she supports.
It was amazing to see, and not only did she reduced the number of calls to the IT team, but increased the level of satisfaction the executives are experiencing by a whopping 100% (measured by complaints received and get well meetings I personally had to attend).
It is not often you see an Executive Assistant perform so many duties so well, and it has been a personal pleasure working with her, so is she a Ninja All Star, absolutely you could not find a better person to award this honor to.
Debbi has a demanding job as executive assistant to our multiple senior executives. She has to be present, physically and mentally all the time. Despite this, she finds time to lead the local Women's Network, bringing speakers, opportunities and awareness to the women in the office, as well as management.
Debbi is a master at networking and takes her duties very seriously. She has been able to leverage her skills for the betterment of the women in the office. Gender equality is a hot topic currently and Debbi is on the forefront of leading this issue. Debbi has a solution or idea for planning events that cover almost any topic. Her outreach is amazing and she is able to accomplish planning events while tending to her duties. With this, I nominate her for Office Ninja.
Here are just a few examples of the things Debbi has done to improve our office:
She created a safety presentation and coordinated the installation of a tablet at our reception area for all visitors to view.
In dealing with a difficult employee, she gave me guidance on how to handle the situation and ultimately resolve it in a professional manner.
She took over our local chapter of Jacobs Women's Network and increased membership by coordinating interesting programs.
Debbi tirelessly supports multiple executives in our Arlington, VA office. Better yet, she supports several non-executives, like myself, with the same great respect and care.
I could talk about the hours worked, travel coordinated, and day to day care she provides our team, but as Debbi realizes, that's just part of her job. It's expected, and she nails it.
A few examples of her greatness:
--When she recognizes folks don't want to interrupt our top leaders, she will on our behalf, arranging meals, providing breaks for nursing moms, and getting people out in time to pick up their kids. She does so graciously, in a way that no one feels bad for having to leave, and in a way our executives don't mind, as we all have different demands pulling on our time.
--She maintains several people's schedules, making sure those who need access to our leaders, have it, and making sure the time is productive. When disrupters pop in and threaten a pre-set, goal-oriented schedule for the day, she works to get things back on schedule by shuffling meetings, postponing less critical items, and providing recommended resolution to issues.
--Debbi also understands how different people work differently, recognizing that one approach will not fit all when it comes to being an executive assistant. She adjusts her own approach to cater to individual needs.
--From a leadership standpoint, Debbi encourages growth in our office through our Women's Development Network. She gets our executives to engage. She also works to provide access at all levels, which is notices by our more junior staff.
Debbi is among the hardest working, results-oriented, compassionate people in our company. She's our office ninja.
Debbi is my go-to person for professional networking. She get things done professionally with a touch of world-class quality. Her passion in this area shines and touches so many colleagues on a daily basis.
Special thanks to Mark Schneider of M&M Photography for taking the amazing photos!!!
The Audacious Admin is Debbi L. Shaffer, an outgoing, resourceful and highly motivated executive assistant with 20 years of experience specializing in C-Suite Executive Support.