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1-Minute Strategies: Dec. ’11

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in Admins,Career Management,Office Management,Workplace Communication

Focus on knowing where to get information quickly rather than knowing how to do everything. Admin JoAnn from York, Pa., says she keeps a “How-to” folder on her desktop. When she needs to remember how she did something, she consults her files, which include screen shots, and sends those same files to others when they ask, “How’d you do that?”

Detours are just a small rest area, not a major derailment. “‘No’ now is not ‘no’ forever!” a pair of speakers recently told the audience at the 18th Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence.

Watch what you say on Face­book: More than 90% of job-screeners say they’re using social network tools to weed out applicants. What are they looking for? Complaints someone posts about a former em­­­­ployer and lousy communication skills, among other things.

What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve been asked to do? One assistant, who worked for a Hollywood producer, was asked to go to the boss’s home and have conversations with each of his cats. He even listed questions he wanted the assistant to pose to the cats. The boss then asked his assistant to report back in full detail, telling him exactly how each cat “responded.”

Take the lead in developing your own professional skills. Symantec CEO Enrique Salem tells The New York Times that he dislikes hearing people say that a company isn’t “looking out for me.” It’s not the company’s responsibility. “You’ve got to own your development,” he says. “I absolutely believe that the best people make the time to develop skills, and they’re hungry for knowledge.”

Stay happy. Administrative pro­­fessionals have the third-happiest job for working ­mothers, says a survey of 60,000 women by CareerBliss.com. The profession went into the top 10 list for its flexibility and positive interactions with senior management. Work-life balance, great management and pride in the company topped other factors, including salary.

Limit teams to five members. Intuitive Surgical limits working groups to five members, “like jazz bands,” for effectiveness. Team members tend to share ideas more easily, respond quickly to problems and hold each other accountable, CEO Gary Guthart tells The Wall Street Journal.

Plot where you want to be in two to five years, then figure out the skills you’ll need to get there, advises Dorothy Tannahill-Moran. Create a plan that shows how you’ll achieve each skill, along with specific dates for each one. That way, you’ll hold yourself accountable.

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