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Report from EUMA Training Day in Stockholm April 2016 - Part Two

By Julia Schmidt

European Management Assistants (EUMA) is an international quality network for senior management support professionals: Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants, Management Assistants, and many other admin professionals. EUMA provides many training and personal development activities to its members and non-members. 

This is my second and last article to share with you my takeaways from the EUMA Training Day in Stockholm on April 16th. The previous article was about the workshop with Laura Belgrado.  This time I will summarize the workshop with Peter Andreou: "Self-Development: The Wheel of Personal Success".

The trainer Peter Andreou introduced us to the A.C.H.I.E.V.E. model.  The wheel of A.C.H.I.E.V.E Success is a practical dashboard to inspire and remind us of the areas we want to grow and develop.

Self-development is about assessing your performance, skills, influence, attitude and believes. We can only grow and become better assistants if we think forward, focus on positive thinking, and keep learning from our mistakes.


The A.C.H.I.E.V.E model

The A.C.H.I.E.V.E. model is holistic, going beyond traditional success development training.  The model focuses on seven areas:  

Attitude – It all starts here

Competence – The traditional focus

Halo (Your Brand) – This determines how much people trust you 

Innovation – This determines how much new fresh thinking you apply 

Empathy – This is how deeply you understand your stakeholders’ needs, so as to deliver value 

Vision – Your personal vision for success 

Enablers – What personal process and methodologies you see to implement success


Understanding the development areas


  • Do you enjoy your work? 
  • Do you see the positive challenge in every job? 
  • Do you believe you are excellent in your work?

Positive attitude matters! It keeps you calm, help you set goals, have plans, be confident, see opportunities, assume responsibility, be motivated by others, inspire people around you, and make you happy and enthusiastic.

A strong driver of human motivation is the visualization of expectations. Therefore, we have to be very careful about what we say to ourselves. If we think we can succeed, we will succeed. If we visualize success, we will reach success.


  • Do you understand all the different tools and techniques available to you?
  • Do you understand all the different work competencies required for your job?
  • Do you excel at least in three of the different competencies?

The competency framework for Managers Assistants:

1. Set and Achieve Goals 

  • Plan and organize for managers
  • Own and communicate the strategy 
  • Manage and communicate the goals

2. Communicate and Engage 

  • Live and communicate values
  • Send the right leadership signals
  • Empower and engage

3. Take Decisions, Solve problems and Innovate

  • Take fast accurate decisions
  • Solve problems 
  • Look for innovation and differentiation

4. Help build teams on behalf of managers 

  • Build teams on people’s strengths 
  • Give feedback 
  • Develop teams through all stages until performance

5. Help develop manager’s talent

  • Successfully recruit and induct people
  • Help individuals develop to their maximum potential


When people admire you for your professionality, credibility, and honesty, it is as they see a halo over your head. People admire you and associate you to sharpness.

Making your self-assessment: 

  • Do your colleagues trust you 100%? 
  • Do you proactively develop your professional credibility? 
  • Are you clear on your personal brand? 


You need to be able to demonstrate knowledge in order to establish trust.



  • Do you differentiate your approach from your colleagues to add more value? 
  • Do you introduce new and more innovative techniques annually?


Assistants with empathy can attune a wide range of emotional signals.  They listen attentively and can grasp the other person’s perspective.

Making your self-assessment: 

  • Do you understand what your manager’s goals are better than anybody’s else? 
  • Do you meet your manager’s professional needs better than anyone else? 
  • Do you understand what your managers are feeling?

The ability to ask open-ended questions is critical in creating open dialogue. It induces opinions and feeling around the context of the conversation. Open-ended questions cannot be answered (or very difficultly) with a Yes or No.    

We make open-ended questions by using Who, Why, What, Where, When or How.


Empathy is also conveyed by your tone of voice and body language.



A vision statement focuses on the potential inherent in the future; it is about what you intend to be as a professional.

  • Do you have a personal vision of where success will take you?
  • Do you have a specific plan with benchmarks and deadlines on how to achieve your vision? 
  • Is it mapped down to specific KPI’s?

If you have a vision and know where you want to go, you need goals and actions to transform the vision into reality.  The secret to accomplishing what matters most to you is committing your goals to writing.


To a person without a destination, no wind is favorable.



Success is also about methodology, systems, and processes. 

  • Do you have an organized system for your time planning? 
  • Do you have clear prioritization system? 
  • Do you have a Contact Relationship Database and Task System that you can access at any time?


We had a fascinating time with Peter Andreou!


About Julia: Julia Schmidt is Executive Assistant and National Chairman of EUMA Norway.  Julia is an enthusiastic EUMA-member. She wants to bring EUMA – European Management Assistants to YOU and create sharing & learning platforms.