Interview with Laura Belgrado and Peter Andreou
Can you describe yourself in a few sentences?
My name is Laura Belgrado, I am 49 years old and have 2 lovely children. I was born and raised in Belgium and started my career in International Group Sales at the Sheraton Brussels after having completed my studies in Business Administration and Languages.
After working in the Tourism Industry, Events-Conferences & Incentives for over 15 years, I took on the Role of Executive Assistant at Microsoft in 2002, working for the Global MD for Microsoft Strategic Accounts. In 2012 our Vendor contracts were terminated and I decided
to challenge myself and continue as an independent consultant working as Project Manager, Executive Assistant, Trainer & Coach for different companies in Belgium, across Europe and the UAE region. Last year, 2015, I was given the opportunity to work as a Contractor EA for MARS Belgium. One month later they offered me a full time contract to work as EA for the President, VP P&O and VP CFO for Mars MultiSales Europe.
I gladly accepted this new challenge to again have stability in my life, because it is an exciting company and team to work with. Working as an EA again enables me to continuously fine tune the workshops and trainings that I have created for Assistants and that I continue to deliver on an international level. I am a very passionate person, curious and eager to learn and I love to challenge myself and the people I work with.
A dynamic, inspirational and humorous conference speaker and facilitator, Peter Andreou draws on 25 years of experience in presenting, in over 30 countries in 5 continents. He has trained over 15,000 leaders and managers in over 200 multi-national companies. He fully engages people at their core values and gives deep insight into what it takes to change, grow, develop and achieve success.
He has successfully run a number of his own companies with large teams, in the areas of Leadership Training, Management Consultancy and H.R. and coaching individuals to achieve peak performance. His style is unique and experiential, highly enjoyable, thought provoking and humourous, delivering insightful learning and development.
You can read about Peter at www.peopleachieve.com
EUMA has chosen Self-Development as a general theme for 2016. Why do you think it’s an important theme for us assistants?
Self-development is really key no matter what your role or level is. I am a firm believer in self-development and never being too old to learn.
The role of the Assistant today on a global scale has really changed over the years. We are definitely in a ‘Power Role’ and we are in a position as Assistants to really change the way of working. A well trained and developed assistant has a tremendous impact on the company's way of working, communication and has one of the highest ROI’s for the company hiring highly skilled and trained Assistants. Therefore, today even more than before,
developing yourself within your role as an Assistant is the only way to not just secure your job, but to be able to keep up with the fast changing business environment we are working in. Technology, social media, communication, events, project management, coaching and handling difficult situations, are all key skills we need to manage as Assistants and we need to develop ourselves further to keep up.
Our biggest fear as human beings is not that we will fail, but that we will not fulfill our full potential. It is easy when your job is to fully support, at many levels, another senior professional, to forget about yourself and your own development needs. In some cases the priorities for the development of the Assistant are considered secondary to those of the senior leader.
It is obvious that the success in professional and personal development of the manager’s Assistant determines the leadership success of both.
A true win-win that delivers the maximum success is to achieve the full potential of the manager’s Assistant, thus enhancing the manager at the same time.
Can you describe the Training you will be delivering to the participants? Why should they be in Stockholm?
I was so excited when I was asked to deliver a training on Self-Development. The training that I will deliver will emphasize the key priorities and where the priorities are in today’s business environment for the self-development of the Assistants. I will give examples and share how to find opportunities for personal development, how to convince your bosses and the HR departments that training and workshops for Assistants are so important and an investment that will be returned by the Assistants in their ways of working for their teams, managers and peers. The training will also have examples and tips on how to evaluate your personal performance and I will share my coaching experience, using the GROW model to self-coach and coach between teams of Assistants to help you prepare better for your Personal Development Plan, as well as your personal growth.
And, off course, we will have some fun during the training. Laughter and enjoying what you do is key to your personal development. I can’t wait to meet many amazing Assistants again and to give you all something to take back with you, to reflect upon and to use for your personal growth and development.
You can never get enough insight and motivation on how to achieve success. It has to be practical and implemented at a daily level. The challenge with a lot of training is that it is great while you are attending, but then you go back to the workplace and drop back into routine, changing very little.
The wheel of A.C.H.I.E.V.E. Success is a practical dashboard to inspire and remind you of the areas you want to grow and develop. It is a comprehensive and holistic model that goes beyond traditional success development training.
It looks at 7 areas to focus on:
Attitude – It all starts here
Competencies – The traditional focus
Halo (Your brand) – This determines how much people trust you
Innovation – This determines how much new and fresh thinking you apply
Empathy – This is how deeply you understand your stakeholders’ (those who make or break you) needs, so as to deliver value
Vision – Your personal Vision for success
Enablers – What personal processes and methodologies you use to implement success
At the end of the training, participants will have prepared their own personal wheel to A.C.H.I.E.V.E. Success!
This article was published in the EUMA Members’ magazine proActive #49 2016
EUMA becomes IMA
on 1 February 2017
11 days 14 hours 45 min. 15 sec.