Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day One - a great day!

Getting to JW Marriott was a breeze - I managed to get a cab easily right after my breakfast at HOCA KLCC and there was no traffic congestion. I reached the hotel in minutes and I was so early! I had a second cup of coffee. By then, I was already quite 'hyper'.

DAY ONE of the 2008 Executive Secretaries and Personal Assistants Conference kicked off to a great start. Ms Evelyn Chue (Senior Consultant, Direct Results Asia Pacific) was the chairperson and immediately after her opening remarks, her charismatic colleague Shaun Perumal worked his charm on us and took us all into the topic Motivation and Self-Development for Executive Secretaries and Personal Assistants.

Shaun's presentation
He touched on the need to motivate ourselves and the 10 tips to self-motivation. I like the quote he threw in: Great results cannot be achieved at once and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk step by step. So you see, retained motivation is the key to finishing our race in success, and success does not happen overnight - it's a process.

10 more minutes...
(Evelyn drew this and used it to remind the speakers of time limit. She's quite an artist, don't you think so?)

Another great speaker, Ms Frances Penafort CEO of MindWorks

She helped us destress in her topic Effective Stress Management. We began with salsa and ended with one as well. Her drawing of the dance steps had finally demystified the mysterious workings of the sexy hip-swaying, leg-moving process. I no longer have two left feet!

See proof: My 'neighbour' moving to the salsa beat

This is taken during Frances' session towards the end where we, the participants, promised to be cheerful and not let stress take us down and to be nice to other people. (I can't remember the exact words...)

Here's another engaging speaker, Mr Kenny Ong who is the Head of Group Strategy and Development from CNI

His session left everyone highly charged and motivated on charting a fast and furious career path. His topic Successful Career Development for Executive Secretaries was informative and I can totally relate to his point of view because I have done what he said and I know it works! Self-development is indeed an investment and that involves time and money. It is true that nobody is going to invest in you and it is important to start early. I relate to that too because if I had not charted a strategy for myself and taken small steps years back, I wouldn't be able to enjoy what I have currently. Here's my favourite quote of all times and Kenny had it down in his notes too: You will be the same person in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read. How true. Please also visit his blog.

And before you know it, it's time for lunch! This is the view from where I was seated at Shook! StarHill. I love the ambience.

Fellow participants settling in at Shook! and awaiting their set lunch to arrive. We had a great time getting to know each other.

Smokin' - Chefs at work

My lovely friends
From left to right: Yuli from Jakarta, Rebecca from Hong Kong, Maria from Jakarta (a colleague of Yuli) and Siti, a fellow Malaysian like me

There were other great speakers as well and although their photos are not shown here, their messages stuck with me. Briefly, here are the topics:

  • Maximising the Impact of Your Professional Image by Ms Foo Lai Nee (Consultant, Finesse Savvy)
  • Secretaries as Role Model Leaders by Mr V S Ravi Elangkoh (Regional VP, Management Concepts Asia Pacific)
  • Enhancing Work Performance and Relationships Through Well-honed Communication Skills by Mr Ranjinath Muniandy (Chief Trainer/Founder, RM BeyondU Solutions)
  • Enhancing Work Performance and Relationships Through Well-honed Communication Skills also by Mr Ranjinath

These sessions were amazing and what's even better was the friends we made there. Very nice to know that we all share the same passion in our profession and striving to do even better for our bosses.

***

That same evening, I met up with Sun for dinner at KLCC and it seemed that laughter never ends because there was so much to catch up on and she never fails in making people happy. Our food was digested on the spot thanks to the 'laughter workout'... *GRIN*