Executive Leadership Support Forum: Raleigh-Durham: Speaker Interview

Cynthia HarrisCynthia Harris
Virtual Executive Assistant
CHarrisVirtual Assistant

Cynthia has been an assistant since 1981, supporting senior leaders in industries such as: university, banking, corporate and matrimonial law, human resources, accounting, transit, health insurance, housing, retail, entertainment and telecommunications in NY, NJ and NC. She has always worked in a fast paced and demanding environment, which keeps her attention at peak levels. She is passionate about her role, ensuring that her executives are supported to align and anticipate their needs for the unexpected. Cynthia now brings her dedicated support services as a virtual executive assistant, which continues to propel her out of her comfort zone with this exciting endeavor. It continues to reflect her passion to devote her time and skills assisting busy professionals.

Cynthia will be one of the distinguished presenters at the Executive Leadership Support Forum: Raleigh-Durham.

Why is the Executive Leadership Support Forum important for executive assistants?
Many of us communicate with each other, sometimes daily, without the opportunity of ever meeting face-to-face.  This forum presents an excellent  opportunity to bridge that void, collaborate experiences while applying some of the potential solutions and forming long-term bond/professional friendships.

Independently, what have you done to work towards professional development in the past?
Seeking a mentor that truly cares about my success.  Always researching tools, videos, webinars and forums to enhance my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses.

What is one thing you hope to learn or discuss with your peers at the ELS Forum?
Other tools/software to share with clients.

Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud.
There are a few that come to mind; however, my first project management role outside of my routine responsibilities and area of comfort was to successfully facilitate the relocation of our department from one corporate campus to another.

In your mind, what is one tool you can’t live without or find especially helpful in your position?
I may be lost without Microsoft Office.

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting your career?
It would be to remain cognizant:  Family First – Always!  And as always, that out of all situations, only good will come and is easily resolved for the highest good of all concerned.

Are there any blogs, books, articles or online forums you recommend reading?
There are so many to choose, however via LinkedIn: Entrepreneurship, Professional Women, Learning Solutions, Company Culture, EA – Groups; Bruce Kasanoff and J.T. O’Donnell, to name a few.

How do you define success within your role as an executive assistant?
Consistently, remain present and serene in everything that you do as you are always held to a higher standard in performance and skills.  Seeking ways or solutions to streamline projects, assignments and day-to-day activities seamlessly in our changing environment.  Ensure trusted partnerships at all levels; however, most importantly with your executive.