Be the Ultimate Assistant Podcast

Be The Ultimate Assistant Podcast Bonnie Low-Kramen

Join international speakers and trainers, Bonnie Low-Kramen and Vickie Sokol Evans as they tackle the burning issues for Executive Assistants, Personal Assistants, their executives and teams in today’s complicated and demanding workplace. Listen in and stay up-to-the-minute with Bonnie, Vickie, and their guests. Bonnie and Vickie have been professional colleagues and friends for more than a decade. Since 2011, they have been traveling the world teaching “Be the Ultimate Assistant” workshops, speaking at international conferences, and training inside corporations. They are both passionately committed to affecting positive change in the global workplace through tackling the burning challenges for today’s professional assistants and managers.


Carrie Ann Miller


“I love the podcast! I have listened to every episode and some more than once. They are compelling, funny, and thought provoking and about real-life issues that happen to every assistant and manager. What Bonnie and Vickie have done is amazing. There is nothing like this out there.” Carrie Ann Miller, EA Salt Lake City


About the Hosts:

Bonnie Low-Kramen worked as the Personal Assistant to Oscar-winning actress for 25 years and is the bestselling author of “Be the Ultimate Assistant.” Microsoft Certified Trainer, Vickie Sokol Evans is the trainer to Bill Gates’ support team and a bestselling author of the 100 Tips series. She is a former Executive Assistant and now CEO/Founder of The Red Cape Company (RedCape), the global leader in engaging Microsoft, Google and Apple productivity training for the world’s busiest superhero assistants and their teams.

Become a Procedures Pro with guest Julie Perrine | Ep. 25


Julie Perrine
Julie Perrine

How would your office run if you couldn’t be there? Hey, life happens, right? The answer to that question should be “just fine.” However, if you go into a cold sweat because you know you are the only one holding too much information – like passwords, files, how to make coffee, phone numbers, etc. – then this podcast episode is for you. Read more

It’s Life or Death: Where’s Your Oxygen Mask? | Ep. 24

It’s Life or Death: Where’s Your Oxygen Mask? | Ep. 24

Watch the video:

Vickie Sokol Evans & Bonnie Low-Kramen getting ready to record in DC 

Recorded in front of a live audience in Washington DC at the Executive Secretary LIVE conference, November 11, 2017. (Running time 30 min.)

The instruction on airplanes is familiar. “Place your oxygen mask on first and then assist others.” That turns out to be great advice whether you are sitting in First Class or at your desk or at your kitchen table. It speaks to the idea that we cannot be of any use to others if we ourselves are not OK. We need to put ourselves at the top of the priority list which is often easier said than done, right? In today’s workplace, assistants are at risk and without exaggeration, these are life and death issues. In this podcast episode recorded live in front of the audience at the Executive Secretary LIVE conference in Washington, D.C., Bonnie Low-Kramen and Vickie Sokol Evans shine a light on self-care and wellness. Vickie will share her personal story of physical wellness and her discovery of stage 2 breast cancer. They also discuss emotional and mental health as they tackle workplace bullying and sexual harassment as two impediments to stable mental health. As the CEO of You, Incorporated, you are in charge of your company’s physical and emotional health. So, how are you doing?

Audio only version:


Related Links:

Closing the Gender Wage Gap: How to Earn What You Deserve | Ep. 23



Recorded in front of a live audience in London at the Executive Secretary LIVE conference, April 1, 2017.
Too many women around the world are seriously underpaid. One reason is that they have no idea what their jobs are worth. Another reason is that they are afraid to ask. Still another reason is that the subject of money has been forbidden and taboo for too long. But how to do that and then to make the case for more money? This is an issue that affects assistants in a very big way since 95-98% are women. Bonnie and Vickie break the silence and discuss real-life step-by-step strategies that have led to increases of thousands of dollars by assistants all over the world. You will learn how to negotiate your skill set, experience, and relationships into the compensation package that you deserve now and for the future and that will impact your daughters and granddaughters, sons and grandsons.


Bonnie & Vickie recording the podcast at ExecSecLIVE London
Vickie Sokol Evans & Bonnie Low-Kramen at ExecSecLIVE in London recording this podcast.

Related Links:

Book: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Video: Amy Cuddy on Body Language

Book: The Confidence Code by Katty Kay

Book: Knowing Your Value by Mika Brzezinski

Book: Presence by Amy Cuddy

Article about teenagers fired for demanding equal pay


Workplace 2.0 The Future is Now with guest Melba J. Duncan | Ep.22

Workplace 2.0 The Future is Now with guest Melba J. Duncan

Melba Duncan of The Duncan Group Recorded live in Johannesburg, South Africa at the Executive Secretary LIVE Conference on February 18, 2017. As a prominent and respected workplace expert and NYC-based recruiter for 30+ years, perhaps no one has her finger on the pulse of what is happening in our workplace better than Melba J Duncan, Founder and President of The Duncan Group. What is Workplace 2.0? Hear up to the minute information about what working as a “strategic business partner” really means and if you want to be one, what do you need to do to get there? According to Melba Duncan, the role of Executive Assistant is misunderstood and undervalued, and it is time to change this perception. Bonnie. Vickie, and Melba talk technology, salaries, skills, and much more. Listen in to hear Melba’s sage advice for EAs and the CEOs they support. To see the video on YouTube click here.

Related links:

Melba J. Duncan

Book: The New Executive Assistant


Subscribe to » BTUA Podcast with Bonnie & Vickie

Connecting the Dots: A Key Attribute of the World’s Top EAs with Guest: Debbie Gross, CEA at Cisco | Ep. 21


Bonnie, Debbie, & Vickie
From left: Bonnie, Debbie Gross, & Vickie at Executive Secretary LIVE Dubai, Nov 2016
John Chambers & Debbie Gross
Cisco Executive Chairman John Chambers presenting Debbie with the Colleen Barrett Award in 2015.

Debbie Gross is respected as one of the top assistants in America. She has been working as an administrative professional for 40 years and for the past 25 years, as the Chief Executive Assistant to John Chambers, former CEO, now Executive Chairman of Cisco in California. Read more

Building an External Assistant Network in Your City – Guests: Ike Saunders & Julie Kavanaugh | Ep 20 (Part 2 of 2)


In our complicated workplace, external assistant networks are trending all over the world as a way for Executive and Personal Assistants to find the answers they need – fast.

Bonnie and Vickie continue the conversation with Ike Saunders, EA to Christopher Kennedy and Founder of REACH in Chicago and Julie Kavanaugh, EA to Craig Bouchard and member of the REACH leadership team. REACH stands for the Regional Executive Assistant Cocktail Hour.

In Part 2 of 2, Ike and Julie explain how they are able to keep REACH free of charge to the members by working with vendors who generously and enthusiastically supply the meeting space, food, drinks, raffle prizes and goody bags in some of the coolest venues in Chicago! Find out how REACH has made a name for itself without a website and how people find out about this powerful network. Ike and Julie tell us exactly how they did it and how you can do it too!

“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”~ Napoleon Hill

Read more

Building an External Assistant Network in Your City with Guests: Ike Saunders & Julie Kavanaugh | Ep 19: (Part 1 of 2)


An Executive Assistant or Personal Assistant is only as good as their resources and their network. Any assistant who is serious about their profession needs to be involved in at least one networking group, especially one that is local. If one does not already exist in your city, you can create one yourself. But how do you do that?  In a two-part conversation, Bonnie and Vickie interview two experts on this subject. Ike Saunders, EA to Christopher Kennedy and Founder of REACH in Chicago and his colleague Julie Kavanaugh, EA to Craig Bouchard and member of the REACH leadership team will spill the beans and share the secrets of their amazing success building one of the most successful external assistant networks in America. REACH stands for the Regional Executive Assistant Cocktail Hour.

In Part One, find out what inspired Ike and Julie and a core group of committed colleagues to grow the network from fewer than ten people over drinks to over 200 in less than three years. They reveal the many benefits of joining and participating in a network like REACH which include not only having access to talented colleagues and high quality resources, but great service and lower prices on top of all that. Executives and leaders will quickly see why it makes so much sense to support assistants to get involved in an external network.

Read more

The Tech-Savvy Assistant: How to Stay Tech-Savvy | Ep 18 (Part 3 of 3)


Tech-Savvy expert Vickie Sokol Evans interviewed on stage at Executive Secretary LIVE in London by Bonnie Low-Kramen

Tech-Savvy InterviewUh oh. Technology has changed – again. How can assistants possibly keep up and stay up being tech-savvy? We know. Take some deep breaths…and listen to an eye-opening discussion between productivity expert Vickie Evans and Bonnie Low-Kramen recorded live from London on SAT APRIL 9, 2016. Read more

How to Build an Internal Assistant Network at Your Company with Guest Victoria Darragh | Ep 17

Internal Assistant Networks Can Help the Bottom Line Too. Learn how. (RT 57:43)

Internal Assistant Network discussion with Vic Darragh
Recorded on location in Johannesburg, S Africa at the Executive Secretary LIVE Conference, Feb 2016. From L: Bonnie Low-Kramen, Victoria Darragh, & Vickie Evans

She knew what she wanted to do with her life from the age of 12. Eager to start, Victoria Darragh began working as an assistant in the U.K. at age 16. Now, sixteen years later, she is CEO of her own company (EPAA) and traveling the world sharing her remarkable and inspirational story. How did she do this? Tune in to hear about the power of an internal assistant network and how it can transform your career and your company. Read more

Landing Your Dream Job in 2016 with guest recruiter Chris Taylor | Ep 16: (Part 2 of 2)

Landing Your Dream Job 2016 (Part 2)


Dream Job facilitator Chris Taylor of Christopher Taylor Associates
Chris Taylor of Christopher Taylor Associates

Guest recruiter Chris Taylor goes granular with the nuts and bolts of how to land your dream job. He discusses the do’s and don’ts of resumes vs CVs, the job interview, thank you notes, and the all important follow up.

Listen in to find out what Chris thinks is the secret sauce for candidates that can make all the difference. We dig into the hot button topic of money and negotiating. Best of all, Chris tells us how to contact him for a meeting over Skype or in person if you are in London. He has offered to answer any and all questions regarding your job search. Read more

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