Unapologetic Evolution of the Executive Assistant Role.
MEGA University is a revolutionary skills and mindset “boot camp” focused on preparing and empowering Assistants to shirk the title and become true, Strategic Business Partners to the executives they support. The role of Assistant has evolved far beyond the confines of the title, so the title is officially obsolete. This workshop is a radical departure from the low ROI “sit, take notes, and network” conferences Assistants typically attend. This is a tightly curated, discussion-based, highly participatory meeting-of-the-minds with 14-20 top Assistants at a table of their peers. Together, they learn the most successful partnership strategies, business acumen, and insider tips + tricks needed to build a new, highly effective, working relationship with their executives and partner more as a peer vs. “the help.”
Attendees of MEGA U leave with the confidence to rewrite their job descriptions and forge a highly inclusive and effective new partnership with their supervisors. Assistants at this level already have insane skill sets. What they often lack is the confidence and strategy needed to simply ask for what they want, fearlessly. With coaching from a career, Top 1% C-suite Executive Assistant, peer support from a global network of MEGA U alums, and a skillfully crafted game plan, students consistently achieve far beyond the goals they'd originally set for themselves. More respect. Higher compensation. True indispensability as a business partner.
Why MEGA U?
For decades Assistants have allowed others to assign an arbitrary value of our worth to the company based on antiquated assumptions and Hollywood's inaccurate, often demeaning portrayals. Over time we've lost our collective voice and have allowed the role to be ridiculed, diminished and treated as a minor support function vs. the critical component to our executive's and the company's success it is. I believe that aggregate lack of confidence and passion has led to some rather lackluster work, attitudes based in servitude, and a fearful, passive approach to the role. Now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to step up and forge new partnerships with our executives, take on challenging projects with tangible value to the company, and command the respect of our executives and teams in a whole, new way.
As a 25-year veteran in this role, I've witnessed this shift in the perception of the role, evidenced by a few mavericks in the community, like me, who have broken with tradition and forced our way into the Boardroom. As a result, we've begun to change the perception and scope of the role while making tremendous strides in updating recruiting practices, promoting the importance of continuing education, and boldly demanding that compensation be based on individual contribution vs. some arbitrary number that woefully under-compensates for the all-in-one requirements of the role.
To be successful in "the new game" of being a top Administrative Business Partner requires strategy. Simple as that. Gone are the days of waiting for your executive to recognize your contribution and award you accordingly. This is a brand-based role that requires you to operate as a top service provider to a demanding but fair client. To truly be successful in today's game you must approach the role as a fellow business owner and peer to the executives you support vs. "the help." This requires you develop a similar mindset and business acumen, learn your client and their business in finite detail, produce at a much higher level of efficiency and accuracy than in years past, and be able to speak the same language in the same Boardroom your executives and teams inhabit. That requires tireless research, strategy, careful preparation, and consistently flawless execution. That's what it takes to win. And that's what I teach at MEGA University.
I build winners. That subset of professionals who are just as passionate as I am about shaking shit up and making things better for everyone. If you're the type who would rather spend hours at a conference networking with a bunch of randos you'll likely never see or hear from again or listening to the same 5 speakers regaling tales of when they were an Assistant "back in the day," then I'm definitely not the guy for you.
However, if you know, without a doubt, that you're ready for the next incarnation of this role and willing to do the work to get there, then you're ready for me. And I am ready to show you how to line-jump the bullshit and learn the skills and strategies you'll need to command a whole new respect from your executive and partner in a way that will be fulfilling and rewarding for both of you.
MEGA U Onsite (for Admin Teams)
The single most underutilized resource in a company is the Executive Administrative TEAM. Companies continually miss the opportunity to capitalize on the advanced skills and years of experience of the multi-industry professionals that comprise their Administrative teams. Worse, they banish them into silos, working only on one executive's tasks at a time instead of pooling their tremendous resources around all similar tasks and completing them as a team in record time. A great Assistant on their own is only a fraction as effective as a team of engaged, aligned Assistants working toward the same objective with the same level of accountability. Often Assistants work in silos delineated by the specific needs of their Execs. This can manifest feelings of isolation, stress, or having no recourse or assistance of their own whenever they feel overwhelmed. It zaps productivity. Mistakes happen. And burnout ensues.
Sometimes there are huge disparities in work ethic and expectation between Assistants which can manifest in competition, sabotage or "hiding" by producing just enough to stay under the radar and no more. For an Assistant who is crushing it yet is measured and compensated by the same metrics as a flagging employee, this can lead to the type of unhappiness that permeates a team and causes unnecessary division or attrition.
I bring MEGA U to companies specifically to set a new performance bar and expectation. By bringing Assistants together around the same mindset, allowing them to talk out any grievances and misperceptions, then giving them the tools to take command of their roles, it creates a new accountability not only to themselves but to the Administrative team as a unit. Teams create a new cohesion and confidence knowing that they're all working with the same goal in mind: EXCELLENCE. At all times. Working together they become an omniscient and highly effective force for their executives and the company.
Companies with strong Administrative teams see less company-wide attrition, healthy employee morale, and executives who feel more comprehensively supported who are more apt to entrust their Assistants with meatier projects and higher levels of responsibility. As such, Assistants are more engaged, empowered, and effective as they feel the positive support of their peers as well as that of their executives, with interesting work and a team dynamic that's exciting to return to each day.
MEGA U Onsite can be tailored to specific objectives or to address specific issues, but is centered around personal accountability and performing to a new standard agreed upon by everyone in the room.
If you're interested in bringing MEGA University onsite, please use the CONTACT page to inquire. A full day session starts at $3,500 (within the US) + travel and accommodation for clients outside the US.
The most successful people in business have coaches. I have a coach. I attribute much of my success (and sanity) to that Tuesday morning phone call every week that helps me center and get out of my own head for awhile. It also allows my coach to bring things to my attention that are either blockers or opportunities that I'm not seeing or choosing not to see. I provide the same support to my clients. While speaking with them and listening for cues or watching their body language, I am able pick up on what's keeping them from achieving their goals, get to the heart of what's causing it, and craft an easy-to-follow plan of action that holds them accountable while building the confidence and the muscle memory to succeed beyond their wildest dreams. It's intense work, but I have a consistently growing list of success stories which prove it's effective.
There's no shame in asking for help. In fact, it's pure ROI when you think about it. The quicker you can get over the hurdle the more productive, agile and happy you'll be. Book a session with me and you'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel after our talk and how much clearer the path to your goal will be. I'm a tough, no-BS coach, so be warned. But I get results. Quickly!
Who is Phoenix Normand?
I started life as a farm boy in rural East Texas. After discovering a talent and love for the arts at a young age i graduated with honors and became a professional tour dancer and singer, traversing the globe for over a decade with a 12-time Grammy nominated artist. I've lived and studied in 5 countries and am conversational in several languages. I've met and performed for three US Presidents, stadiums full of screaming fans, and even met the Dalai Lama. I've worked as a C-suite Executive Assistant in investment banking, retail and tech for over 25 years. I've had a front row seat in dot com 1.0 and 2.0 helping many of today's big businesses grow from fledgling startup to global ubiquity including Amazon, Levi's, Square and Flipagram. I'm also a licensed realtor, certified massage therapist, ACSM certified personal trainer, had a #1 house music single (8 weeks, Berlin), and even dated an Olympic gold medalist, who broke up with me because he "couldn't keep up." I've met and have walked across fire 3 times with Anthony Robbins and have built my curriculum based on much of what I learned at his events as well as the best practices gleaned from personal heroes like Oprah Winfrey, Farhad Mohit, Sangita Verma, Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuk, Elon Musk, and Jack Dorsey. And my mom, of course!
My life, en masse, has been pretty amazing, but not always easy. I survived several years of sexual abuse as a child, had an absentee father, was ridiculed relentlessly in grade school as "dancer boy," almost died twice from stress-related heart incidents before age 31, filed for bankruptcy in my late 20s (my lowest point in life) and lost several close friends to drugs, disease, suicide and murder. Still, I rose from those perceived tragedies and have become the strongest, most driven person I know and routinely achieve anything I set my mind to.
I've designed the life of my dreams and continue to learn, question and explore my way to a life I can only imagine. MEGA University and my coaching practice are a culmination of all of these experiences and life lessons into an impactful medium that allows me to give back to a profession that has given me so much. I love helping people succeed beyond their wildest dreams. There's nothing more gratifying to me.