It was April 2018, and I had been invited to meet up with my former executive, John Chambers. We were only planning to catch up over lunch at his home, but this meeting would change everything. At this meeting, a book was born.

John and I hadn’t really connected since both of our departures from Cisco in December of 2017, and I was looking forward to hearing how he was doing without me.  I had no idea I would glean so much from our meeting.

We were sitting on his patio overlooking the beautiful bay area when I shared with him that I’d just written a book and that it was in editing. 

“What is the book about?” John asked. I replied, “It is a view of the humorous side of the administrative role. It has lots of stories that I collected through my years as an executive assistant.”  He then asked, “So what is the purpose of this book?”  I thought for a moment and then stated, “It shares and shows that administrative professionals are human, that we all make mistakes, and that we should periodically step back and laugh at ourselves and pat ourselves on the back for managing some of the crazy things we are asked to do.”

At that point came the turning point. John asked, “Why don’t you write a book about how you transformed this profession into one that can be valued and recognized?”  You were such an essential part of our partnership together. By increasing my productivity by more than 40%, being the positive interface for our office and me, and defining what this role should be within Cisco and Silicon Valley.  Now, THAT’S what you should be writing about!”  “That book will become the foundation of your business and will be truly relevant for administrative professionals and for executives as well.”

An epiphany!

Driving home from that lunch that day, I realized that this was exactly what I should do.  

Time to shift gears!

I put the other book on pause and warmed up my laptop to start down a new road…one that would lead to, The Office Rockstar Playbook!

Thank you, John, for providing the direction and vision I needed to become an Office Rockstar and teach and train others how to do the same!

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Until next time,

Rock On!

Debbie Gross

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