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Edition Three

October 2010

A big congratulations goes to …

This year’s summit was held at the Fire and Ice Hotel in Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, and once again proved to be an elegant affair.

October also holds a very special day - on the 16th of October 2010 its BOSS’S DAY. Dictum Publishers are the organisers of the prestigious Boss of the Year award, and this year they celebrate their 21st year running. Page 8 highlights the 6 finalists for the day, as well as gives you a small amount of information about each finalist.

Over 100 professional PAs gathered to listen to the country’s best speakers, and to attend the cocktail evening where the title of PA of the year 2010 was announced.

Please let me know what else you would like to see in this newsletter. We are striving towards Talk SA becoming your favourite read every 2 months.

A big thank you also goes to the ICAP judges for all their hard work and effort that was given to this day, as well as a special thank you to Square Forests for sponsoring the lovely Judges’ gifts.

Till October - Stay well

Debbie De Jager from FNB for being awarded the title of PA of the Year for 2010.

Kelly Williams CAP,

Contents PA at FNB bags coveted PA of the Year Award Avoid These Office Buzzwords

Boss of the Year®

Square forest No laps for warm laptops; skin damage is possible

Correspondence Secretary

MEETINGS TO DIARISE: 21 October 2010 Chapter Meeting 18 November 2010 Networking and End of Year Event

Penny Penniken - 29 October Marschelle Tillek - 28 November

Committee Members: Esme van der Merwe CPS/CAP (President); Rosely van der Merwe CPS/CAP (President-Elect); Lee Chapman CPS (Vice President); Dawn Williams (Treasurer); Jeanette Clack CPS (Recording Secretary) and Kelly Williams CAP (Correspondence Secretary)


PA at FNB bags coveted PA of the Year Award Debbie de Jager, PA to FNB‟s Smart Solutions CFO, Mike Arthur, received the prestigious title of South Africa‟s PA of the Year 2010. After undergoing a 3rd round of judging, Debbie‟s victory was announced at the closing ceremony of the exclusive PA Summit which took place at the Protea Hotel Fire and Ice in Melrose Arch.

after the FNB PA Forum. By the same token, he knows that whenever he needs anything done, I will go out of my way to assist him – even if it requires working until late or on weekends. Our PA-Boss relationship is definitely one of „giveand-take‟ and as much as I assist him, he motivates and encourages me to do my best!”

Asked about her job as a PA, Debbie explained: “Being a PA is one of the roles I play in life. It‟s part of who I am. It‟s like being a mother and a wife – whether I‟m with my family or not, I‟m always my husband‟s wife and my children‟s mother. As a PA, I always represent my company and my boss. Being a PA is so much more than just assisting with the typing of communication and arranging meetings.

As Founder and chairperson of the FNB PA Forum, Debbie believes in the words of H.E. Luccock that “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” Networking among PAs is vital for any organizations‟ growth and success.

Becoming someone that your boss and office truly depend and rely on is someone every PA should strive to become. My main focus as a personal assistant is in the title: assisting. I am, in essence, a helper to someone who will not be able to play his game to the best of his ability without my assistance or help. To be the best assistant my boss could ever wish for, I have to assist him firstly according to his requirements and secondly I have to be innovative enough to assist him in ways in which he didn‟t even realize he needed assistance. To achieve this, I will have to go beyond what my role requires and do it to the best of my ability.” On the PA-Boss relationship in the CFO‟s office, Debbie says “I am privileged to be working for one of FNB‟s best bosses! We have an excellent business relationship. Mike allows me to work flexi-hours, while I‟m also spending time looking

The FNB PA Forum is a group of 250 FNB PAs country-wide, whose main focus is the success of our company and the development of our PAs. In essence, every boss at FNB has 250 PAs working for him or her, as we assist one another to achieve the unachievable! PA expertise and experience remain in the Bank, as we have built a “Corporate Memory” on our PA Forum website for generations of PAs to come. PAs within FNB are no longer working on their own – we are part of a group of professional women making a difference”. Says Judy van der Merwe, chair of the panel of judges: “Recognising „excellence‟ is critical both for the incumbents of any profession, as well as for the profession itself. “In South Africa, thankfully, we have Awards for many professions: we recognise people who in their different fields and endeavours, clearly set standards; raise s ta nd ar ds a nd e l e v at e t he excellence bar of the profession they‟re in.

She adds that whereas lauding and applauding is good for the soul, it‟s even of greater value to a marketplace hungry for heroes and heroines! “What we sometimes forget, is that behind those heroes and heroines is someone holding their worklife together; quietly ensuring they do what they supposed to do, ensuring they are where they are supposed to be; they have the information they need to have! That someone is a PA – an efficient PA – often the unsung heroine!” Judy says. It is precisely to ensure that unsung heroines do not remain unsung, that six years ago Dictum Publishers, with the support of ICAP, launched an Award exclusively for the PA. Continues Judy, “We are proud of the work that this Award is doing in making a clear statement to the marketplace about the role of the PA, as someone who needs to have her or his moment of glory, of recognition and of reward! “For the past five years, we have witnessed the profession‟s evolution first hand, and we have showcased the exemplars to the marketplace. This year‟s six finalists are awesome PAs, boasting an impressive warehouse of skills. We congratulate all six and salute the titlebearer for 2010, Debbie de Jager.” The PA of the Year, and the finalists, received prizes from founder Sponsor Croxley, Parker Pens, Sappi, Brent Personnel, Protea Hotel Fire and Ice Melrose Arch and ICAP.


Avoid These Office Buzzwords by Marlys Harris Monday, October 4, 2010 www. Moneywatch.com

Last year about this time, I posted a list (plus definitions and correct usage) of the office cliches least loved by a random sampling of executives polled by Accountemps. You may — like me — be too snobby and old-fashioned to want to sling the lingo, but you've got to know it or run the risk that your peers and superiors deem you hopelessly out of the loop. (Oops, there's a tired office phrase if there ever was one!) That's why I have made it my personal mission to keep you up to date. Alas and alack, Accountemps conducts its jargon survey only once every five years. However, the company put me in touch with Brett Good, senior district president of its corporate parent Robert Half International, the global staffing firm. In the course of his work, Good is privy to bujillions of resumes where many of us festoon our mundane jobs and meager accomplish ments with busin ess gobbledygook to make them sound more important — or less unimportant. "New expressions are springing up all the time," says Good, though some, he admits, like "out of the box" won't go back in the box no matter what. He supplied several current buzz phrases, and so did some CBS MoneyWatch cubicle denizens who have kept their ears glued to partition walls for their colleagues' most hackneyed utterances. Herewith their findings (with my own definitions and attempts at usage): In Transition A change from one state of being to another; recession variation: collecting unemployment compensation. Example: "Since the downsizing, I've been in transition." Synonym: doing some consulting. Brand Put a good face on. Example: "Okay, so we polluted the groundwater by failing to follow those finicky safety regulations. How should we brand it?" Space Industry or field. Example: "I'm in the manufacturing space," "I'm in the waste disposal space," "She's in the adult film space," or "He's in the space exploration space."

Go Offline Pester me about this after the meeting — or preferably never. "Jones, could we go offline to discuss the $10 underpayment of your expense account reimbursement?" End of the Day Formerly 5 to 5:30 p.m., now defined as an uncertain point in the future when everything magically turns out okay. Example. "At the end of the day, the pollution in the groundwater may just drain into the earth's core and become unnoticeable." Transparent Open about the facts, but not to be confused with honest. Example: "We've been totally transparent about the 15% fee; we disclosed it on page 37." Can't Wrap One's Head Around Unwilling to get into the details or deal with the facts; intellectually lazy. Example: "I can't wrap my head around all this recycling business; Let's throw everything in the dumpster behind Home Depot and let them deal with it." Bandwidth Money, staff, computing capacity or other resources. Example: "She lacks the bandwidth to compute compound interest." KPI (Key Performance Indicators) Important measurements, usually of the immeasurable. Example: "The American Psychological Association recently established KPIs for marriage: the weekly incidence of sexual intercourse plus the number of hours spent watching the same TV shows, minus total minutes bickering over the proper loading of the dishwasher." Throughput Not your conclusions, but the mindnumbing numbers and facts you chewed over to get there; information generally demanded by a micro-manager who won't believe that you did the work. Example: "Don't tell me what you've decided about the Taliban beard-comb project; I just want your throughput." Low-Hanging Fruit Easy to get, though in the end, often not worth the effort. Example: The Taliban

might be low-hanging fruit for our production overrun of beard combs." Human Capital Human Resources, previously Personnel. Example: "Human Capital is on the fifth floor." Skill Set or Fit Qualifications, generally modified by the words "wrong" or "bad," and most often used by Human Capital staffers as an excuse for not hiring somebody. Example: "His inability to speak in tongues obviously makes his skill set wrong for the litigator position." Knowledge Economy An environment in which a person has run up $150,000 in student loans to pay for a law degree only to see jobs exported to India whose citizens are apparently very knowledgeable about the U.S. legal system. Example: "The best job in the knowledge economy is plumbing because nobody with an advanced degree knows how to use Drano." Footprint Impact, formerly ecological, but now applicable to anything. Example: "Auntie Meg's rear end had a significant footprint on our sofa." Impactful Having a large footprint. Example: "Auntie Meg's rear end had a very impactful effect on our sofa." Two of my favorite bits of jargon come from a reader in the U.K. who says he made them up. The first: is "failure cascade", which he defines as a "sequence of bad stuff happening." An example might be: "The knowledge economy seems to be in a failure cascade." "Bus factor," he says, is a measure of how much the company would suffer if person X got hit by a bus. Example: "Billy has a really high bus factor." He reports that both phrases seem to be catching on. Such inventiveness should be an inspiration to us all. If you don't love the gobbledygook you're with, then create some gobbledygook you'd like.


BOSS OF THE YEAR® 2010 FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

The Boss of the Year® Award has narrowed down its list of finalists to just six contenders for the accolade this year, once again revealing that great leadership in the new SA crosses all colour and gender barriers and is about taking a team through tough times and enabling its success. Organised by Dictum Publishers Pty Ltd, this unique tribute provides an opportunity for leaders to create a ripple effect of better leadership practices in the work place across SA. From the hundreds of entries received, six finalists have been chosen by the panel of judges, from whom one titlebearer must be selected. The name of this titlebearer will be announced on October 15th – National Bosses Day – at a gala banquet luncheon. The 6 finalists are: (alphabetically): 1. Dr Melanie Chait, CEO, BigFish School of Digital Filmmaking 2. Eric Enslin, CEO, FNB Private Clients 3. Professor Sabiha Essack, Dean for the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal 4. Lerato Mosiah, General Manager Healthcare, Afrox 5. Themba Mthombeni, Executive Chairman, Duma Travel 6. Thomas Nhlapo, CEO, Sedibeng DHS Dr Melanie Chait established the award winning BigFish School of Digital Filmmaking to address poverty eradication, job creation and skills training nationally for the ever growing number of historically disadvantaged grade 12’s who have no access to tertiary education. Eric Enslin’s focus and dedication to FNB Private Clients and their specialised needs has allowed this division to maintain a high quality

client base and attract additional new clients. Eric also embraces innovation and identifies new opportunities to further entrench client relationships. Professor Sabiha Essack – a renowned scientist in antimicrobial resistance – has an expansive academic career which has seen her achieve an impressive research publication and conference presentation record. Lerato Mosiah holds four degrees. Her career started as a medical sales representative in 1995 at Adcock Ingram and she has steadily progressed in the hospital and health care industry to her current position of General Manager. Themba Mthombeni has held senior management positions in corporate sectors and has distinguished himself in the field of management consulting. Themba was an HR Director in De Beers and an Executive Director at Western Cape Tourism. He also helped in the formation of Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU) as well as being a Principal Consultant of Strategy and Change management at PriceWaterHouse Coopers. He is a Director and shareholder at Delros International – an international executive search company. Part of Thomas Nhlapo’s duties as CEO of Sedibeng is to ensure the effective and efficient overall management of the hospital in terms of relevant acts and delegations as well as to serve on various internal and external committees. He also provides input into the development of Provincial policy and strategy on the provision of health and medical care. MTN SA Foundation is the patron and main sponsor of this prestigious Award, which celebrates its 21st anniversary in 2010, and is widely acknowledged and lauded for the role it plays in identifying and developing workplace leadership in SA.

Eunice Maluleke, Head of MTN SA Foundation, says: “As a progressive and innovative organisation, MTN SA Foundation would like to play a leading role in acknowledging and celebrating leadership excellence in South Africa. We need great business leaders with vision, who can articulate that vision, passionately own it and drive it to completion. Without passion, the position of leadership is meaningless. And passionate leaders inspire others to strive for more and achieve more; they inspire confidence and success in their peers and colleagues. Good leaders make people feel that they are at the very heart of the success of the organisation; that they make an essential difference. When that happens, people grow and deliver and go on to inspire others.” Apart from the honour of being rated amongst the best bosses in South Africa, the recipient of the award and his/her nominator, as well as all the finalists and their nominators will receive a constellation of prizes from an A-list of sponsors. Sponsors of the Boss of the Year® Award are: MTN SA Foundation as patron and main sponsor and Stabilo as Founder Sponsor. Prize-givers are; Aramis and Designer Fragrances; Arthur Kaplan Jewellers; The Blue Train; Paintings courtesy of Die Kunshuis Clanwilliam; Europcar, Hugo Boss, Jaguar SA and Sheaffer Pens. Issued by the event organisers: Dictum Contacts: OrnellaTrinco / Ana-Maria Valente Tel: 011 616 7401 e-mail: ornella@dictum.co.za/ anamaria@dictum.co.za Media queries please to: Cheryl Hunter Tel: 082-441-6070 E-mail: chimeracoms@gmail.com


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No laps for warm laptops; skin damage is possible Adapted from: www.ap.org

her computer propped on her lap. The temperature underneath registered 125 degrees.

CHICAGO – Have you ever worked on your laptop computer with it sitting on your lap, heating up your legs? If so, you might want to rethink that habit. Doing it a lot can lead to "toasted skin syndrome," an unusual-looking mottled skin condition caused by long-term heat exposure, according to medical reports. In one recent case, a 12-year-old boy developed a sponge-patterned skin discoloration on his left thigh after playing computer games a few hours every day for several months. "He recognized that the laptop got hot on the left side; however, regardless of that, he did not change its position," Swiss researchers reported in an article published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Another case involved a Virginia law student who sought treatment for the mottled discoloration on her leg. Dr. Kimberley Salkey, who treated the young woman, was stumped until she learned the student spent about six hours a day working with

That case, from 2007, is one of 10 laptop-related cases reported in medical journals in the past six years. The condition also can be caused by overuse of heating pads and other heat sources that usually aren't hot enough to cause burns. It's generally harmless but can cause permanent skin darkening. In very rare cases, it can cause damage leading to skin cancers, said the Swiss researchers, Drs. Andreas Arnold and Peter Itin from University Hospital Basel. They do not cite any skin cancer cases linked to laptop use, but suggest, to be safe, placing a carrying case or other heat shield under the laptop if you have to hold it in your lap. Salkey, an assistant dermatology professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School, said that under the microscope, the affected skin resembles skin damaged by longterm sun exposure. Major manufacturers including Apple, Hewlett Packard and Dell warn in user manuals against placing laptops on laps or exposed skin for extended periods of time because of the risk for burns.

A medical report several years ago found that men who used laptops on their laps had elevated scrotum temperatures. If prolonged, that kind of heat can decrease sperm production, which can potentially lead to infertility. Whether laptop use itself can cause that kind of harm hasn't been confirmed. In the past, "toasted skin syndrome" has occurred in workers whose jobs require being close to a heat source, including bakers and glass blowers, and, before central heating, in people who huddled near potbellied stoves to stay warm. Dr. Anthony J. Mancini, dermatology chief at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, said he'd treated a boy who developed the condition from using a heating pad "hours at a time" to soothe a thigh injured in soccer. Mancini said he'd also seen a case caused by a hot water bottle. He noted that chronic, prolonged skin inflammation can potentially increase chances for squamous cell skin cancer, which is more aggressive than the most common skin cancer. But Mancini said it's unlikely computer use would lead to cancer since it's so easy to avoid prolonged close skin contact with laptops.

“One day at a time this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.�

~Ida Scott Taylor~

Talk SA October 2010  

The IAAP Johannesburg Chapter at Large publish a newsletter once every 2 months to keep the members updated with what is going on in the wor...