Staff Matters 3 - pexels-photo-7163372

“Know this: your success will depend directly on the success of your staff. No one gets there alone. No one.” ~ Bonnie Low-Kramen, Staff Matters

As a 40-year veteran of the U.S. corporate workplace that spanned four industries (broadcasting, publishing, public relations and financial services), and was employed by Fortune 500 companies and mid-size businesses, I have served variously as an executive secretary/assistant (title depending on the decade) to senior executives and CEOs, public relations staff associate, senior administrator, corporate banking officer and, finally, vice president & manager of a corporate administration department that provided services to offices on six continents.

You can imagine the array of experiences I’ve encountered over that time, as you have likely encountered a number yourselves. Many of my experiences were wonderful,  inspiring, uplifting and instructive; but too many involved discrimination, bullying, harassment, rejection, isolation and political roadblocks. So, to help younger generations successfully navigate the complexities of the workplace, for nearly two decades I taught interns and co-op students at my company and students at colleges about business etiquette, ethics and empathy, and for the past decade have written about workplace issues on my blog.  

Hence, I am thrilled to see the many challenges those who work face daily so thoroughly and boldly addressed in Staff Matters, the new book by workplace expert and consultant, author and creator of Be The Ultimate Assistant, Bonnie Low-Kramen.

You and I are the staff, and our experiences — past, present and future — are the matters that Bonnie writes about in her straight-talking and urgently needed book. Bonnie deftly exposes the herd of elephants in the rooms of global workplaces that have roamed unchecked for too long , and with our support intends to banish the unproductive and destructive practices they represent.

The matters examined in the book are familiar to us all. They also have been familiar to our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Many of the issues covered have existed and have been tolerated in workplaces around the world for women, Black people, the LGBTQIA+ community, indigenous people, older workers and others for decades, and in some cases for centuries! These issues include, but are not limited to, discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment, unfair pay and other compensation, leadership not asking the staff before making decisions that directly affect their lives, human resources and recruiting issues and great company policies that are not always adequately or effectively implemented and enforced.

We’ve talked about them as separate issues for ages. In Staff Matters, Bonnie pulls all these issues together in one compelling book. She covers the waterfront on the difficult workplace issues that affect the people who have been called the backbone of business and industry: the staff, how they are — or are not — valued, treated, nurtured and retained. And as the double meaning of the title indicates, Bonnie stresses throughout the book that staff matters, and it’s about time to recognize that fact.

Bonnie and I connected through Linked-In several years ago and have corresponded periodically on various topics. I read Bonnie’s previous book, Be The Ultimate Assistant, and thought it was a game changer for assistants. Now, Staff Matters is the book that should be in the hands of every member of the workforce, from the proverbial mailroom clerk* right up to the executive assistant to the CEO*, as well as CEOs themselves, managers at all levels, HR professionals, recruiters and everyone else who has anything at all to do with a workplace, including corporate board members!

Bonnie believes that what makes Staff Matters different from other workplace leadership and management books is perspective. I couldn’t agree more.  This is the book we’ve been waiting for.

Until next time,


NOTE: *”How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” (written by men, by the way) was for a long time one of my favorite musicals. It is important to note, however, that while the idea might have been meant to exaggerate how organizations functioned decades ago, the musical sadly reflects the reality of the way workplaces were blatantly and in many cases horrifyingly sexist. Secretaries, especially, but also other female workers, were, as the musical demonstrates, often treated as toys. I now cringe at the way secretaries are portrayed in “How To Succeed.” As Bonnie points out in her book, there remain many things that need  fixing in the modern workplace, and we all have to work together to succeed in the business of doing so by really trying. I’m in! Are you?


  1. Claire Smith says:

    Thank you for your words of wisdom, Bonnie. I’ve been reflecting on this and I think it’s important for everyone to remember that success depends on the success of their team. No one can go it alone.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s