Profiling Leshelle Sargent, Fmr Talented EA to Tina Knowles

 I am stoked about this Assistant Profile!

Leshelle was my Go To  gal when assisting, always on TOP of it!

Last time in LA, Leshelle took the time out of her INSANE schedule to chat with her former co-worker about assisting.

Excited to share with you Assistant tips from a former Executive Assistant to Tina Knowles (Beyonce’s mom and creator of  Miss Tina clothing). This interview was shot during the time she was the unit publicist for the late-night PBS talk show “Tavis Smiley.”

A ridiculously HUGE Thank you to Leshelle, a talented woman I admire and have the utmost respect for:

Video transcribed below :{pretty much!}

LH: Hey Leshelle, it’s so good to see you. I’m so excited you are here to do this interview with me. To give back to other assistants that are getting in the business. You got a pro here that you are talking to ‘cause she is ON it! Anytime I needed something, she was there.

Leshelle: Speaking of which, there’s my phone!

 There’s your phone! That’s perfect! That’s perfect! We are not even going to edit that out! That’s the life. So how long were you an assistant?

Leshelle: I was an assistant for about 2 years and 1 month.

LH: Great! How did you get your start? Did you have any prior experience before hand or did you just jump right in?

Leshelle: I didn’t have any experience…it was really who I knew. The assistant before me was leaving and someone that I worked with said so and so needed an assistant and I was like I’ll do that! I just happened to work for her husband at the time so it was like one big community.

I was introduced to her and got that call to move all your stuff and go into her office and there I was!

LH: You know that is a GREAT tip. It’s networking.

It’s who you know …its relationships… keep those relationships and don’t give up keep going.  I got my job with the Knowles….I sent a letter in to Matthew.

I remember my Dad saying “you’re not going to get that.  He’s not going to read your letter” (ha.ha.) and I was like “you watch, you watch!”.  And I got it!

So you have to have confidence in yourself and know that you are the best and you ARE going to get that.  Put your mind to it.

LH:  Did you know other assistants in the biz when you first started or did you just jump right in there?

Leshelle:  I literally just jumped into the deep end.  I did not know anyone.  I just knew how to put a schedule together because I worked in Beyonce’s office prior to.  But I was low on the totem pole.

I worked on her schedule but I had a great lady named Darlene who taught me well.  So I knew how to put schedules together once I got the information.  But, of course, the type of assistant I was and the type of assistant you were, we put together the schedules.  So it’s a whole difference level.

 

LH: Which again, I just have to say Leshelle was such an amazing assistant and whenever I called you at 2am you answered your phone!  I appreciated that.


Leshelle: yeah, I was nuts (haha)

LH:  You were wonderful! And, there’s your phone again.  It’s great.
How did your day start…like what time was it or how did it kind of look like?
Like a quick glimpse….and I know it changes every 10 minutes (haha).

Leshelle:  Everyday was different… it depends if we were on tour.  On average though I would be in the office between 9 -10am BUT my day could start if they were on tour as early as 1 or 2 in the morning because I would get a call from Japan.

LH:  Well you had to go in hair and makeup, right?  haha.


Leshelle:  Yes, exactly. And in wardrobe :P  But, on average I would be in the office between 9-10am and my calls would start that day as early as 7 or 8 in the morning and not end until 7 or 8 at night.

LH:  Do you remember the first big mistake and how did you get through that?

Leshelle:  I remember the first time I got chewed out, lol.  That wasn’t necessary a mistake but what she preferred that I did not do.  That’s something you have to learn.  Each person has their own style, their own way they do things.

I definitely learned that on the current position I have now but the first thing I made was a wrong address or something so I realized it was all about the details.


LH:  Right.

When you’re working for a high profile person, have you ever experienced, especially in L.A. people contacting you to get you things from you?…like free tickets or whatever?  And, you haven’t heard from them like 10 years.

And, then they ask, can I have a back stage pass?  (lol).  That was really hard for me because I don’t know if I was raised in the South or whatever, I would be like hey come on in! But then, I was like, wait a minute – so how did you deal with that?

Leshelle:  It was a real big challenge because I normally am a friendly person.  So I don’t mind or anything.

LH:  We are too nice to be  assistants! lol

Leshelle: I know (haha) but the issue was I had to learn how to weed out the people who really want something and the people who has your best interest and the people who genuinely have something they can help your boss with or talk to your boss with and that’s just something you learn over a process.

I had a stalker one time because I was too friendly.  A lady who bugged me every day because she felt she had wrote one song that Beyonce did but she didn’t.  She was a little crazy.

LH: Unless they bring you free shoes or something like that.  At least it’s worth it right?  (haha).

Leshelle:  You even have to be careful for the people who bring you favors because one time I had someone bring me something free and they got mad because I couldn’t deliver.  And I was like, we didn’t talk about that!  So, you just have to learn:  its common sense.

LH:  I don’t have to ask you this question, but for my viewers, know that Leshelle is completely OCD in a fabulous way!  She has just everything nailed down.  All T’s are crossed!  I preferred everything being organized do you have great tips to give other Assistants?

Leshelle:  I changed my process now.  I’m not an Assistant now but a Publicist for a TV show.  Now I write down everything in a binder and then back it up to my blackberry.

Before then I wrote and put everything in my blackberry.  I changed my process because you never know when you’re going to lose this (aka Blackberry) or the batteries die.  You literally have to write thing down I believe.

I’m a big list person.  Sometimes you don’t all get them down, but you have to learn how to prioritize.  That is another thing that I’m still learning today.  I would say if you’re putting together schedules, copy and paste phone numbers and addresses because sometimes you can get so busy that your mind starts playing tricks on you and a couple of times I’ve had dyslexic occasions.


LH:  I have another tip for an Assistant.  If someone does not email you back or call you back right away, they are so busy so keep on trying.

I know that was helpful for me because the person on the other end may think that you are rude and you forgot about them, but you really didn’t, you just have so much going on.  So keep being persistant and you’ll eventually get them!

Leshelle:  And put things in writing.  Always send them an email.  It not only helps then but you as well.

LH:  If you could go back and tell your former self some good advice when you started out, what would that be?

Leshelle:  Don’t take everything personally. (See video commentary)
 Speaking of, Leshelle has another call.  So we’re going to end on that note.

LH: You have been so wonderful and I’m so proud of you being a Publicist!  It’s great to see you and thank you so much for doing this.  I really appreciate that.

Leshelle:  Of course, thank you.

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