13 Books Every Executive Assistant Should Read

In The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, Gary Keller emphasizes the importance of the assistant role. In fact, he goes so far as to discuss how individuals in this position can grow and evolve with the leader and earn the right to move into an Assistant Executive position.

In order to become a true Force Multiplier, or “Assistant Executive”, an EA must know how to do both their job and their Principal’s. Here are the 13 books we recommend within your first 6-12 months as an EA to help you grow as an assistant, an advisor, and a strategic partner.

13 Books All EAs Should Read

The Founder & The Force Multiplier Book Cover

1. The Founder & The Force Multiplier by Adam Hergenrother & Hallie Warner (Second Edition)

WHY: This is the essential read (yes, yes, we are biased) for Executive Assistants who want to strengthen their strategic partnership with their leader. You’ll learn how to grow an individual in your role and achieve more together with your Principal.

2. Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott

WHY: The one book we recommend to EVERYONE no matter what stage they’re at in their career or whether they work in customer service, construction, or the c-suite. Who doesn’t need tactical tools and concrete examples to engage productively in tough conversations? That is what leadership is all about. Fierce Conversations gives you the right words to say what you mean, get the results that you want, and build stronger relationships along the way.

3. Bet on Yourself by Ann Hiatt

WHY: Hear directly from Ann Hiatt, former right hand to the world’s top tech CEOs—Google’s Eric Schmidt, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer. Learn how she took charge of her career, leaned into learning opportunities, leveled up her leadership, and the habits and principles that can get you there too. She talks about her career journey from assistant to Executive Business Partner to Chief of Staff, and then Founder of her own leadership strategy and consulting company. Her advice will inspire you to bet on yourself and take action towards designing the career of your dreams. Bonus: listen to our conversation with Ann on The Founder & The Force Multiplier Podcast.

4. The Leader Assistant by Jeremy Burrows

WHY: Jeremy Burrows is a longtime EA, author, podcast host, and speaker. His book outlines the 4 essential pillars assistants must focus on in order to lead well without burning out. Bonus: listen to our conversation with Jeremy and his Principal, David Karandish, on The Founder & The Force multiplier Podcast.

5. Impact Players by Liz Wiseman

WHY: For the Force Multiplier who wants to take their career to the next level by growing their influential leadership, optimizing their mindset, and contributing at their best.

6. The Modern Day Assistant by Lucy Brazier

WHY: Lucy Brazier is a global champion for the development of the administrative profession. She has spent much of the last 12 years training and running events for assistants around the world, campaigning for a clear global framework for career progression and educating executives on how best to use their executive support functions. Bonus: listen to our conversation with Lucy Brazier on The Founder & The Force multiplier Podcast.

7. Mindset Matters by Gemma Leigh Roberts

WHY: For leaders, Force Multipliers, and any professional who wants to master the future of work. No, it’s not a new technology, it’s mindset—resilience and mental agility. It is what will give you a competitive edge in the years ahead.

8. The Elevated EA by Maggie Jacobs

WHY: Maggie Jacobs likes to say “I work in the space of ‘executive enablement’– I make things possible for my executive,” but her book is not a tactical guide to becoming a stellar EA. Maggie’s story is one of strength and resilience, a call to stop playing small, and an inspiration to anyone who wants to improve their life, both professionally and personally.

9. Ways and Means for Managing Up by F. William Smullen

WHY: Peter Bergen said it best: “Colonel Smullen has worked for some of the smartest and most demanding bosses in modern American history, most notably General Colin Powell, for many years. In this book Smullen offers an invaluable guide for how to succeed inside any organization. It is a guide that is both tremendously wise and, in some places, laugh-out-loud funny.”

10. The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

WHY: As EAs, we’re often suckers for a good to-do list. The problem is, a never-ending list of projects can often be a distraction from the SINGLE activity you need to do to grow your business or excel in your career. The ONE Thing shows you how to gain extreme clarity and focus on what truly matters. Bonus: listen to our conversation with Jay Papasan and his Force Multiplier, Carly, on The Founder & The Force multiplier Podcast.

11. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

WHY: Brené Brown—need we say more?

12. The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

WHY: Executive Assistants and Chiefs of Staff often contemplate whether or not a Master’s degree, specifically an MBA is necessary to progress in their career. There are a lot of different factors to consider if an MBA is the right move for you. However, The Personal MBA is a great place to start and offers all the essentials of business in a simple, well-organized book with real-world examples. It is important for Executive Assistants and Chiefs of Staff to have strong business acumen, and this book delivers.

13. The 200% Life by Adam Hergenrother and Hallie Warner

WHY: (Another shameless plug!) For anyone who needs a new perspective on what it means to be happy, fulfilled, and successful. As Force Multipliers, we often identify with our work, tying our self-worth to our performance and our Principal’s success. This book shows that there is another way—a path to massive professional success and self-realization that is much simpler than you think.

Which of these books has been the most impactful for you? Are there any books you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for some more tips on how to lead better and achieve more, especially with your strategic partner? Check out our free resources!

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