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Five Books That Every Executive Assistant Should Read and Why

Posted on 30/10/2019 by Boe Leung

Whether you are just starting out in your career, want to prepare yourself for a new role, or are an experienced Executive Assistant (EA) and simply want to increase your expertise - kick-start your own self-development by getting stuck into these insightful and motivational reads!


1. The Innovative ADMIN by Julie Perrine

Support professionals don’t just do their jobs, they help those they support do their jobs better too.  Learn how to become an invaluable member of the team by enhancing your capacity to find innovative solutions for just about anything in the workplace.  This book is for those who are looking to take their role to the next level – it will teach you not only how to be a good EA, but how to be a great EA!





2. Managing Up: How to Move up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss by Mary Abbajay 

This is arguably one of the most difficult things to do but if you can master this skill, you will be well on your way to achieving a happy and healthy work life.  “Managing up” is not about manipulating your boss or getting what you want all the time, it’s about building a relationship where both expectations and boundaries are clear, and perfecting your influencing and negotiation skills.  It’s also about adaptability and as an EA, you are likely to come across many different types of personalities and working styles in the people you support throughout your career.  Being able to recognise differences and adapt your behaviour will ensure you excel in your career. 


3. Who Took My Pen…Again? by Joan Burge, Nancy Fraze, Jasmine Freeman

A motivational, and often humorous, book about life as an Executive Assistant, written by seasoned EA’s!  Packed to the brim with useful tips, ideas and strategies on how to navigate the world of administrative support, this is a delightful read and an easy reference book thereafter. 






4. The Decision Book by Mikael Krogerus & Roman Tschȁppeler

This super practical workbook is divided into four simple sections: how to improve yourself; how to understand yourself better; how to understand others; and how to improve others.  Packed full of decision making strategies for every situation, the authors encourage readers to apply the models to real-life situations and there are even blank pages within the book to record your progress and make notes.  This is not just a book to read, but a book that can really change your life (both at work and socially) if you put a little effort in. 


5. The Emotionally Intelligent Office: 20 Key Emotional Skills for the Workplace by The School of Life

Not specifically written for support staff, but about an important workplace skill.  The Emotional Intelligence (EI) of employees has a huge impact on the culture and success of a business and as an EA working closely with others, emotional maturity and self-awareness is key in this field.  This book explains 20 core emotional skills that can help both an individual and a business flourish – including how to give and take honest feedback, accepting that it's OK to fail, and addressing friction between individuals in your team. 



We hope you enjoy these suggestions.  My personal favourites that I have been influenced by are ‘Managing Up’ and ‘The Emotionally Intelligent Office’, I have found that you can apply many of the strategies outlined in these books to just about any situation or part of your life – not just professional.  Investing in your personal growth is bound to have an effect on both your work and personal life.  Happy reading from the Charlotte Frank team!

Boe Leung has several years’ experience in both HR and L&D, she comes with a wealth of experience from across the UK and HK’s professional services industry.  With knowledge gained from the financial, legal, accountancy and management consultancy sectors Boe is a knowledgeable and passionate consultant who supports our Banking & Financial Services and Legal portfolio.  If you would like to get in touch with her you can do so at 

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