- Yvette Pearson
10 Books Every EA Should Read
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
Time and time again we hear that entrepreneurs and successful people all have one thing in common: they read. A lot.
In this blog, we take a look at some of the best books you can pick up to help you level up in your careers.
1. The Exceptional PA by Heather Baker
Now, if you don't know Heather yet, go and stalk her on LinkedIn. She's one of the most engaging and inclusive trainers I have ever met, and is probably one of the nicest people on the planet. There's not much she doesn't know about how to communicate effectively, and we all know that communication is one of the key things you need to crack in order to move your career forward. This is an absolutely great book that will help even the most experienced of communicators.
2. Secret Thoughts of Successful Women by Valerie Young
If you have ever thought that you perhaps didn't deserve the success you have, or even wondered if you had achieved something by accident, this is the book for you. Valerie discusses the topic of Impostor Syndrome in great detail, looking at studies into successful people, and interviewing some of the people we look up to the most. High court judges, movie stars, CEOs. All of these people have experienced some form of impostor syndrome. Something that we all have in common? That we all feel like we are the real fraud, and that everyone else who says they feel it probably aren't as big a fraud as we are. If that feels like you, go read this book.
3. Atomic Habits by James Clear
If you find yourself not doing the things you promised yourself to do, perhaps its because you've not made it easy enough for yourself. In this book, James Clear explores so many fantastic ways to make small gains which, over time, all add up into massive strides forward. So whether you're trying to learn a new language or get fit, this is absolutely the book for you
4. The Leader Assistant by Jeremy Burrows
An established and successful assistant, Jeremy takes us through the 4 "pillars" of success. These pillars are the keys to being a real leader in our profession and he uses his significant experience as an assistant to guide you through how to really up your game and future-proof your role. This book has immediately caused a stir in the administrative world - for all the right reasons
5. The Elevated EA by Maggie Jacobs
In her 10+ years as a C-Suite EA, there's not a lot that Maggie Jacobs doesn't know about this job. In this book she takes us through her philosophy that has seen her succeed through trials and traumas. She calls upon her experience to show you that even the most successful EAs out there have tough days and face new and challenging things. This book will spark that fire that we all have inside us to grow and succeed.
6. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Granted, not your typical workplace-boosting book, but hear me out. This book takes us through the concept that people receive and give love in different ways. That "love" can extend to friendship and also professional relationships. Ever felt frustrated that your boss came back from logistically the worst business trip you have ever scheduled, and plonked a crappy box of airport chocolates on your desk, when literally all you wanted was a "thank you"? This book helps you understand why you find that so upsetting, and opens your eyes to all the different ways someone might show you that you are appreciated. Spoiler alert: all ways are valid.
7. The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency
If your goal is to move your career in the direction of Chief of Staff, this book is for you. Learning all about the Chiefs of Staff to the US Presidents over the past few decades shows you how integral these roles really are to the success of a President. Turn that into the success of a CEO and you start to understand just how important these roles are. With more and more EAs and Business Partners moving into Chief of Staff roles, here's a chance to be inspired by the best of the best.
8. Who Moved my Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson
This book was given to me as a gift when I was made redundant from a job I loved (thanks FM!). It hit me like a truck, and I was devastated. This book helped me realise that no matter how well things are going - in work or at home - we must never get complacent. This book is a wake-up call for anyone and everyone that you never know what's coming around the corner. A 2020-style book, written more than 20 years ago. You can read the whole thing in about an hour - highly recommended.
9. The Founder and the Force Multiplier by Adam Hergenrother & Hallie Warner
This is an absolute gem of a book if you are looking for a way to help your Executive get the most out of having an Assistant. Perhaps leave a copy on his/her desk if they are the kind of Exec who is always trying to get the best out of people. This will also help you with ways to level up your assistance to them and be a real extension to them. If you are looking to move forwards and take that next big step, possibly from EA to Business Assistant or Chief of Staff, then this is definitely for you (and your boss).
10. A-Z Pearls of Wisdom for Executive PAs by Lindsay Taylor (2nd Edition)
Renowned PA coach and trainer, Lindsay Taylor brings us this absolute delight of a book, to help us round off our top 10. This second edition promises to be even more jam-packed with tips and advise than the first.
These "Pearls of Wisdom" are taken directly from Lindsay's own PA career and while you read it you understand that she really knows what she is taking about.