8 Best Executive Assistant Books to Read in 2021

Home » Books » Executive Assistant BooksUpdated: July 15, 2021

You found our list of top executive assistant books.

Executive assistant books are guides to being an exceptional aid to company presidents, CEO’s, members of the C-suite, and other high-ranking organizational figures. These books cover topics such as developing rapport with executives, multitasking in high-pressure situations, and learning new technology. These books are generally read by executive assistants, secretaries and other administrative roles.

These books help develop executive assistant skills and can be companions to CEO books.

This post contains:

  • administrative assistant books
  • executive assistant guides
  • books for office assistants

Here we go!

List of executive assistant books

From The Leader Assistant to Who Took My Pen … Again?, here are some of the best books for executive assistants.

1. The CEO’s Secret Weapon: How Great Leaders and Their Assistants Maximize Productivity and Effectiveness by Jan Jones

The CEO's Secret Weapon

The CEO’s Secret Weapon is a testament to the value of executive assistants. The book shows how assistants’ potential goes beyond secretarial duties. Top assistants can also function as PR experts, idea scouts, key decision makers, and business-saving problem-solvers. Jan Jones relays anecdotes about EA’s who were irreplaceable assets to their organizations. The CEO’s Secret Weapon shows CEO’s how to find, train, and retain remarkable executive assistants.

Notable Quote: “If you can’t be available, your assistant has to be. There’s no telling what opportunities are passing you by if you don’t have an assistant who’s tuned in, alert, and receptive on your behalf.”

Buy The CEO’s Secret Weapon.

2. The Innovative Admin by Julie Perrine

The Innovative Admin

The Innovative Admin is one of the most popular administrative assistant books. The book explains the importance of keeping up to date with trends and technology. Innovative admins stay informed about new industry developments and are often ahead of the curve when it comes to change. Not only do these individuals enjoy greater job security and job satisfaction, they are also great assets to their organization. The Innovative Admin shows assistants how to be more forward-thinking and proactive through actionable advice.

Notable Quote: “Getting by is no longer enough. You must lead the charge toward advancing your skills, thinking, and professional network if you want to remain relevant. As an administrative professional, it is absolutely vital to your long-term success that you continually pursue innovative people, ideas, and technology– that you continually reinvent and renew yourself.”

Buy The Innovative Admin.

3. The Leader Assistant: Four Pillars of a Confident, Game-Changing Assistant by Jeremy Burrows

The Leader Assistant

The Leader Assistant is one of the best executive assistant books. Author Jeremy Burrows calls on EA’s to take initiative and embrace their inner leadership drives to transform into high-performing professionals.

The book revolves around four main pillars:

  1. embody the characteristics
  2. employ the tactics
  3. engage in relationships
  4. exercise self-care

By following these best practices, executive assistants can manage challenges and control their careers. This book helps busy assistants master the profession yet avoid burnout.

Notable Quote: “Choose to be the leader you wish you had. Know in your heart that you help those around you accomplish their mission, that you are valuable, and that you help businesses succeed. You have more strength and resourcefulness than most, and you never back down from a challenge.”

Buy The Leader Assistant.

4. Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook by James Stroman, Kevin Wilson, and Jennifer Wauson

The Administrative Secretary's Handbook

Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook is an executive assistant encyclopedia, and a great resource for early career executive assistants. The book breaks content into sections such as general procedures, office equipment and computers, and business documents, and includes a list of subtopics like travel arrangements, web conferencing, and time management. The detailed index makes it easy to quickly reference subjects, making it one of the best executive assistant guides.

Notable Quote: “As an administrative assistant, you are hired to relieve your busy employer of a great deal of work, especially the details of office procedure and other matters that do not require your employer’s personal involvement….Everything you do for your employer must duplicate as closely as possible what he or she would do if not absorbed in work that couldn’t be delegated.”

Buy Administrative Assistant’s and Secretary’s Handbook.

5. Be the Ultimate Assistant: A celebrity assistant’s secrets to working with any high-powered employer by Bonnie Low-Kramen

Be the Ultimate Assistant

Be the Ultimate Assistant is the memoir of Olympia Dukakis’ long-time personal assistant. Although the book centers around the role of a celebrity assistant, it relays lessons on serving any powerful figure. The prose is equal parts entertaining and enlightening and is full of valuable advice. Bonnie Low-Kramen touches on subjects such as event planning, public speaking, and salary negotiations, offering useful tips alongside amusing behind-the-scenes stories.

Notable Quote: “Our jobs often defy “descriptions” because the scope is so vast. The ironic result of this is that our value and influence is frequently underestimated precisely because there is confusion about what we do exactly.

Buy Be the Ultimate Assistant.

6. Become A Successful Virtual Assistant: Learn the Business Side & Ditch 9 to 5 by Melissa Smith

Become a Virtual Assistant

Become a Successful Virtual Assistant is one of the most useful books for office assistants. As more companies shift to remote or hybrid work, opportunities for virtual assistants increase. Melissa Smith explains not only how to perform the job effectively, but also how to launch and grow your own virtual assistant business. The book covers topics such as finding your niche and ideal clients, setting pricing, and self-managing workload and reputation.

Notable Quote: “Working remotely drastically changed my life. I was on the opposite side of the country working seamlessly for my employer. Turns out without all the interruptions and chats over coffee, I completed my work in less than half the time! I considered myself to be extremely efficient in the office. I had no idea I would be more productive working remotely.”

Buy Become A Successful Virtual Assistant.

7. Not Just an Admin: Discover the Respect, Value and Power of the Administrative Profession by Peggy Sue Vasquez

Not Just an Admin

Not Just an Admin challenges the idea that the role of an office assistant is insignificant. The book shows how assistants play a vital role in the office ecosystem, and teaches administrative professionals how to embrace, increase, and leverage that power. Chapters touch on topics like networking, executive presence, and bouncing back from failure. Not Just an Admin is a masterclass in self-respect, self-advocacy, and self-sufficiency that empowers assistants of all experience and skill levels.

Notable Quote: “When you begin a new partnership, each person brings his or her own dynamic to a situation….It is the essence we bring to a situation that causes people to treat us in a certain manner. The way in which a manager may have treated a former assistant doesn’t mean it is the way he or she will treat you.”

Buy Not Just an Admin.

8. Who Took My Pen … Again? Secrets from Dynamic Executive Assistants by by Joan Burge, Nancy Fraze, and Jasmine Freeman

Who Took My Pen Again

Who Took My Pen…Again? imparts wisdom from dozens of executive assistants. The book presents strategies, advice, and anecdotes for building leadership skills, creating efficient organizational systems, and adopting a professional persona. Who Took My Pen…Again? is a breakdown of the behaviors and characteristics that help executive assistants thrive. The book is handy for aspiring or beginner assistants, as well as any veterans looking to get back to basics.

Notable Quote: “You have an obligation to accept responsibility. Unless you are willing to do that, you aren’t being accountable. If you accept the position to assist a leader, then you are accepting whatever comes with that.”

Buy Who Took My Pen … Again? 

Conclusion

Top executive assistants learn and grow constantly. Reading is a great way to collect new tips and perspectives and upgrade your administrative skills. Although EA’s have busy day-to-day routines, scheduling in reading time can help them overhaul their systems, become more efficient, and save time in the long run.

For more reading recommendations, check out our list of HR books.

We also have a list of tools for executive assistants.

FAQ: Executive assistant books

Here are answers to common questions about executive assistant books.

What are executive assistant books?

Executive assistant books are reference materials that cover topics such as arranging travel, scheduling meetings, interacting with executives, practicing time management and organization, and increasing leadership skills. These books help higher-level assistants become more professional, autonomous, and efficient.

What are the best executive assistant books?

The best books for executive assistants include The Leader Assistant by Jeremy Burrows, The CEO’s Secret Weapon by Jan Jones, and Be the Ultimate Assistant by Bonnie Low-Kramen.

Who should read executive assistant books?

Current and aspiring executive assistants are the target audience for the genre. The books teach assistants how to manage stress, stay organized, solve problems, and perform duties quickly and confidently. However, these books can also help executives to fully utilize the talent and skill of their EA’s. Not to mention, any individual who wants to learn more about the EA role will find these works enlightening.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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