Photo by Jean-Philippe Defaut ©2018

Resources on the Executive Assistant Role

Maïa Cybelle Carpenter

Whether you are a CEO who needs to learn more about hiring and working with an Executive Assistant, an Executive Assistant looking for growth and development, or are curious about the role of Executive Assistant, here is a list of resources. We share these resources with our clients and we thought it would be helpful to share them with the public as well. This list is by no means exhaustive, nor in any order. We have omitted older resources that are out-of-date with the current evolution of the role. We welcome your suggestions to add other resources in the comments below.

NOTE: As advocates of eliminating the use of the word “Assistant” in the job title due to negative bias, we refer you to our recommendation outlined here for a new adaptive role supporting the C-Suite and Founders: Executive Operations Director. Will your business adapt to this change in order to elevate executives by evolving the Executive Assistant role?

  1. Author, coach and executive assistant recruiter, Melba J. Duncan’s article in the Harvard Business Review stands out for highlighting the value of an Executive Assistant in a trusted business journal. The Case for Executive Assistants, HBR, May 2011 Issue.
  2. Sue France’s 3rd edition of The Definitive Executive Assistant and Managerial Handbook: A Professional Guide to Leadership for all PAs, Senior Secretaries, Office Managers and Executive Assistants, August 2015.
  3. The top 5 challenges Executive Assistants have according to author, coach and Executive Assistant recruiter Leni Miller: The 5 most difficult things executive assistants do by Resa Goldberg, San Francisco Business Times, April 1, 2017.
  4. Leni Miller’s great list: Traits of Successful Executive Assistants and Executive Support Professionals.
  5. Executive Assistant educator and coach Adam Fidler has written an “EA Manifesto — What I Am”, 2016.
  6. Executive Assistants as THE business partner to a CEO: How to Get the Most out of Your Executive Assistant by Fran Hawthorne, Chief Executive, May 10, 2012.
  7. If you’re a small business or solopreneur, you’ll appreciate Maren Kate’s blog post on DIY hiring. How to Hire and Epic Executive Assistant, June 19, 2017.
  8. Founder and CEO of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes explains why and how a great Executive Assistant makes all the difference: Sorry Siri: Five Traits of a Real Life Assistant, February 18, 2015.
  9. Beau Gordon, Executive Assistant at Airbnb has a short and sweet blog on the value of an EA: How can you be the best Executive Assistant?, March 17, 2017.
  10. Some valuable food for thought: It’s 2017, Let’s Retire the Administrative Assistant Job Title by Lys Inungu, January 20, 2017.
  11. Here is some interesting data regarding the evolution of administrative roles, gender bias and equity: From secretary to administrative Assistant: How the admin role has evolved over time by Abby Quillen, June 30, 2017.
  12. Lynn Walder’s excellent advocacy project on recalibrating administrative roles is worth your consideration. The Admin Title Recalibration Project, July 10, 2019.
  13. Why you need to hire and EA early on in a startup by Joel Wishkovsky, Founder and CEO of Simple Health, October 7, 2019.
Maïa Cybelle Carpenter

CEO, Carpenter Consulting Partners, Inc.

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