Inspiring Books for Executive Assistants

Be inspired with these books for Executive Assistants

One of the best things you can do for yourself as an EA is to stay inspired. It’s the inspiration factor that will keep you going on the days when the job feels overwhelming or a bit gloomy; and hey, we’ve all been there. Inspiration isn’t something you can magically pull off a shelf though…or can you? 👀 We’ve pulled together a list of some inspirational books for Executive Assistants that will not only energize you for the day-to-day, but keep you motivated for the long-run. Check them out below, then join our EA Book Club for conversation and connection.

Inspirational books for EAs

Here are several books we recommend every Executive Assistant add to their physical or digital library (these books were mentioned by our Base Live panelists and/or covered in our EA Book Club). Remember, these books are resources to support you, so go at your own pace!

Have you read a few already? We’d love to hear which books inspired you the most; share with us and other Executive Assistants in our EA Community Group on Facebook!

Each book below includes a brief description + link to view on Amazon. 

“Presence” by Amy Cuddy 

Stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them. Learn how to approach your biggest challenges with confidence instead of dread, and to conquer them with satisfaction instead of regret. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Always be able to tell your Exec confidently, “Hey, I’ve got this!” 

“Do Better Work” by Max Yoder

Share before you’re ready. Get more agreements. Have difficult conversations. These are a few of the practical but profound ideas from Max Yoder. No matter your rank or role, if you want to see more understanding, accountability, and progress on your team, these stories and examples are for you. [View on Amazon

💫 EA inspiration: Create a stronger relationship with your Executive through vulnerability and open, honest dialogue

“Bet on Yourself” by Ann Hiatt

Ann Hiatt shares both the daily habits and long-game strategies she learned working side-by-side for decades with the giants of technology at Amazon and Google. Through clear guidance and stories, Ann will teach you tried-and-true methods to take ordinary opportunities and create something extraordinary, and how the leadership principles that guide the work of these celebrity CEOs are directly applicable to your goals. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Define your abilities so you can be recognized for what you bring to the table 

💡 Watch the Base Live with Ann for more inspirational strategies and tips! 

“ELEVATE Admins: How to Raise the Bar and Achieve Excellence in Your Administrative Career” by Chrissy Scivicque

Tools you need to not only meet the ever-expanding demands of the admin role, but to establish yourself as a peak performer in this increasingly competitive field. Chrissy offers admins practical strategies to up-level your personal performance, enhance your professional competence, and inspire others in the process. [View on Amazon

💫 EA inspiration: Take ownership of your EA role and embrace a success mindset 

“The First 90 Days” by Michael D. Watkins

Proven strategies for conquering the challenges of transitions by identifying the most common pitfalls new leaders encounter and providing the tools and strategies you need to avoid them. Learn how to secure critical early wins, an important first step in establishing yourself in your new role. Each chapter includes checklists, practical tools, and self-assessments to help you assimilate key lessons and apply them to your own situation. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Master the art of the transition, whether you’re a new EA, onboarding an Exec, or taking the next step in your career 

“Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” by Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Learn how by ordering the information that enters your consciousness, to discover true happiness, unlock your potential, and greatly improve the quality of your life. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Empower yourself to start and end your day with the same positive mindset

“The New Executive Assistant: Exceptional executive office management” by Jonathan Mcllory

A guide for EAs and their Executives, designed to help them reconsider the EA role and look at it in a new light. Jonathan includes models, frameworks and methodologies to assist EAs and Executives to build stronger working relationships based on increased trust, improved communication and a much more sophisticated EA job description. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Work with your Executive to align on the responsibilities of your role 

“The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz

Essential advice on building and running a startup and practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover. Analyzing the problems that confront leaders every day, Ben shares the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. [View on Amazon

💫 EA inspiration: Support the vision of your Exec if you work at a startup or if your Exec wants to start their own tech company

🗒️ This book was recommended in our Base Live with Ann Hiatt, where she talks about finding the balance between fear and your comfort zone!  

“Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown

A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas and has the courage to develop that potential. How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture? Brené uses research, stories, and examples to answer these questions in the no-BS style that millions have come to expect and love. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Make an impact on the culture by taking the lead and daring to develop the potential (ask your Exec for support with this!)

“The Elevated EA” by Maggie Jacobs

This isn’t a “how to” or “10 steps to success” handbook to take you superficially from zero to hero. It’s an inspiring guide to help you find your voice, stop playing small, and step into your greatness, both personally and professionally. Maggie is passionate about helping you drive positive change and growth for yourself, your team, Executive, and organization. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Find strength and resilience in your role through authentic communication and solution-finding with your Exec 

“Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t” by Simon Sinek

Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Simon calls a “Circle of Safety” that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside. This book illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military and government to big business. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Foster a spirit of camaraderie with your team and Executive as you navigate changes and roadblocks

“Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Clear

Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits. James teaches you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Identify the habits that are holding you back from bringing your best to your work and personal life

“AS I SEE IT: Volume 1: Business” by Phoenix Normand

A blatantly honest account of business today written from the perspective of a 50-year old, Black, gay, male Executive Assistant who supported some of the nation’s top Executives in finance, tech, retail and aerospace, challenging business and societal norms to become one of the most respected administrative professionals in the field. [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Tackle misperceptions and issues that affect your Exec and the larger organization

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

Outlines four pillars—embody the characteristics, employ the tactics, engage in relationships, and exercise self-care—that will help you rediscover your passion for the profession and become a confident, future-proof, game-changing Leader Assistant. If you neglect even one pillar, you’ll head for burnout, stagnation, and anonymity. You are meant for so much more. Are you ready to be the Leader Assistant the world needs? [View on Amazon]

💫 EA inspiration: Challenge yourself to let go of the status quo and dig deeper to ignite real change 

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

Explore the gems of real life tools and advice for every professional assistant and their high-powered employers, wherever in the world they are. A first-hand look at the world of a celebrity assistant, and its application to the larger realm of all professional assistants. Bonnie shares enlightening and entertaining true stories and lessons to become the ultimate assistant. [View on Amazon

💫 EA inspiration: Sharpen your high-powered role with skills and techniques to talk to high-powered Execs

More Executive Assistant books

Are we missing a book from our list that you highly recommend for EAs? Comment in our EA Community Group and let us know! 

Have you read about Base?

If you have some time, check out the Resources tab on our site for even more helpful content to inspire you! We’re equipping assistants with the tools, training, and support they need to be more efficient in their roles and lead impactful careers. Request a demo of our software made exclusively for Executive Assistants, or access additional training

Written by Natalie Turner

Natalie is a content strategist, seasoned facilitator, certified leadership coach, and formerly the Executive Assistant to the CEO and President at Base. She believes in the power of supportive relationships and rituals, both personal and professional, to change individual lives and therefore the world. She explores these concepts in Base workshops, on the Courageous Help podcast, and in her own entrepreneurial pursuits.