An artful life

Recommended reading

Here are some of the books and articles I find enlightening, helpful, or just plain good reading. I recommend less than half of the books I read, so I hope you find these useful, too.


Phoenix Normand. AS I SEE IT: Volume 1: Business. Full disclosure: I’m a trib member, attended TribeU in May and have been a fan of his posts on LinkedIn for quite some time. #bigfan. That said, “As I See It” is the new hotness for the Executive Assistant role as well as how to be an employee. Phoenix does not pull punches. He’s tough but fair and tells it like it is. If you like his LinkedIn posts, you’re gonna love this. If you’re contemplating life as an EA, you need to read this. The job is tougher than you think. It’s hard to pick just one favorite quote, but the one that keeps floating around in my head, “Not everyone can be a CEO.”

Robert Greene and Joost Elffers. The 48 Laws of Power Started in late June 2019. I’m a slow reader these days. Although an enlightening study of historical examples of power, it is also a tad depressing as you begin to identify coworkers and former coworkers that match each law. Yes, everyone has an agenda, but not everyone is a douche bag about it. I read a few chapters and set it aside for a week or so to regain my faith in humanity.

Bonnie Low-Kramen, Laura Schreiner, Olympia Dukakis, Jillian Nelson. Be the Ultimate Assistant. Although focused on how to be a celebrity personal assistant, this is a great book for anyone in administrative professional. Most of the chapters and advice can be tailored to any level or industry. It’s one of the must-reads of the administrative profession.

Josh Kaufman. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business. I read this book in early 2017, after taking an admin role in public accounting. I hadn’t worked in the business world for quite some time (pre-Internet) and my BA is in theater. So this book was a good primer. Targeted at the entrepreneur, but you can skip those chapters. Or not and find out all the angles of running a business. Probably of little use to those who have taken business classes.

Dianne S. Rankin and Kellie A. Shumack. The Administrative Professional: Technology & Procedures, 15th Edition. This is one of the recommended readings for the 2017 IAAP CAP exam. This textbook is a great overview of the administrative profession. It offers you the opportunity to create documents in a variety of formats: report, infographics, presentations, and even webinars. The end of each chapter gives a summary, key terms, questions and exercises to test your understanding of the material.

Articles that speak to me these days, from Thrive Global

How not to take things personally

How to become the best in the world at what you do

How introverts can be great leaders

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