Book Review – Create a Business-Busting Partnership with your Assistant – The Executive’s Guide by Susie Barron-Stubley

Training assistants is a two-way process. The best coaches agree that one of the most rewarding aspects of their work is how much they learn from their clients. Judging from this ground-breaking guide for executives, which is also essential reading for assistants, Susie Barron-Stubley is no exception.

Barron-Stubley, who travels the world training Executive Assistants, has lost count of the number of times she’s heard the phrase,“That’s all very well, but you need to tell it to my boss!”And when she asks EAs the killer question, “Do you feel well managed by your boss?” the answer is usually an emphatic “No!”

Let’s not be too harsh on executives.They might bepreoccupied with huge budgets anddirecting teamsin different time zones. The only VIPs they can manage confidently are Very Important Projects. It’s easy for them to forget theirpoor EA sitting alone in a drafty corridor, wondering whether she should have spent her timeat university studying things like Photocopier Maintenance, Advanced Tea Making, orMind Reading Skills for Beginners, instead of Law and Business Studies.

Managing EAs isn’t something executives learn at business school. But thanks to Barron-Stubley’smuch-needed, practical guide (which is sleek enough for busy executives to fit into their packed briefcases and schedules) they don’t have to unravel the mysteries of EA management all by themselves.

The book consists of two sections: managing the role of EA, and managing the relationship. It’s crammed with straightforward advice and insightful ideas presented in a refreshingly humorous style. (If it doesn’t make you crack a smile there’s something wrong with you – too much botox, perhaps?)Barron-Stubley highlights the importance of honest communication, especially in terms of balancing each party’s needs, exploring expectations and setting goals. You’ll also find a series of practical steps to help executives and EAscreate a partnership which works well for both of them.

So, EAs and Executives beware! This management manifesto might be short enough to read on your way to work, but it’s full of subversive ideas. I dare you to act on the advice in this revolutionary guide.Together, you and your EA could be a business partnership to be reckoned with!

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