In Defense of Directness

This one’s for the execs in the crowd. But EA’s, feel free to read, pass along to your exec, and give me YOUR feedback re your favorite method of receiving feedback. Bossman waves me over. He doesn’t look pleased. “This message from [an investor] was misfiled as an FYI, but it has an action item […]

Get on board

In a recent conversation about ways to set oneself apart in a job interview, a fellow EA who we will call “Kate” gave the sage advice to come in prepared with a 30/60/90 day plan as to how you will effectively onboard yourself in the new position. I found this to be a brilliant move on […]

Do the Hustle

Hustle. Not everyone has it.  Hustle is that extra effort some people put forward to make things happen and get what they want. It’s what separates the successful from the “getting-by-alright,” and the exceptional from the mediocre. Hustle is often understood as the drive, borne of sheer necessity, to improve one’s current situation, and fast. […]

Safeguarding sanity

Just now, I overheard my boss saying to a visitor: “…and Adrienne. She keeps us all sane.” This is a responsibility I do not take lightly. And I must say, November 2016 has been challenging in this regard. Regardless of your political affiliations, the election stress and the turmoil that followed have taken an emotional toll […]

Saying Yes to Saying No

Imagine, for a moment, that your exec has just asked you to do something that you do not want to do.  Maybe because you don’t feel confident that you can do it well, or because your plate is already full, or simply because you don’t think it’s an appropriate ask. Whatever the reason, your entire […]

Thinking outside the [in]box

Email. It’s inescapable. According to a July 2012 McKinsey Global Institute report on “the social economy,” the average worker will spend 28% of the work day simply managing email. And not only does email take up a lot of our time, it randomizes us by drawing our attention not to the most urgent or important tasks but […]

The Travel Folder

As promised, I’m finally diving in more deeply to the specific, nuts-and-bolts how-to of various aspects of how to be an effective Executive Assistant at a start-up. Lesson one: The Travel Folder My phone wakes me up at 4:42 am. Before my alarm, meaning that whoever is calling is important enough to override my Do Not Disturb […]

My Checklist Manifesto

I used to be anti-checklist. It seemed so anal-retentive to check off little boxes on a sheet every time I wanted to get something accomplished. And if I’m honest, I had a fair bit of pride tied up in the idea of being able to remember all the steps of a given task without having a […]