Three Books On My Reading List

It’s possibly not surprising to hear that I am on a mission to continually expand my mind. I’ve always loved reading and am very popular at our local bookshop (an anachronism I know) and love using my monthly credit with Audible (part of your membership) to download a business book a month to enjoy ‘on the run’. Have I mentioned that I seem to spend a lot of time being a taxi-driver (or should that be Uber driver in this day and age!!) to my three daughters aged 16, 14 and 9?

I have three books that I wanted to share with you today that are on my “must read (or listen to) list for 2017. Believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Okay, here goes:

Good Authority: How to Become the Leader Your Team Is Waiting For by Jonathan Raymond (@jonathanraymond on Twitter)

I recently heard Jonathan interviewed on The Art of Charm (Episode #589) with Jordan Harbinger and felt this book calling to me when Jonathan described himself as ‘no Management Coach’, just someone who has years of self-development under his belt and is a person who is an active observer and curious about behaviour in the workplace. A man after my own heart.

The shownotes of the podcast episode sum up what Jonathan noticed:

“In conversation with business owners and managers, Jonathan finds time and again that having a positive impact on the people around them — customers as well as employees — is a greater, more tangible motivation than the financial rewards expected from conducting a successful business.”


How does this apply to us as Executive Assistants? Well Jonathan says that you “can challenge yourself in your role with a few little shifts”. He has created some archetypes of managers and employees (Fixers, Fighters and Friends) and understanding these and how these types relate to each other is something I am interested to know more about. How do they apply to the way Executive Assistants are perceived in their role and what tactics are helpful when working with their Executive depending on how they show up!

#self-awareness seems to be what underpins this book.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry

This title is self-explanatory, it’s all about EQ which as I’ve mentioned on my podcast is a huge theme for Being Indispensable, developing the behaviours and demonstrating the values that are going to make you indispensable to your executive.

Travis defines Emotional Intelligence as

“…the ‘something’ in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. Emotional intelligence is made up of four core skills that pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence [self-awareness and self-management] and social competence [social awareness and relationship management].”

The great thing about EQ is that it’s a skill you can improve, it’s malleable and I love those sorts of skills that aren’t hardwired by where we were swimming in the great genetic gene pool (like IQ for example) when that skill was tossed in.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

This is yet another book that I heard about on The Art of Charm.  The themes are also SELF AWARENESS and RESILIENCE.

Amy is a Psychotherapist, Speaker and Author. Originally a blog post “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” went viral. It was written for herself as a way to process her own experiences including the loss of her mother followed by the premature death of her first husband. She remarried at 30 whereupon her father-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A tough set of circumstances indeed.

Amy reflected on the habits she had noticed that were going to hold her back, as she says, they’re ones that seem minor but keep us stuck.

“Self-pity would only rob me of mental strength. I knew I had to avoid those unhealthy habits that could hold me back.”

Her original post has been read by in excess of 30 million people. There’s also a TEDtalk.

I’m a huge fan of reframing as a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy technique. I use it personally and as a parenting technique. Reframing involves identifying (or noticing) thoughts that indicate you have a sense of entitlement (for example the “I deserve xxx” thoughts). Reframing is vital to avoid the thinking that you are more special than anyone else. Amy shares the patterns she has observed in her patients and what she has noticed was going in other people she researched that is helpful to move past these habits.

I can’t wait to read these three books and share my findings with you. Let me know if you’ve read any of them and have any feedback. I’d love to hear it!

Liz Van Vliet

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Liz Van Vliet, The Linchpin Assistant

Meet Liz

I work with Executive Assistants and Administrative Assistants to deliver the confidence, consistency and career development that transforms them into thriving Linchpin Assistants. 

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