About the Book

Every day you face competing complex challenges. The stakes are high! Working harder or longer hours isn’t enough. You need to leverage the time and talents
of an Executive Assistant!

In this groundbreaking book, The Executive’s Competitive Edge, written for both newly-appointed and seasoned Executives, managers, and business owners, Joan Burge, Founder and CEO, Office Dynamics International, and James Bristow, Managing Partner, Universal Engineering Sciences, share a fusion of enduring success practices with new-world thought about why you need an Executive Assistant. They share what makes that position both powerful and significant, how to exponentially increase your sphere of influence through your Executive Assistant, and real-world strategies for building a strategic business partnership through trust, goal alignment, and delegation.

You will gain successful leadership strategies from Joan (69) and James (37) as they share multi-generational views and comprehensive insights, best practices, stories, visuals, and step-by-step processes to help you develop a winning strategic business partnership with your Executive Assistant. In six sections of highly engaging and thought-provoking material, the book presents a wealth of thoroughly researched, workable solutions for the issues you face daily.

By maximizing your Executive Assistant as a powerhouse who has your back, acts as a sounding board, and keeps information flowing while running the ball down the field with you day after day, you will become more successful and improve your work/life balance. Building a strategic partnership drives measurable results!

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Yes, this would also be a great read for your executive assistant, even if you already have a star performer. Chapter 2 will be especially enlightening as it focuses on the major shifts that have taken place in the workplace since the summer of 2022. An approach for both of you with the book would be for each of you to read the book. Make notes, flag, or highlight things you want to discuss. Set a date and time (or maybe 2 or 3) when you will meet and review each other’s notes and discuss a plan for future success.

Definitely. First, the administrative profession has grown tremendously and the people in the career operate at a high level. They think differently and act differently. So much has changed in the workplace and how executives and assistants interact that each party needs to stay abreast of what is going on and how to respond. Possibly during your career, you did not get to experience a high-performing assistant and may not know what they are capable of doing. Joan and James also bring their generational differences to the table, which is immense. Yet they both get the same results and share the same principles when it comes to the value of an executive assistant. 

This book would be excellent for new leaders, especially if they will have an assistant available to them or plan to hire an assistant. As co-author James Bristow said, he wished someone would have told him about having and working with an executive assistant much earlier in his career. 

Yes, because there is power when your leadership or executive team learns similar principles and procedures, especially on how to best utilize an executive assistant. It builds strength in the overall team, increases team productivity, and can create uniform procedures for when an assistant has to fill in for another assistant. Joan Burge has seen great success in companies that hired her to come into their office and meet with the executives to cover best practices for working with an executive assistant.  

Throughout the book, Joan and James discuss the processes they use to be highly productive with their executive assistant and continue to build their strategic partnerships. You will find several tactical tips in Chapter 4, How to Maximize the Time & Talents of an Executive Assistant.

Yes, Joan has coached several high-level and mid-level executives on how to effectively work with their assistant, how to give feedback to their assistant, how to clarify their expectations with their assistant, and gave them an inside peek into how an assistant thinks. This comes from Joan’s 20 years of working in the administrative profession before launching her training company, Office Dynamics International. If you are interested in private coaching for yourself or your executive team, you can contact Melia Amira at Office Dynamics International at 800-STAR-139 or fill out our contact form here.

Joan and James would be open to speaking, holding a panel discussion, or Q&A via Zoom or in person. Or they can speak individually. You can contact Melia Amira at Office Dynamics International at 800-STAR-139.


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