Do you want to excel in your position as an assistant or administrative professional? Do you have dreams of being promoted to the executive level one day? There are many paths towards promotion and career progression. It’s not only about working hard, although that certainly helps.

The one thing you must also do is read.

Read all the time, every day, if possible. Read everything from business books and magazines to novels. We all have downtimes in our workdays and these can be spent reading.

To be perceived as a high-value elite assistant, and improve your career prospects, here is a list of 40 must-read books. The list covers business etiquette, time management, communication, and personal enrichment.

Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section.


  1. “The Etiquette Advantage in Business: Personal Skills for Professional Success”- Peter Post, Anna Post, Daniel Post Senning
  2. “Office Etiquette; the Unspoken Rules in the Workplace”-Sonja L. Traxler
  3. “Etiquette for Dummies” – Sue Fox
  4. “Business Etiquette Made Easy: The Essential Guide to Professional Success”- Meier, Myka
  5. “Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work” – Jacqueline Whitmore
  6. “Modern Business Etiquette for Young & Fabulous Professionals ” – Stayce Wagner
  7. “Manners Maketh Man; The Complete Book of Business Etiquette and Good Manners” – Nella Henney, C. W. Green
  8. “Modern Manners; Tools to Take You to the Top” -Dorothea Johnson, Liv Tyler
  9. “The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success”- Barbara Pachter.
  10. “Everyday Etiquette: Practical Advice for Social Situations at Home and on the Job” – Peggy Post


  1. “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” – David Allen
  2. “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating & Get More Done in Less Time” – Brian Tracy
  3. “The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play” – Neil A. Fiore
  4. “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” – David Allen
  5. “First things first” – Stephen Covey
  6. “Deep Work” – Cal Newport
  7. “Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life” – J.D. Meier
  8. “The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essentials … in Business and in Life” – Leo Babauta
  9. “Time Warrior: How to Defeat Procrastination, People-pleasing, Self-doubt, Over-commitment, Broken Promises and Chaos”-  Steve Chandler
  10. “Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind” -Jocelyn K. Glei


  1. “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High” – Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
  2. “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People” – Gary Chapman and Paul White
  3. “Difficult conversations; How to discuss what matters most” – Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen
  4. “What Every BODY is Saying” – Joe Navarro
  5. “Non-Violent Communication” – Marshall B. Rosenberg
  6. ” How Highly Effective People Speak” – Peter Andrei
  7. “Surrounded by Idiots” – Thomas Erikson
  8. “The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help – or Hurt – How You Lead” – David Maxfield, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
  9. “You Say More Than You Think; A 7-Day Plan for Using the New Body Language to Get What You Want” -Driver, Janine, van Aalst, Mariska
  10. “Just listen”- Mark Goulston


  1. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – Stephen Covey
  2. “How to Stop Worrying & Start Living” – Dale Carnegie
  3. “Awaken the Giant Within” – Tony Robbins
  4. “Getting Things Done” – David Allen
  5. “The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level” – Gay Hendricks
  6. “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” – Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
  7. “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything” – Ken Robinson
  8. “Think and Grow Rich” – Napoleon Hill
  9. ” Outliers The Story of Success” – Malcolm Gladwell
  10. “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You” – John C Maxwell



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