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Why 4 Famous Executives Rave About Admins as a Crucial Hire

OfficeNinjas Office Admin

You’re the best.

Three little words that when coming from your boss or co-worker, you take with a grain of salt.

But when someone outside of the office raves about your awesomeness, that praise really gets you in your happy place. Since team members sometimes do pay compliments you deserve, you’re probably aware of how magnificent you are. However, there’s something extra satisfying about the rest of the world knowing it too.

Since no one ever turns down a glowing review, we’ve rounded up some of the best office admin love tributes from around the web. Written by some of the biggest execs, these compliments are proof that a Ninja’s work doesn’t actually go undetected—and that each one is a crucial hire.

Sorry Siri: 5 Traits of a Great Real-Life Assistant

by Ryan Holmes

Ryan Holmes writes about his love for office adminsRyan, a serial entrepreneur best known for growing Hootsuite into one of social media’s biggest strategy tools (over 11 million users), reflects on how having a rockstar admin was integral to his productivity and success.

After Ryan’s EA of three years left, he realized what he lost—a modern day assistant who brought level-headedness, hustle, emotional intelligence, hyper attention to detail, and a diverse range of skills and life experiences to the table.

If you’re running a company, you’re probably busy, stressed and struggling to keep your head above water. On the other hand, if you’re an executive with a great assistant, you’re still busy and stressed—but there’s an island of calm in the midst of your chaos. And trust me, that can make all the difference.”

The Controversial First Role to Hire After Your “A Round”

by Mark Suster

Mark Suster

Mark knows a thing or two about team construction. As a two-time entrepreneur and VC with Upfront Ventures—one of the largest venture capital firms in Southern California—Mark shares that hiring an office manager should be the next biggest hire after the first round of funding is acquired. Without one, he reasons, your CEO will be too busy working in the business to work on the business.

Mark’s ideal Ninja is someone who’s humble, goes above and beyond the call of duty, has a great “bedside manner,” and is trustworthy and multifaceted.

Who do you hire after you have a product built and shipped and being used in the market? Who do you hire when you raise that first $2–3 million?

My answer will surprise you and I’m sure many will not agree. But I give this advice to nearly every company I work with so at a minimum you’ll know it’s authentic and not intentionally controversial.

Your first hire after that first round of capital is an office manager / company-wide assistant.”

First Crucial Hire: The “Do-it-All Office Admin”

by Joe Heitzeberg

Joe Heitzeberg

Joe is yet another advocate of the office admin as first recruit. He’s the former President of Madrona Venture Labs, an in-house startup incubator of Madrona Venture Group (which has produced high tech startups including Spare5 and ReplyYes). Joe talks a lot about why hiring an Office Ninja is uber important for anyone who wants to grow their business—and let’s be real here, every entrepreneur wants that.

Joe claims that a stellar Ninja is someone who’s energetic, self-driven, hungry for experience, trustworthy, and not afraid of a challenge. Are you seeing a pattern yet?

One of the best decisions we made at the time was to hire a “Do-It-All Office Admin” (DIAOA) as one of our very first hires. The point was to free up everyone else to focus exclusively on building the business. Basically, we needed someone to tackle all of the “distractions,” anything that isn’t a direct action related to a core goal.

All important things but also all things that are incredible time sucks and aren’t going to make or break the success of the company at the early stage.”

The 10 Characteristics of a Rockstar Executive Assistant

by Michael Hyatt

Michael HyattWe saved the best for the last. Michael is many things: an author, blogger, founder, and CEO of Intentional Leadership (an online leadership development company). But most importantly, he knows the true value an EA brings to every leader’s life—both business and personal.

Michael sees a great Ninja as a second brain, a priorities master, a need-anticipator, a rockstar communicator with a servant’s heart.

A good executive assistant is like an air-traffic controller for your life. Not just your business—your whole life. They help manage not only the intricacies of the office, but all the treacherous intersections between work, family, social obligations, and more.

An executive assistant is an extension of the executive he or she works for. In my case, Suzie and Danielle are thinking and acting on my behalf all day long—things I wouldn’t even think of or do because I just don’t have the bandwidth. And they help coordinate all the needs and demands of my life so there are very few—if any—collisions between the personal and professional.”

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received for being an awesome Office Ninja? Share in a comment below!


  1. I got an email from my manager, she thanked, me and said every day you come to work, you are determined to have a stronger day than the last while remaining positive not even a single thing slows you down.”You are a true leader in this store”

  2. My former boss took on a new role with our company and told me that’s my continued support was like knowing there was an island in a storm of chaos that was his transition. Best compliment ever.

    1. Whoa! That’s a great compliment, and definitely a good way to describe how valuable admins are!

  3. When I finally met my exec’s wife, she told me that aside from her & the kids, I was the best thing to happen to her husband. She shared that weekly if not daily, he would come home with a story on how I saved a project, his team, a meeting or sometimes saved him from himself. She no longer had to threaten to throw his phone in the ocean, because he relaxed knowing I’m handling things in the office. Now, almost 5 years later, I hear her words whenever I’m working to add real value to his work life so that he can enjoy the precious time he has with his friends & family. Her compliment made a huge impact on the way I view my work for this exec, the other execs I support and their teams.

    1. This is an EXCELLENT story, Kim! We’re glad that it still resonates with you because she’s absolutely right! Now, get her to nominate you as an All-Star!

  4. Verbatim recommendation from my boss for a scholarship application last year. I won the scholarship :)

    “I have had the privilege to know and work with Tara Browne since May of 2014. In her capacity as my Executive Assistant, she has been nothing short of spectacular.

    “Her talents have enabled her to add value to our team of quality professionals in ways we could not have anticipated. She continues to take the initiative to improve work processes and enhance the quality of our team’s work in ways that are noticeable to our clients. Her initiative in learning new tools and information systems and in continuing her own learning continues to pay huge dividends to our organization.

    “She has inspired me personally to consider another position within my department that would be solely designed around helping the organization by creating solutions to their administrative needs. She is a model of the future of administrative professionals.”

    1. Nice, Tara! We can definitely see how that rec is scholarship-worthy! Make sure to have this boss nominate you as an All-Star!

  5. A note from my new manager “You have taken on the sole admin job with gusto, suffering fools and processes if not gladly, then with aplomb.”

  6. The best EA/PA compliment I’ve ever received was after a big meeting my boss and his leadership team had. I had tackled some last-minute tasks for them and things went so smoothly that our Marketing VP came to me afterward and said my boss had asked them all after I’d left the room, “What in the world did we do before Megan?!” Made my week!

  7. I was told I exceeded expectations, and they were impressed with my ability to adapt and my positivity.

    1. That’s amazing, Tally! You sound like a rockstar Ninja :)

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