Book Review: Administrative Excellence

Oct 21, 2011 | Resources

By Erin O’Hara Meyer, PHR

Reviewed by Julie Perrine, CPS/CAP, MBTI Certified

Administrative Excellence starts with a memo from the author to admins:

“I write this book for you, administrative professionals who strive for excellence and seek greater appreciation for your work.” She continues, “Your role as an administrative professional is crucial to the success of your organization. You are a vital contributor to your team, department, or manager. You are continually challenged to learn and expand your knowledge, to stay in control of chaotic office environments, and to keep abreast of the latest technology. Your ability to perform your job effectively takes skill, competence, and expertise.”

“So why then, with such demanding expectations, do many workplaces still marginalize the role of the administrative professional (AP)? I happen to know that the very people you support often overlook your value. Lack of communication, limited feedback, and little recognition are commonplace for many Aps. Many managers only distantly see the connection between your contributions and their specific success. I am also aware that some of devalue your own contributions by diminishing yourself, your responsibilities, and your importance to the organization. These are destructive thoughts that directly devalue the profession and sabotage your personal success as an AP.”

I’ve observed this trend with a lot of administrative professionals also. I continually hear admins saying they want to be recognized for their contributions, but they are self-sabotaging their very pursuits to be recognized by the destructive thoughts they have inside their head and the words they speak to those they support. As I work with admins, Administrative Excellence is one of the first books I recommend they add to their personal library. You will refer back to this book many times throughout your career. Erin O’Hara Meyer has a very conversational writing style that makes her book easy to read and her concepts simple to understand. But more importantly her “Model of Administrative Excellence” works.

Here is a quick overview of the “Five Ps” of Administrative Excellence that create the “Model of Administrative Excellence”:

  1. Perception – self-awareness of behaviors and skills that maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses.
  2. Purpose – understanding the importance of job responsibilities and identifying with the overall objectives of the team, department, and organization
  3. Progress – ability to think progressively for continuous personal and professional improvement.
  4. Partnership – willingness and ability to foster good relationships and teamwork with co-workers, managers, and customers.
  5. Professionalism – high standards of appearance, personal conduct, work product, and expertise.

I wholeheartedly agree with the author when she says, “Practicing and exhibiting them will strengthen your performance, earn you respect, and formulate a Model of Administrative Excellence.”

Each chapter of the book then dives deeper into each of the “Five Ps”. There are exercises and questions throughout each chapter with room for you to write your own responses down as you assess where you’re at and what you need to consider in your own development as an administrative professional. This book lends itself nicely to being incorporated into monthly one on ones with your executive or administrative team training as well.

The second part of the book then takes these foundational components and applies it to “Revolutionizing Our Value In the Workplace: Leadership, Empowerment, Growth”. Erin O’Hara Meyer gives you ideas and strategies for partnering with your executive and showing your leadership qualities. She’ll also show you what you may be doing to undermine your credibility without even realizing it. And finally, she reviews what you need to consider as you develop your own professional development plan toward becoming a valued and recognized administrative professional.

The paperback version of this book is 143 pages, and it’s some of the best advice for career-minded administrative professionals available. No matter where you’re at in your administrative career path, Administrative Excellence will give you the roadmap to guide your career to the next level with the recognition and respect you deserve.

Order Administrative Excellence from here.

© 2011 Julie Perrine International, LLC


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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at

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