hallie warner leader assistant podcast

Hallie Warner was my guest on episode 17 and I’m super excited to have her back on the show!

Hallie serves as Chief of Staff to the Founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies. She is also the co-author of The Founder & The Force Multiplier: How Entrepreneurs and Executive Assistants Achieve More Together.

In this episode, Hallie talks about the importance of personal growth to career success, how she uses chatGPT in her work, being a strong strategic business partner, and finding the right executive <-> assistant match.


I want to be that guy who is successful, peaceful, happy, enjoying life, blissful, meditative, spiritual, successful, and as healthy as I can be, and famous, and rich, and not give a damn about any of it. If I lose it all tomorrow, I still want to be happy. That’s it. That’s where I want to be. I’ll just make that decision because somebody has to be that person. It might as well be me.

– Naval Ravikant


Hallie Warner founder and force multiplier


HALLIE WARNER serves as Chief of Staff to the Founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies. She is also the co-author of The Founder & The Force Multiplier: How Entrepreneurs and Executive Assistants Achieve More Together.

Hallie has worked side-by-side with Adam Hergenrother for over twelve years, ensuring that Adam’s vision is clarified, communicated, and executed. Hallie also provides strategic counsel to key leaders within the organization and leads special projects focused on the growth of the organization.

In her free time, Hallie pursues her hobbies: reading, blogging, kayaking, and traveling, preferably to the beach. She lives in Williston, Vermont with her husband, Bill, and their two dogs.

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Hallie Warner 0:00
Hi, this is Hallie Warner. And today’s leadership quote is from navall Raava Khan. I want to be that guy who is successful, peaceful, happy, enjoying life, blissful, meditative, spiritual, successful, and as healthy as I can be, and famous and rich and not give a damn about any of it. If I lose it all tomorrow, I still want to be happy. That’s it. That’s where I want to be. I’ll just make that decision because somebody has to be that person, it might as well be me.

Podcast Intro 0:34
The leader assistant podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become confident game changing leader assistants.

Jeremy Burrows 0:49
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Hallie Warner 2:19
Thank you so much. I remember when your podcast first launched, I was so excited because it was such a much needed voice in the executive assistant and assistant community. So thank you for having me back.

Jeremy Burrows 2:33
Yeah, and it’s I still I’m still looking back. I’m like, Man, I can’t believe I was thinking back to when we first chatted for that episode four years ago. And, you know, Episode 17 I was like feeling good. Like, Alright, I got 17 episodes. I’m doing good. And now I’m like 214 Wait a minute. This is crazy. Crazy. Yeah, you’ve done a lot of work. So yeah, well, glad to have you back. For those that missed the first conversation. You can check out Episode 17, where Hallie and I talk on the podcast at leader assistant.com/one Seven, leader assistant.com/one. Seven to hear the first version. But this is the new and improved interview with Hallie. And so Hallie, why don’t you give us a brief overview of where you live and what you’d like to do in your free time. And then we can get into your professional journey as well. And then we’ll talk about some a little bit of similar topics and how they’ve changed over the years since we last chatted, but then also cover some different topics as well.

Hallie Warner 3:43
Cool. Yeah, so I am in Vermont, and I’ve lived here for quite some time now. I can’t believe it, actually. But yeah, in my free time, I love it. Probably not much different than I did four years ago. I still love reading, I tried to get outside as much as possible, when it is not snowing, because I’m not a huge fan of the winter. And, you know, I really, I know that sounds, you know, I love my work. I really do. And it’s not that I work all the time, but I really enjoy creating content, reading content, articles, blogs, books, of course, audible. So I do spend a lot of time doing that. And of course, with with my two dogs as well, and my husband can’t forget about him.

Jeremy Burrows 4:28
Last but not least, right? Yes. So I have to ask you then because you mentioned content and you know, producing content. You know, chat GPT is kind of all the rage right now and this automation and content curation and creation with this AI tool. How have you used it or how have you researched it or how has it changed? And maybe even, you know, relative relative to In our last conversation in July of 2018, how has the world of blogging and reading and writing and all that stuff change for you?

Hallie Warner 5:11
Yeah, so when when I first kind of started exploring chat GPT, I was, I was scared of it at first, and I was like, Well, I guess I don’t have a job anymore. You know, that’s always my first thought, you know, when there’s new technology, or you know, we make a great hire, even if I made the hire myself, I’m like, Well, I guess, I guess I don’t need to work anymore. Which is never the case, right? It always is, just means it’s the opportunity for you to grow or for you to level up your skill set or for you to take on new or different responsibilities. So once I really started diving in to chat GPT, I mean, I’ve I tested it out with lots of different questions, I was really just doing it more from a research perspective to see the quality that was coming back. And what I have found in some of our team members who are also write a lot and produce a lot of content, whether it’s email campaigns, copywriting, blogs, things like that. They find that it is it’s great for if you are having writer’s block, or if you’re just trying to, you know, starting to brainstorm some new idea and want to get some either feedback, or just get some new ideas going. And then, of course, taking that and weaving in your own context, how does that relate to your specific situation, your specific industry, making sure that the while charging pte can do this to a certain degree. From my experience, you do still need to add in your voice, a little bit different punctuation to make sure that it really hits your brand. That may continue to evolve. But as of right now, I mean, I’m certainly using it at least from like that starting point, like, Okay, I think I’m gonna I really want to write a blog or I want to do a podcast about this. Let’s see what it comes back with. Maybe there was something I’m missing that I wanted that I want to make sure I include.

Jeremy Burrows 7:07
Interesting. That’s great. Yeah. So it’s it’s definitely something you’ve tried out and researched. And you plan on using going forward. Is that that sounds Yeah,

Hallie Warner 7:17
yeah, I will. I mean, I don’t know. It’s usually if I’m really stuck, I’ll kind of jump in, it might not be my first. My first instinct yet right now is not to go there. But that may change that may change as I get more and more used to using it and going there.

Jeremy Burrows 7:34
Nice. Well, we’ve got lots to chat about. But just to give kind of a high level refresher of your career. So you currently are Chief of Staff to the founder and CEO of Adam Hagen Rother, companies. And you also co authored the amazing book, the founder and the force multiplier, how entrepreneurs and executive assistants can achieve more together and I believe you just published the or released the second addition to that book. Is that right? Yes, we did. Awesome. And you guys have an audio book and all that. So. So it’s fun looking at the rankings and seeing my book and your your book, head to head? For top spots, so it’s always fun, right? But yeah, you originally just give us the short version, because I think we got into this more in depth last time we chatted, but you originally were Adam’s assistant, right? And then you worked your way up to Chief of Staff and hired an assistant.

Hallie Warner 8:35
Yep, that’s right. I was 12. and a half years ago, I started as a marketing assistant very quickly moved into like, within a few months moved into his position as his executive assistant when he only had two businesses at the time. And then over that 12 years, over 12 years, I have done pretty much everything in between pA EA, Operations Manager, office manager, all the things that serial multi passionate entrepreneur does I was that right hand partner. And yes, I did end up moving into the chief of staff role more formally, I was doing it informally for a couple of years. But more formally, I honestly the timeline is so fuzzy to me maybe seven years ago, when we hired an executive assistant and I was really able to leverage some of those responsibilities to a great EA so that I could work with Adam on other projects, starting new companies, working more closely with our leadership team. And of course, more Adam and my passion as is really in coaching, training, leading and creating, creating content that really drives our brand and messaging that of course, helps all of our companies.

Jeremy Burrows 9:50
Right? Yeah. And tell us about the founder and force multiplier brand and how did that come about? And how has it changed over the last four years?

Hallie Warner 9:59
Yeah, So you know, it started as we were just doing a blog, which was great. I mean, I loved it. I loved doing that. And then that moved into a book in 2019. And then that was fantastic. We started dabbling and coaching a little bit, here and there over the last couple of years, I think. And then, at the end of last year, it was early, maybe 2022. Sometime, we were like, Well, I think there’s, there’s more to it. Let’s formalize this into an actual company. It’s not just a book, it’s more than that. So over the course of 2022, we worked on creating our community, we launched additional cohorts. So we hosted several small group coaching cohorts last year, we have plans to write another book, we’re working on another book right now. Well, two other books right now, one for the force funder and force multiplier brand, one for other company. And, yeah, and then just kind of came, went from this blog to this actual, you know, living and breathing company where we can serve a lot more executive assistants, and founders and entrepreneurs. Because the partnership is really our passion and getting the the leader and their right hand partner to be having the right conversations, working together effectively, and strategically. And really leading together because that’s what I think that partnership is, I mean, I couldn’t do my job. Without Adam, I like to think he couldn’t do his job without me. So. So that’s where it really where we like, we’d like to spend time and help help those two individuals create a really strong, a strong partnership.

Jeremy Burrows 11:42
Awesome. And it’s been so fun to watch over the last four years, watch the brand grow, and the book, you know, gain popularity and all that it’s just been been fun to see. And because you guys have produced a lot of great, great content that sometimes I look at it, I’m like, Man, that’s good. I wish I would have come up with that. So you guys

Hallie Warner 12:05
As do I with what you do. Right? I mean, the beauty of having all the different voices and perspectives out there, though, because because we all have our own experiences. And while we have maybe done similar roles over the years, I correct me if I’m wrong, but I mean, you’ve worked more in tech, I believe, and maybe non profits as well. Yeah, yeah. And so those are two areas that aren’t necessarily my forte. So just having all these different perspectives and industry knowledge, I think is just so beneficial to the community as a whole.

Jeremy Burrows 12:39
Yeah. Yeah, that’s great. Well, can you give us a little sneak peek to the founder and force multiplier book that’s that you’re currently working on? Or is it top secret?

Hallie Warner 12:52
Well, we’ve kind of we’re trying with a couple of different ideas. But that well, like which one should I share? We have outlines for a couple of different ones. The the book we’re working on right now is called the 200%. Life. And that’ll be out a little bit later this year. That one is more for the Adam Hurd and rather company’s brand, it really is where we blend our business and spirituality conversations, which are a huge part of our all of our businesses. It is about for us, it is about personal growth. And that in business is nothing but a conduit for personal growth. So that’s what that’s one book that we’re working on. And then we have couple of other books in the thunder and force multiplier, I call it the series that we’re working on, one will be a little bit more focused on the chief of staff role. And then another one we’re working on is a bit more about the partnership and navigating change and making decisions together.

Jeremy Burrows 13:52
Love it can’t wait. Can’t wait

Hallie Warner 13:55
me to want a lot of writing to do. To chat GPT a little bit more.

Jeremy Burrows 14:01
Yeah, you know, I’ve actually thought about like, well, maybe I’ll just write a book that’s all chat GPT and just say, call it something like the chat GPT assistant. And then just like every chapter is written budget by AI anyways. Well, so you mentioned personal growth and how it relates to career success. And you mentioned how you all are passionate about how business is basically a conduit for personal growth. So talk to us a little bit about your experience and how you’ve grown to value the the personal growth side in addition to career and how that relates.

Hallie Warner 14:46
Yeah, so the beginning of my career, I mean, I didn’t think about anything but but work and being the best EA and what does that even mean? And you know, it was a little bit more ego driven. And that led to be Being a workaholic, whether I wanted to be or not, but that’s what happened. And it was this wasn’t ego that I needed to be on stage or get rewards, it was ego in the in the terms of I needed to prove to myself and maybe subconsciously to others that I was worthy of the position I had or worthy of being in the same rooms that because I wasn’t some great rooms, but amazing leaders. So there’s, there’s a little bit of impostor syndrome going on, there’s definitely ego happening. There’s issues of self worth, and all of that going on, especially in the beginning of my career. And so a lot of the work that I’ve done over the past, I would say, probably five to eight years specifically, has been around whether you call it personal personal growth, spirituality, but really working on learning how to let go of expectations. Surrender, and let go is probably the best way to say it, but start learning to separate myself from the identity that I created, and on the outside and work more on the inside. And as long as you’re doing that inner work, where you’re working on your self worth, and you’re working on your own values, and you are and you’re doing that inner work, it doesn’t really matter what happens on the outside, because you’re already holding complete inside. And then the beauty of all of that is when you focus first on yourself, the external stuff becomes so much easier and more effortless and more in alignment. And that, to me is where most of my growth came was I just started feeling so much more in alignment with who I really was. And oftentimes, I think we talked about discovering who we want to be. But to me, it’s actually really uncovering and peeling back all of these layers of identity, really, you know, I’m a workaholic, I’m a Chief of Staff, I’m, I’m a parent, I’m a I’m a this I’m a that it’s actually like really peeling back all of those layers and layers and not discovering this new version of yourself, but rather uncovering who you already are. So yeah, that’s it in a nutshell. I don’t know if that question or not.

Jeremy Burrows 17:15
I mean, it’s like, I’ve talked about it a lot, where it’s like, if you attach your worth to your work, yeah, you’re not going to lead, like you could lead you’re gonna burn out, you’re going to be held back from your potential. And so I think that’s well said. So, what about being a strategic business partner? What is you know, it’s also related to leading yourself in personal growth and all but how do you what is a strategic business partner? What’s your kind of, you know, 32nd definition of a strategic business partner? And then how do we become a stronger strategic business partner for executives?

Hallie Warner 18:03
Yeah, don’t try to do it in 30 seconds or less. The strategic business partner, I don’t know how to explain that other than it is, it is to people who have truly decided to be in partnership together to work on one job, you know, whatever it is, as the CFO, it’s a CEO to two people who have decided to enter into a partnership to do one job both rooted in their strengths to achieve the same mission, vision and goal. And that does look different. across, you know, it comes in the form of a Chief of Staff, sometimes it’s a personal assistant, sometimes it’s an EAA, sometimes it’s an program manager, the title might look a little different, but to me, it’s that whether you want to call it strategic partner, we like to call it force multiplier. It’s when those two people come together, and make and really multiply the effort and effects of whatever they’re doing.

Jeremy Burrows 19:01
Yeah, it’s great. And I think I can’t remember I asked you this before, but just kind of a side note, what, who came up with the founder and force multiplier name or brand? Like, did you come up with that name did Adam come up with it was it just kind of just kind of happened?

Hallie Warner 19:22
You know, it was a while ago, but I think I think I did. I was reading I don’t remember what I was reading. I consume so much content, but I was reading an article and I heard the term and they were referring to some sort of like military entry maneuver, as I believe force multipliers originally military term. This was in the days when all I was reading was books about Navy SEALS and Army Rangers and all you know, and all of their leadership books were coming out. And so I was just like, You know what, that that definition is actually what EAS and chiefs of staff are doing with and for their executives. So um, plus I love alliteration, so it just happened to work.

Jeremy Burrows 20:03
Awesome. That’s great. Okay, well, let’s talk a little bit about finding the right executive slash assistant match. And and why that matters. You know, you found a pretty good match and have excelled and leveled up, if you will, in that organization. How can we find the right match? And and why is it so crucial for assistants to really match with the right executive?

Hallie Warner 20:39
Yeah, the simple answer for why it’s crucial is for, like life and career satisfaction. I mean, we do spend a lot of our time working. And if you do not have an executive that you one respect, trust, are in alignment with their mission and vision. Can you do your job? Absolutely. Is that going to be fulfilling? And is it going to be is it going to fulfill you is it gonna make you want to get out of bed every morning and really, like, be a part of something maybe not. And not everybody is blessed to have that. But I think that everyone can if they really want to, because on the other side, I know so many, and I’m sure you do to so many executives, who also want that in an executive assistant, but they’re not quite sure how to find that either. So part of the work that we do is making sure that we continue to share that there are EAS out there who really want to be an integral part of the business, and be involved and in line with everything that the executive is doing. And that we also want to show that there’s executives who get it who are really intelligent, great leaders who understand the value of EAs. So, to me, that’s why it’s important is just to enjoy your life more than the most basic wet in the most basic way.

Jeremy Burrows 22:02
Yeah, so you dressed why, why it matters, but maybe practically, how do how do we find the match? Or maybe there? Are there questions or, you know, exercises that you can go through as you’re interviewing or as you’re exploring different executives to work with, you know, maybe tips on on how we can find that match?

Hallie Warner 22:26
Yeah, I mean, I know, it’s not always possible, but I would definitely talk to any former employees who have worked there. I know, there’s obviously some things on Glassdoor always, you know, you could take some of that stuff with a with a grain of salt, perhaps, depending on who might be leaving those comments and reviews. But if you can talk to former employees, particularly former EAS I think that’s a, that’s huge, or and or current employees. That can be enormous as well. But it’s a good place to start. You’re just gathering intel, right? I think if you you’re the executive that you’re interviewing with, or the HR department is willing to do behavior assessments and have a conversation around whether or not you’re the behavioral match, not just for the position, but for to be complimentary to the executive, I hope most HR departments or leaders are doing behavior assessments and doing some sort of, you know, personality or behavior match. They don’t always, you could certainly ask. And then I also have to make sure that you are understanding what their goals are for, for the year and or for their the company as a whole and making sure that you can see your success yourself being successful by helping them achieve those goals. Because that’s not always the case, either. They’re thinking too small, and you’ve got these big goals. Well, that’s a mismatch right there. And oh, shoot, I there’s one other thing I was gonna mention. Of course, I forgot it. But, yeah, I mean, it’s, I think it’s a tricky thing, trying to find that right match. But the biggest thing to me is not to give up. And if you are in that situation, where you I mean, you know, when it is not the right fit there, yes, there’s things that you can do to try to work on that relationship. But at a certain point. There’s nothing wrong with moving on to somebody who is a better match, because that you have the skills. You have the drive, you know, where you want you to take your career. And if you can’t do that with a particular executive, that’s okay. And moving. There’s no There’s no problem in my mind of moving on. As long as you know, there’s there’s good reasons behind it.

Jeremy Burrows 24:40
Yeah. When did you know that? Adam was an executive? A good match, if you will?

Hallie Warner 24:47
Yeah, it was his dream. Like really, it was like his relentless drive to be successful. I mean, I was 25 When I first started working with him, so that was, you know, I was relentlessly driven as well to be six testable. So that was that was a big one. He had big goals, a big vision. And he made things happen. He wasn’t he wasn’t going to just sit around and talk about it. We were making things happen constantly. We were taking risks, trying new things. And he was always transparent, and his communication as well as decisive. And I had worked with leaders before who were, you know, the transparency was maybe there a little bit, but certainly not decisive. And that was a big red flag to me. I need somebody who knows what they want is going to go after it. And so probably within about six months or so I was like, Okay, I think we’re doing some cool things here. And let’s see how far we can take it.

Jeremy Burrows 25:44
That’s awesome. Yeah, I like decisiveness as well. Yes. What? So you know, it’s been four years since we published our last interview, basically, roughly four years, what’s maybe one or two things that have changed or morphed in the assistant world that you’ve seen?

Hallie Warner 26:07
Yeah, I would say the well, maybe there’s two, the the big ones that I’m seeing right now. And I love your perspective on this as well, is getting a lot more questions about not necessarily challenges, but just people wanting to know how to make the relationship work between an EI and their chief of staff. So that because of the chief of staff role becoming so much more prominent across all sectors, I’m, that’s something I’m seeing and hearing and having a lot of discussions with, with Bas and chiefs of staff around. How do those two partners work really well together, in addition to, you know, having that third person, their executive in the mix, now we have this kind of trifecta, as I call it, of this sweet trifecta. So how do you get all three of these partners to be working cohesively and effectively together, and I don’t think that was necessarily happening quite as much four years ago, or people weren’t necessarily as vocal about it. And then the other thing that I’m always encouraged to see is that the role of executive assistant continues to gain more, at least I believe it is. And I want to want to continue to see this, that it is gaining more visibility, more inclusion, more respect. And it’s starting to in people are starting to see how much impact these roles can have on companies. And not just from the AI community, but from other leadership coaches, and from other C suite leaders, they’re released, starting to see and understand the impact that a great strategic partner can have on their business. I love the term executive business partner. I’ve seen that a lot more over the past four years. So those are those are just kind of two interesting trends that I’ve been noticing.

Jeremy Burrows 27:54
Yeah, I think I’ve been seeing

similar trends as well. And I think it’s exciting that there are more. Another thing would be like, even just more resources out there for assistance is nice. Yes. So that’s great. Well, yeah, Hallie, what, what’s kind of your parting thoughts for listeners for our conversation today? Appreciate you being on the show again? And what’s maybe one thing you want to leave the assistants of the world with, as we wrap it up?

Hallie Warner 28:29
Oh, that’s a big one. Well, you know, I’m gonna leave you with another quote, because this is something that I’ve been really, maybe contemplating a lot lately. And that’s a quote from Glennon Doyle, who wrote untamed and her question is, what is the truest, most beautiful story about your life you can imagine? And I think that if we all took a bit more time to really think about that question, and find inside what that answer was, it would be a very interesting and beautiful world if we were all living that truest, most beautiful story about our lives.

Jeremy Burrows 29:07
Wow, that’s really good. Well, I put you on the spot, and you deliver. So appreciate it. Welcome. Well, where’s the best place for people to reach out?

Hallie Warner 29:20
Um, yeah, um, LinkedIn is always great. But really, if you just go to founderandforcemultiplier.com, you can find us there. All of our resources are there and you can always just shoot me an email, or come hang out with us in our community.

Jeremy Burrows 29:36
Awesome. Yeah. And I’ll put all those links in the show notes leaderassistant.com/214. And people can reach out and find out more about the great work that you all are doing for the assistant community and the Chief of Staff community and the executive community. And, yeah, appreciate it. It’s been fun chatting with you again. And maybe next time, we won’t have four years in between it but we’ll see. Thank you.

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