This episode is full of valuable insight from my wonderful guest and new friend, Jess Lindgren, who has over 15 years of experience as an executive assistant – including running her own freelance EA firm for years.

ep23 jess lindgren

Jess is Founder of the Ask an Assistant podcast and Executive Assistant to Pat Flynn – best-selling author and host of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, which has been one of the top business podcasts in the last several years.

Jess and I talk about onboarding new team members, leaving a toxic environment, starting your own business, the dehumanizing nature of being an assistant, working with your executive – not for them, and mental health in the workplace.

Enjoy the show!


One person’s annoying is another’s inspiring and heroic.

– Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

About Jess Lindgren

Jess Lindgren delights in the details, whether she’s planning your quarterly board meeting, choosing the perfect gift for everyone on your list, or putting the finishing touches on another batch of her famous homemade marshmallows. She and husband Bob enjoy living in San Diego, and when they’re not relaxing at home with their cats, you’ll find them exploring museums or indulging in theatre performances wherever they find themselves around the world. A lover of putting pen to paper, Jess gleefully reads and replies to every handwritten letter she receives.

Jess Lindgren


Thanks to for sponsoring this episode! If you manage business travel at your company, check out’s corporate travel platform. is the easiest way to book, manage, and report on corporate travel. Visit to schedule a free demo and receive a free $50 Amazon gift card (terms apply).

If you’re interested in sponsoring The Leader Assistant Podcast, contact me here.


Subscribe to The Leader Assistant Podcast so you don’t miss new episodes!

You can find the show on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and Stitcher.

Join my email list here if you want to get an email when a new episode goes live.


Join the Leader Assistant Facebook Group here for bonus content and to network with other assistants who are committed to becoming leaders!


If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take 2 minutes to rate and review the show on iTunes here. Each review helps me stay motivated to keep the show going!


Jess Lindgren 0:00
Hi, I’m Jess Lindgren and today’s leadership quote comes from Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation. One person’s annoying is another person’s inspiring and heroic.

Jeremy Burrows 0:09
Welcome to Episode 23 This is your host Jeremy Burrows.

Podcast Intro 0:17
The Leader Assistant Podcast exists to encourage and challenge assistants to become irreplaceable game changing leader assistants.

Jeremy Burrows 0:27
Please review on iTunes. Hey everyone, I have a really special episode today. Very excited to be chatting with Jess Lindgren who is the founder of the Ask An Assistant podcast. Also, she’s a longtime EA and currently executive assistant to Pat Flynn from the Smart Passive Income podcast, which has been one of the top business podcasts in the last several years on Apple podcasts. Before we jump in, I want to share that this is my first podcast episode to have a sponsor. I’m very excited to have sponsor this episode, and wanted to just give you a little bit of context as to why I have a sponsor, and why I’m open to more sponsors in the future. So each episode of this show takes me approximately six to 10 hours, sometimes more to record, schedule the interview, edit it, re edit it rerecord different parts intros, outros, and publish it. And on top of all that, I’ve got to post a blog for each episode for the show notes. So keeping track of all those links, etc. So anyway, it takes six to 10 hours to do this. That’s a lot of work a lot of time. And my goal would be to keep doing this every week, as long as I possibly can. And so someone like, who is sponsoring this episode helps me be able to keep doing this and providing this resource for you. So thanks I will jump right into the official ad for them. But again, thanks everyone for listening. I really appreciate your support. If anybody else is listening and interested in sponsoring an episode, reach out to me at podcast at leader We’d love to chat and now for the sponsored ad. Hey leader assistants. If you manage business travel at your company, check out’s corporate travel platform. is the easiest way to book, manage and report on corporate travel. Visit to schedule a free demo and receive a free $50 amazon gift card terms apply. Again. That’s Hey, everyone, thanks for tuning in to The Leader Assistant Podcast. I’m very excited today to be chatting with Jess Lindgren. Jess, how are we doing?

Jess Lindgren 3:13
I’m doing fantastic. I live in San Diego and sun shining, nothing can be better.

Jeremy Burrows 3:18
Great. It’s nice and cloudy and rainy here in St. Louis, Missouri. So

Jess Lindgren 3:22
I hate to rub it in.

Jeremy Burrows 3:24
So Jess, you are an EA. And when and why did you become an EA?

Jess Lindgren 3:31
Let’s see. I became an executive assistant about 15 years ago and I had just always wanted to be an executive assistant. There’s just something kind of old school glam Hollywood about it, you know? Yes. Miss Lindgren, could you you know file those reports for me and dinner reservations for two on Friday at six. And you know, pick yourself something nice while you’re at it. And you know, just something kind of fancy about it that I’ve just always really been attracted to. And I really love being somebody’s trusted, efficient, effective right hand.

Jeremy Burrows 4:08
So before you’re an EA What was your very first job?

Jess Lindgren 4:12
My very first job was working at a McDonald’s of all places. And it was actually a really great experience. I don’t think most people can say that about their time working in fast food if they have it. The gentleman who owned McDonald’s it was a privately run franchised store and he owned three McDonald’s. His name was Chuck and he would come in nights and weekends if we were short staffed flip burgers with a bunch of 16 year old kids and you know just really taught me from an early age that if you’re going to be a leader, no job is beneath you. You know, you’re not too good to do anything. And you should know how to do everything inside of your organization and be able to help it succeed at any point in time.

Jeremy Burrows 4:57
You mentioned some of the things you love about an EA role. What’s your favorite part about being an assistant?

Jess Lindgren 5:06
It really does come back to being that trusted. Right hand. You know, it’s somebody that your executive can come to you at any moment with a request, no matter how big or how small and they know, and you know that it’s going to get done quickly, correctly. And you know, you’re going to take care of it, however you see fit.

Jeremy Burrows 5:32
So do you have any crazy stories or times when you, you know, saved the day?

Jess Lindgren 5:38
Yeah. Oh, definitely. I mean, you save the day in so many big and small ways. Every single day that you are on the job, I would say one that stands out to me is an executive a few years ago called me at 10am. Central. They were supposed to have gotten on a flight at 6am Pacific, which was 8am Central. So for them to be calling me two hours after their flight was supposed to have departed. I said, Well, this can’t be good. picked up the phone. He’s in a panic. You know, Jess, Jess, I overslept. I missed my flight. What am I going to do? Because if you’ve ever made travel arrangements for somebody, you know that if you miss or skip or otherwise cancelled just the first leg of a flight. It automatically cancels the rest of your itinerary. And so, you know, he’s in his car, he’s driving, what do I do? What do I do? And I said, Okay, first things first, did you eat breakfast says no. So I said, Okay, pull over somewhere. Calm down, get something to eat. Get a cup of coffee, I will call you back in 15 minutes with a solution. 10 minutes on the phone with the airline got him booked on the next flight that would get him to the next city in time to make the connection, reinstated the rest of his itinerary and proved beyond the shadow of a doubt why we fly the day before a speaking engagement. And just 10 minutes on the phone being helpful, friendly. Oh my gosh, he overslept. What can we do? You know, not calling up screaming and freaking out, you know, just calm, cool, collected all that good stuff and got it sorted. No additional fees or anything. I still can’t believe that. But you know, then he was able to relax, know that he was going to get where he needed to go on time in one piece. Got breakfast and good coffee instead of airport food. All in one fell swoop.

Jeremy Burrows 7:34
Nice. There you go. So let’s go the other side, what was the biggest mistake you made as an assistant? And what did you learn from the experience?

Jess Lindgren 7:44
The biggest mistake I’ve ever made as an assistant is staying in the wrong role supporting the wrong people for way too long. And really, what I learned about that is that it’s okay to quit. It’s okay to walk away. It’s okay to prioritize your mental health and sanity. Because it’s worth so much more than a paycheck to be happy in that role.

Jeremy Burrows 8:13
What would you say to someone who is in a role that they know they need to leave?

Jess Lindgren 8:21
I would say get out as soon as you possibly can. Whether that means walking away, the one thing I would recommend before getting out is, you know, genuinely try to salvage it. People who come to the executive assistant role are in it because they like to help people and not even that they like to help people. They need to help people. There’s just an innate caretaker quality inside of every successful executive assistant, that you know, you really want to be helpful. You want to be supporting that person and their vision and their goals and their business. You know, have a real heart to heart conversation with that person and just say, Okay, I feel like it’s not working. Here are some ways that I see it could be improved. How do you feel? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Can you even get on the executives calendar to have this conversation, but at least try to salvage the relationship before you go because, you know, your executive could be thinking the same thing like, Man, this really isn’t working. And they just don’t even know how to put it into words. And I think a lot of executives are used to people not questioning them. They’re used to people just you know, I say jump, you say how high you know, people just, they don’t talk back to an executive, if that makes sense. Yeah. So you know, really, truly have that conversation. See where it goes from there. But honestly, if you know you have to go, get out as soon as you can, and start freelancing. You know, start interviewing or freelance just as soon as you can and make it work because I know a lot of times I’m guilty of this one Myself. you stay in a role because you need a paycheck, you need health care benefits, you know, whatever it is that you need, do it for as long as you can, but definitely start building your contingency plan and then go at your first available moment.

Jeremy Burrows 10:13
So what did you do? Kind of when you left that rough situation, what was what were some of the steps you took and tell us a little bit about your story on how that all came to be and where you are today.

Jess Lindgren 10:27
For sure, it really came about by accident, I had been, again, guilty of staying because I needed a paycheck, I needed health care benefits for all of your listeners in the United States, you know that that’s not always a guarantee, it’s not always super affordable. And it’s not easy to do on your own, getting your own health care benefits. So you do sometimes I mean, there’s a million little reasons to stay. And it’s really easy to talk yourself out of trying to find something else. So I just kind of accidentally started reading a bunch of like, I think it was life hacker and Entrepreneur magazine. I don’t know if people still read those I know I don’t, because I just don’t have time anymore. But at the time, I had been reading a lot of entrepreneur and life hacker and just started to see trends. It was, you know, if you want to go out and start your own thing, here’s how I tell people about it, do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it and then do it, you know, 90% of success in business is showing up and doing the work. You don’t have to have a flashy marketing campaign or a perfect business plan or anything like that. Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. That’s it. And so I quit my job, gave them two months notice because I know that a good executive assistant were hard to replace, you know, it’s not easy to find somebody to fill your shoes. So gave him two months notice and then actually ended up keeping them on as my first client. So I had contract business. Right? As soon as you know, as soon as I gave my notice, they were like, well, if we can’t find somebody can we keep you on? And I said Well, absolutely. But let’s, let’s negotiate here because my salary rate, while very generous is still a fraction of what I’m charging my contracting clients. So I ended up negotiating a raise that allowed me to work part time for my former employer while making the same amount of money. And I got to set my own time and hours. And I threw a party sent an email to 300 people and said, Hey, friends, life update, quitting my job thrown a party, you should come and here’s why. And just said that I was starting a freelance, you know, a small business. And here’s an idea of some stuff I can do. I’m a freelance executive assistant, here’s what that means. Here’s a list of some stuff that I can help you with. And I guarantee if there’s something not on this list asked me because I can’t do it for you. I guarantee you, I know somebody who does. And five minutes after I sent that email, someone from my current team reached out to me and said, we have a job for you. And this was five years ago.

Jeremy Burrows 13:09
So just kind of kept going after that.

Jess Lindgren 13:13
Yeah, and it just from that one email, you know, I’ve never set up an email list or any kind of anything after that I’m horrible at social media, but truly just the right word in the right ear at the right time. You know, I think a lot of people don’t believe in the concept of luck, but I think you kind of make your own luck, and really just putting it out into the world can make all the difference.

Jeremy Burrows 13:40
So currently, you’re not a contractor anymore. Is that right?

Jess Lindgren 13:46
I’m not a contractor anymore. I recently accepted a full time salaried role with my client that I’ve been working with for over five years.

Jeremy Burrows 13:54
Nice. What was your feelings transitioning back into the non contractor world were you like, excited or, you know, kind of like sad to leave that world behind for now.

Jess Lindgren 14:06
It’s been a little bit of everything. It’s been, you know, it’s exciting. After five years of running my own business, the prospect of a company sponsored health care, the prospect of a much nicer salary than I’ve been paying myself through my company, my company of Gal Friday 612 has had payroll setup for a few years. I’m an LLC taxed as an S corp at the state level. For anyone who listening who might know what that means. But so I have had payrolls, but not nearly as nice of a paycheck as I now have in a salaried role. Bittersweet, I think really is the best term for it, you know, kind of feels like the end of an era. I recently closed down my office in Minneapolis, so that was a little bit sad. But still, it’s Writing at the same time, you know, like, what is the future hold continuing to work just in a slightly different capacity.

Jeremy Burrows 15:08
So you work with Pat Flynn, who is a online business podcast host. And one thing that I was encouraged by when I follow his podcasts and stuff, and I actually came to first hear you on on one of his episodes. And I thought, how cool is it that, you know, his assistant, you was leading a podcast episode. And then also I see every once in a while, you know, you’re leading like these, you know, workshops or retreats that they do for your for the team. And so anyway, I, I think it’s very encouraging and to see that I’ve had the honor of working with executives that are very supportive of me, and give me some creative control as well. But I know a lot of assistants don’t get to do that. So how has it been working for somebody that has a leadership style that allows you to just kind of figure things out and gives you that freedom?

Jess Lindgren 16:09
I will say this, you touched on something there, that is something of a, it’s near and dear to my heart, I work with Pat, I don’t work for Pat. And I think that is a very crucial difference in terms of how you interact with your executive how your executive treats you how the rest of the company at large treats you if you you know, look at somebody as they work for you, they’re under you. They’re your subordinate. You know, there’s truth to that. But I also think that people need to recognize that the executive can’t do what they do without their executive assistant, their support, supporting them making all that magic happen. So it really is a with relationship, if that makes sense. And so going into it. That was definitely my belief and attitude going into working with Pat, it was I no longer work with people who suck, and Pat does not suck. That is fantastic. He is the same guy that you see. He’s He’s exactly the guy that you want him to be, if that makes sense. Like sometimes you hear about, you know, oh, this celebrity is so funny in their movies, but they’re so rude. If you ever see them out and about in the real world, Pat is exactly the same guy. He’s super nice, super friendly, loves everybody and wants everybody to succeed. And I really lucked out in that regard. That he definitely views me as an essential part of his team, rather than, you know, somebody that he can throw under the bus when things go poorly, or somebody that he can just blame any and all mistakes on, you know, I’m not his whipping post. He’s just like, No, you’re a partner in this, like, you’re my right arm, I can’t do this stuff without you. That’s awesome.

Jeremy Burrows 17:55
So being an assistant to someone who is pretty well known. He’s got some of the top business podcasts, and has had them for the past several years. So people have come to me before and asked how I’m doing and really there I realized that they’re wanting to know how my executives doing, or how the CEO is, are they really want to know about the CEO, or they really want to know about my executive, it’s like, kind of dehumanizing when you start to realize what’s going on. So have you experienced anything like this?

Jess Lindgren 18:32
Yeah, I’ve definitely experienced that. One example that jumps to mind is I recently went to a friend’s birthday party a few months ago. And I would say, a third of the people at the party didn’t even ask how I was they asked how Pat was. And it was like, it’s it’s Saturday. We’re in San Diego. Pat lives in San Diego. He’s got a beautiful family, a wonderful home and adorable little dog. It’s the weekend. He’s a successful business person. I’m sure he’s fantastic. But he’s not here. So I on the other hand, I’m really doing great. Also, I’m from Minneapolis recently relocated to San Diego. So I am truly doing fantastic. When I hear all these reports of, you know, our neighbors two blocks from our old house in Northeast Minneapolis took on six inches of water this spring after 20 inches of snow melted. I’m great. I don’t even have a basement anymore. There’s nothing to flood. Okay, I’m sitting over here and fans in San Diego doing wonderfully. I’m sure Pat is wonderful too. So the ways that I get around this honestly, I don’t usually lead with the fact that I work with Pat. I like people to be able to get to know me as a person outside of Pat, because I’ve definitely had people. You know if somebody introduces me, oh, this is Pat’s EA. I’ve had people, fan girl fanboy out on me. I’m just like, oh my gosh, I’m not even Pat. Let’s take a step back. My name is Jess, it’s nice to meet you. Let’s just take Pat out of the equation and have a conversation like a couple of humans. So truthfully, I just don’t even lead with it. I’ve had a few conversations to where people, you know, oh, you’re great. Oh, what are you doing here in town for Social Media Marketing World? I’m like, Oh, well, I’m here to you know, support one of the speakers. Oh, which speaker? Oh, well, Pat Flynn. Pat Flynn, you didn’t tell us that? Well, yeah, I didn’t tell you that on purpose. Because now you know me as a person, instead of just Pat’s assistant, and the people that I’ve gotten to know in that roundabout way where you know, they can kind of get to know me first. generally do not ask about Pat. You know, those are the people that I have a relationship with that, you know, oh, hey, I’m coming through San Diego. Oh, hey, great. I’m coming through New York next month, let’s catch up. And it’s has nothing to do with paps. So really, to your question about what other people can do when they experience it, is, you know, have your own stuff going on, that you can talk about, don’t lead with it. Because there are people I would think especially so in more of like the like the Hollywood aspect, I’m sure people that are assistants to you know, like a list celebrities get that kind of stuff all the time. If you have your own thing going on something that you can talk about, whether it’s your own project, whether it’s children, whether it’s you know, you have a dog that you take to the dog park, and you’ve got all your dog park friends, do your best to have a life completely separate and outside of that world. And that helps me the most.

Jeremy Burrows 21:48
Yeah, I wish I would have heard that bit of wisdom in my last job, because I was just, I pretty much did not have a life outside of my, my job and that role. And yeah, you know, long story short, I burned out and kind of took a bunch of time off in between that role in my current role. And that’s why I’m so passionate about this topic, because I saw, looking back in hindsight how dehumanizing it was, and how I just needed to have a hobby, I needed to have other things that I was doing, because I just kind of had lost even my own, like, I didn’t know who I was anymore. You know, I just knew who my executive was.

Jess Lindgren 22:27
Yeah, and in addition to that, something that this, you know, everyone’s mileage will vary on this. But generally speaking, in my role as an executive assistant over the last 15 years, it is my job to be friendly, with every one of the company, like I’m friendly, I’m personable, I’m approachable, I am here to help. I am here to make everyone’s lives easier. I am not here to be friends, with everyone at the company. I don’t go to any kind of company sponsored, you know, happy hours, dinners, that kind of thing. I like the separation because I do generally support, you know, the C suite of the organization. And I can see the necessary necessity, you know, the value of camaraderie between teams, but it’s like, Did you ever watch the office, and they all go to a party at Jim’s house. And then everybody sits around in the kitchen talking about selling paper. And Kelly at one point is like, Okay, seriously, everyone, there has to be something that we can talk about other than paper. I like to talk to people about anything else. Absolutely. Anything else I will talk to you about. Travel, I will talk to you about your children, even though I don’t have children of my own. I will talk to you about your cats because I do have cats and we can compare war stories of being cat servants in our own homes. But you know, I like to talk about non work things when I’m not working.

Jeremy Burrows 23:56
So, you mentioned to me when we talked before the interview, that you’re passionate about making an impact, positive impact on and helping with mental health in the workplace.

Jess Lindgren 24:11

Jeremy Burrows 24:11
So how can, I’ve worked with executives and assistants both who’ve wrestled with depression and other mental health issues? Is there something that we as assistants can do to make a positive impact on others when it comes to mental health?

Jess Lindgren 24:27
Yeah, absolutely. When it comes to your role as an executive assistant, I can speak to my experience, you have to take this with a grain of salt because every organization is different. Every organization is set up very differently. Like I have friends who are the executive assistant to you know, the C suite person but then they also manage a team of other assistants. Like the job is just that big that one person can’t do it. So generally speaking, my role has always been In one to one, executive to executive assistant, your priority in that regard is your executive, you can’t and likely won’t make everyone in the exec in the organization happy. So do your best to make your executive happy. Learn what you can about your executive, especially their likes and dislikes, their personality style, I really highly recommend learning. Like, what are the different personality tests like Enneagram, Strengths Finder, love languages, all of that stuff can be really, really beneficial. So that you can know that you and your executive have a good working relationship and add things to your routine that make your executives life easier. So that way, when they come in to the C suite, if you have a physical office presence, or if it’s a virtual C suite environment, that’s okay too. But you know, know that let your executive know that when they come to you, it’s a safe place that they can truly be themselves, they can vent about something, it’s, you know, it’s confidential, it’s separate from the rest of the company, if that makes sense. And there’s just little things that can be as simple as having their favorite coffee ready to rock when they come in every morning. Positive reinforcement, if they are like totally killing their to do list, even if those tasks are two weeks overdue. You know, don’t harp on them, like, hey, that’s overdue, just say, Oh, my gosh, thank you so much for getting that done. That’s fantastic. And then you run interference with the other teams in the meantime.

Jeremy Burrows 26:35
Right. Right. That’s great. So what are some best practices for onboarding new team members?

Jess Lindgren 26:47
When you’re hiring new team members, so are you talking team members in general, or really specifically onboarding and executive assistant,

Jeremy Burrows 26:53
I would say let’s, let’s talk about specifically the onboarding, either onboarding and executive assistant, if you’re an executive, or if you’re an assistant, an assistant starting a new role, you know, how you can kind of lead the onboarding yourself?

Jess Lindgren 27:07
Yeah, cuz usually you have to, right? You know, so taking it from that perspective as the assistant coming in. And my perspective is very different now than it was five and a half, six years ago, I have all of my confidence, and, you know, self assurance back that kind of got repressed working in not supportive environments as an executive assistant. So right now, what I would say to somebody is have that confidence, dig it out, bring it to the table, you know, your executive chose you, but you also chose your executive. So a lot of times you do, you need to kind of lead that onboarding process, you need to as the assistant, you need to prioritize a meeting with your executive, no matter what, at all costs, you need to be meeting at least once a week, a lot of that will depend on your executives style, and availability. And it will depend on your style of working, you know, for me, I really like an executive to be hands off, I like somebody to just give me the keys, and let me go nuts and just do things the way that I think they should be done. You know, some people, some executives can be pretty micromanaging. And some assistants can actually put up with that. I personally can’t. So you know, it’s going to be different every time. But really be prepared to come in, lead that process and get what you need, as the assistant, you know, don’t compromise on things and really make your executive sit down and prioritize that meeting, demand and get as much of your executives time, or any other team members or resources, like whether it’s software, books, anything like that, get the tools and resources that you need to do your job well and effectively. And don’t, you know, don’t let anybody push you around on that, like you’re supporting one of the most important people in your company. You need the right tools to be able to do the job. And from the other side of the table, if you’re the executive hires soft skills over hard skills any day of the week, like don’t, you know, hire somebody because they say, Oh, yes, I have, you know, 25 years of experience supporting the Queen of England. I don’t care. You know, like, somebody can look fantastic on paper, but then you get them into your office, and they’re just not a good fit with you, for whatever reason.

Jeremy Burrows 29:39
What would be something, maybe a question you could ask or a way to really get at figuring out their soft skills.

Jess Lindgren 29:51
Honestly, over five years of freelancing, I could tell from the time I shook somebody’s hand if I wanted to work with them or not. Like you walk in and somebody you know, a nice confident firm handshake presents themselves. Well, they were on time for the meeting. You know, dressed appropriately but not over underdressed. You know, not egregiously over under dressed. You know, there’s just those are soft skills right there. If your interviews at two o’clock don’t show up at one o’clock, you know, show up at 145 to 155. Take a beverage from the receptionist, I can’t tell you how many times you get people you know, okay, can I offer you a beverage? They say no, you offer? Are you sure? They say no? Then the executive offers? Oh, sure. I guess I’ll take one, right. Yeah. Yes, and it’s maddening. But you know, there’s just there’s a lot of little things that people tell you, just even from being able to be on time, be dressed appropriately have a good handshake, somebody shows up and they’re disheveled and hand you a weak noodley limp handshake like what is that? No. Like, there’s you can just tell, and you need to learn to trust your gut. And that’s not an easy skill, but it’s a really important one.

Jeremy Burrows 31:08
Yeah, it’s, it’s funny, you mentioned that about the water the drink, like, I think I think there was an article about, like, the psychology of it was like a sales article. It was like, the psychology of eating together. Like if you’re eating with somebody, somebody or you meet over a meal, then they their trust of you, like goes up, just like psychology of it. And so that I’ve always felt when, when people want to offer a beverage? And they said, Yeah, sure, I’d love one. It just like takes this barrier away from connecting with that person. I don’t know, it’s it’s hard to explain. But

Jess Lindgren 31:48
I mean, to the eating thing, I love that you bring up the eating thing, because that’s actually been a, like a strategy for interviewing, like, you will see people if they get to like a, you know, a second or third round interview, you’ll have lunch with people, there’s a lot even in that you tell people about yourself, you know, are you coming in and you want your Caesar salad, but you want the anchovies and dressing on the side, and you want exactly three flakes and parmesan, no, like you need to be able to show up, be confident, professional, you know, obviously dietary restrictions, but it’s good of you to review the menu before you go in and be prepared. So like that, in and of itself, is a really great soft skill and tells you tells other people around you a lot about you, just from that interaction.

Jeremy Burrows 32:38
So what’s one tip that you would give executives, to help them get more out of their assistant,

Jess Lindgren 32:47
work to your assistant strengths. Like the one thing over the years that always drove me mad was my executive would never come in before 11 o’clock, usually noon. But they would freak out if they found out that I was there at 815 instead of eight o’clock, like just absolutely lose their minds. I am not a morning person, I don’t own a car, like the last time that I had an executive assistant role where I needed to be in the office, just that extra 830 would have been so huge, like that extra 30 minutes, because that’s an extra 15 minutes to sleep in in the morning. It’s a little bit of buffer room in case my bus runs late, you know, work to your assistant strengths. And also, this is two tips, but kind of on the same coin. Learn about and be willing to admit your weaknesses and shortcomings. Because again, I think a lot of people when they’re in a position of power like a CEO, they just feel, you know, infallible, they feel like everybody should just conform to the way that they work and do it exactly when they say to do it, how they say to do it. And I think that there’s a big missed opportunity there because there are people inside of your organization who are so skilled and so knowledgeable and have just, you know, immeasurable contributions that are just waiting, but you just have to ask and create a safe space for people to share.

Jeremy Burrows 34:18
So if you could snap your fingers and instantly give all assistants more of something, what would it be?

Jess Lindgren 34:25
Self Confidence. Absolutely confidence in your skills and your abilities. You are all fantastic. You are doing a wonderful job. You are moving mountains every single day that you work as an executive assistant, and it’s a very underappreciated, underpaid, undervalued job. And I just want to tell you that you’re all amazing. And I hope that you Yeah, I wish that for all of you. I’ve snapped my fingers for you now and you now I’ll have plus 10 self confidence skills

Jeremy Burrows 35:03
Done and done. Awesome. Well, can you tell us about your you’re working on a coaching program for CEOs and assistants? And also potentially a podcast, Is that right?

Jess Lindgren 35:18
That is absolutely correct. So the coaching program, I’ve touched on this a little bit, I really want to help executives have a great relationship with their assistants. And on the flip side of that, I want executive assistants to stop staying in jobs that they hate, because of any of those million tiny reasons, I want them to have the freedom ability, and, again, self confidence to choose a role that’s right for them. And not just, you know, the executive getting a person in the role because they need a person, a warm body sitting in a desk doing a job. And I want the assistant doing, you know, a job that they’re actually interested in and passionate about, and working with an executive that they respect. And you know, just a really good symbiotic relationship, I think that those relationships can be so very broken, and I really want to help fix them. That’s great. And as for the podcasts, I’m working on something called Ask an assistant with 15 years of experience watching people run their businesses well, and conversely, watching people run their businesses poorly. I have so much to share. And it just makes me sad that right now all that knowledge is living in my brain. And I am so excited to get it out into the world and share it with everybody because it just applies to, you know, anybody in the entrepreneurial sphere. It applies to anyone in a typical brick and mortar nine to five type thing and people who are anywhere in between.

Jeremy Burrows 36:58
That’s great. Well, we look forward to checking it out. Where can we find you online? And how can the listeners support what you’re doing?

Jess Lindgren 37:06
Yeah, absolutely. You can find me at, which I’m sure we’ll have linked in the show notes. Is that right? Jeremy?

Jeremy Burrows 37:13

Jess Lindgren 37:14
Fantastic. And if you have a question that you would like answered, whether you are an aspiring assistant, currently an assistant, or perhaps you’re somebody who has or needs an assistant, I would love to hear from you at

Jeremy Burrows 37:29
Awesome. Well, Jess, thanks so much for taking time out of your day to chat with us. And we’re very excited to hear more about what you’re doing and follow your podcast.

Jess Lindgren 37:41
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me.

Jeremy Burrows 37:43
All right, we’ll talk soon. Sounds great. Thank you so much for listening. I really enjoyed my conversation with you Jess. Please check out her info in the show notes at Talk to you next time.

Podcast Outro 38:07
My dad out and leave a review on iTunes. Go

Download FREE Chapters