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May 10, 2022
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This week, we share an essential guide for folks who want to more effectively leverage their executive assistant (or are thinking about bringing one on board).

A Tactical Guide to Working with EAs: How to Make Delegation Your Superpower

There’s more advice out there than ever on how to run a business — from blog posts, keynotes, LinkedIn posts, Twitter threads, and much more. And yet, there are certain business-critical topics that don’t seem to get nearly enough airplay in leadership circles.

One such example? Working with executive assistants.

When leveraged correctly, an EA can be one of the most important tools in a startup founding team’s arsenal — freeing up space to focus on the thorniest challenges facing the business. But there isn’t all that much tactical information out there on how to specifically work with EAs — often, it’s just something leaders are expected to know how to do.

Without clear-cut guidance, plenty of folks end up just sticking to the basics, relying on an EA to manage their calendar and book their travel. Of course, these can be helpful tasks to check off the list. But they’re probably not meaningfully moving the needle on your effectiveness as a leader. Often, this means startup folks write off EAs altogether.

As the co-founder and CEO of Levels (and a 4x startup founder) Sam Corcos has carefully honed his approach to working with EAs over the years. Regular Review readers may recognize Corcos from last year’s ultra-popular article he penned on how he tracks and manages his time as a startup CEO. (If you haven’t read it yet, we definitely recommend checking it out.) He admits he’s pretty obsessive about optimizing his productivity as an early-stage startup founder.

In today’s article, Corcos dives into the weeds of all things EAs and delegation. He outlines his specific tips for working with EAs — whether it’s your first time bringing one on board, or you’re looking to better leverage the EAs you already work with. He also unpacks the process for expanding the EA pool so that every employee at Levels, wherever they are on the org chart, can delegate to EAs. Along the way, he shares tons of crisp examples, templates and documents that you’ll want to borrow.

Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing!

-The Review team

Take me to The Review

Recommended resources:

- First Round Partner Todd Jackson penned a must-read post for Lenny Rachitsky's newsletter on how to validate your startup idea.

What makes a good operator?

- Tomasz Tunguz discusses finding product/market fit in different capital environments.

How to onboard yourself when starting a new job.

- Consider adding these channels to your office Slack.

Trending this week — Review Reads:

How to Chart Your Engineering Career Path: IC, Manager or Technical Founder
Amber Feng shares essential lessons for engineers up and down the org chart, drawing from her 8-year career at Stripe and becoming a technical founder of Cocoon.
"Take Control of Your Desk," And Other Career Tips for ICs, Managers & Founders
After an 11-year career as an HR exec at Splunk, Shreya Iyer unpacks her comprehensive guide to startup career growth.
An Exact Breakdown of How One CEO Spent His First Two Years of Company-Building
Sam Corcos, co-founder & CEO of Levels, tracked exactly how he spent the two years since founding the company for a rare inside look at being a startup leader.
NerdWallet's CEO on Navigating the Shift from First-Time Founder to Seasoned Exec
NerdWallet co-founder & CEO Tim Chen reflects on the arc of his journey as founder after 10+ years of company building. He shares the 6 mindset shifts he needed to make to transition from entrepreneur to executive as his startup scaled

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