Knowing your Worth & Getting Reward for excellence - An interview with Al-Husein Madhany

Published: 2019-08-26

Al-Husein Madhany was one of the speakers at IMA France National Training Day in June 2019 and we are very happy to share this exclusive interview with you.

IMATell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud.  

Al-Husein: Most recently, being featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the foremost Executive Assistant trainers in the world. See: Previously, it was winning the Best Admin of the Year Award for all of Silicon Valley in 2016.  

IMAIn your mind, what is one tool you can’t live without or find especially helpful in your position?  

Al-Husein: My treadmill. I take out all my stress on my poor treadmill. :)  

IMATell us about your greatest challenge. What have you done to work towards professional development in the past to address this challenge?  

Al-Husein: My greatest challenge is leading through influence and not direct management. Influencing others whom you do not directly manage is probably the hardest thing I do every single day. We can all improve ourselves, and I have spent time with an executive coach to better my influencing skills and to be more aware of my own blind spots.  

IMA: What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?  

Al-Husein: I know that by executing consistently and flawlessly on the thousand micro‐decisions every week yields macro results that impacts our business every single day.  

IMAWhat is one thing you are looking forward to sharing at a future IMA event? Name one thing you hope to learn or discuss with your peers at IMA.  

Al-Husein: I want people to know that this a profession that is not going away. There will always be a need for executive business partners and life managers.  

IMAWhat is the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?  

Al-Husein: Love the life you chose. If you do what you love and love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.  

IMAWhat do you see as the greatest pitfall for many administrative professionals, when proving their value and contribution?   

Al-Husein: Not asking for more responsibility in order to continue to increase their value to the business.  

IMAYou currently serve on the advisory board of C-Suite Executive Support Professionals, an organization that seeks to expand the scope of the administrative assistant to be a strategic business partner. What do you see as the most important steps administrative professionals can make to build that strategic partnership with their executive?   

Al-Husein: The first step is establishing trust. If you want to learn the absolute foolproof formula for establishing trust with any executive quickly and keeping it, come to my session to learn more.   

IMAWhy is IMA important for executive assistants?  

Al-Husein: First, executive assistants and administrative professionals will understand how to future‐proof their jobs by learning how to constantly add business value for their managers and executives. Second, they will leave inspired and motivated to elevate their role from being perceived as “just an admin” to strategic executive business partners, culture carriers, and brand ambassadors. It truly is going to be an inspiring year at IMA, full of lessons and learning. But most importantly, attending IMA sessions is going to pay out immediate dividends because the strategies that are shared. EAs and PAs will be able to implement back at their offices at once!  

IMALooking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting your career?  

Al-Husein: Pivot faster. 

IMAWhat do you feel are crucial skills every administrative professional should possess?  

Al-Husein: I believe that the two most crucial skills for success in this field are: Empathy and Self-Efficacy.  

IMAHow do you define success within your role as an executive assistant?  

Al-Husein: Inculcating a growth mindset, not a fixed mindset. And advancing up the career ladder. If your company doesn’t have one for EAs, then help them build one.  

IMAHow did you land your current role?  

Al-Husein: Build your professional network. Your next job referral may come from the people who see you work everyday. It’s a small world, so let your reputation precede you.  

IMA:  You are a salary negotiation expert. And you have just launched a salary negotiation course specifically for Executive Assistants and Personal Assistants at What are your top few tips or tricks for us to know when thinking about negotiating our salaries.   

Al-Husein: First, you have to know that the greatest single determinant of whether a woman makes more money in her lifetime is whether or not she asks. Period. The only proven way to break through the gender pay gap is for women to start asking for more. 95% of our profession are women. And I have never met a female Executive Assistant or Personal Assistant in our profession who was not underpaid. If you have not received a raise (of over 4.5%) in the last 3 years, you are likely being underpaid. In this hot job market, we are seeing 8% to 18% increases year-over-year for those working in the C-Suite. But do not ask for a salary increase or raise in a recession. Ask now. Now is the time to ask, before its too late. But how do you ask? How do you convince not just your manager but also Human Resources to want to give you a bonus or a higher salary? I am happy to help! Executive Assistant and Personal Assistant salaries are universally on the rise. Is yours?   


Previously the Chief of Staff at PayPal and C-Suite Senior Executive Assistant at Instagram, Al-Husein Madhany is now among the most sought-after motivational speakers for Executive Assistants globally and is an industry expert on EA salary negotiations. As a coach to CEOs and their Executive Assistants around the world, he has never had a client who did not earn more money $$$ after working with him. Al-Husein engages audiences worldwide with his famously razor-sharp, punchy, always on-point keynotes and intimate dinner conversations that leave audiences inspired to make the $$$ money they deserve. Executive Assistant and Personal Assistant salaries are universally on the rise. Is yours? 

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