Debbie Gross knows that administrative excellence is about more than juggling schedules and taking notes. An intuitive leader, she offers a fresh approach to teaching administrative professionals how to upgrade their soft skills and build confidence. Whether on stage or in the classroom, she has an innate ability to transform staff into leaders, drawing out the inner “office rockstar.”
As the former Chief Executive Assistant to John Chambers, the past CEO of Cisco—a global corporation based in Silicon Valley—Debbie supported the company’s growth from a multimillion-dollar business to a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Known as John’s “right hand,” she increased his productivity by 40 percent. Debbie’s influence and responsibilities increased as her CEO’s responsibilities and the company’s footprint grew. She continued to develop creative solutions for admin professionals like her. Debbie spearheaded initiatives that helped transform Cisco’s global administrative community, launching its first Executive Assistant Roundtable. Eventually, she oversaw over 1,000 assistants across the company and designed long-standing reward and recognition programs.
Now, she’s using her 30 years of experience to help the next generation of administrative professionals transition from overwhelmed task managers to strategic business partners. As an advocate and teacher, Debbie is on a mission to transform administrative professionals into leaders who make substantive contributions to the success of their executives, and ultimately, their organizations.
A relatable and dynamic speaker, she has spoken globally and conducted interactive workshops and motivational talks at companies such as Cisco, Veritas, Facebook, Pinterest, Fenwick & West, and FedEx. As a master instructor of “The Administrative and Executive Assistant Program” at the University of California Santa Cruz Extension, she taught critical leadership skills and how to go above and beyond the basics. Debbie doesn’t just share information — she inspires and incites greatness. Her distinctive teaching style blends creativity, fun and new thought processes to help administrative professionals gain greater career satisfaction, promotions, and recognition.
For her passion and commitment to the profession, the Admin Awards of Silicon Valley presented her with the Colleen Barrett Award, the highest recognition given for administrative excellence. Top-tier media outlets such as CNBC have touted Debbie’s expertise and contributions. She recently published her first book, “The Office Rockstar Playbook,” which blends strategies, tips, and humorous anecdotes about her journey as a high performing executive assistant.
Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Debbie currently lives in Campbell, CA with her husband Cory.