The Power of Executive Briefings

The President of the United States gets one – we think your Executive should, too!

Your executive is busy with a million things going on in their day. With that much going on, it is understandable that things get missed, overlooked, or even forgotten. To ensure this doesn’t happen, daily briefings are used to give crucial updates. These briefs may include visibility to critical tasks that need to be completed or were completed, questions that need answers or decisions that need to be made, information that needs to be reviewed or acted upon, and updates on the business such as metrics, deadlines, project statuses, and other crucial items that need to be highlighted. 

These briefs guide executives in their day and can be critical tools for the prioritization, planning, and preparation needed to ensure success. 

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Briefing a senior executive is an art and adept White House staffers do it every day under the most stressful of circumstances. They’re masters of compressing the right information into the right amount of time, no matter how complex the topic or short the briefing. The skills needed to brief the chief executive in the Oval Office are directly applicable to briefing any executive in the C-suite.”

Here’s some advice on how to create an effective executive brief…

  • Keep it short. You may be tempted to include every task you completed that day or every task your executive needs to complete that day on your executive brief. Including updates on every single thing that happened that day will almost assuredly overwhelm your executive. Keeping your brief short greatly increases the chances that your executive will go through all of it. However, long executive briefs skyrocket the chances that your executive won’t read it at all.
  • Front-load the critical information. Your first sections might be “Critical Questions” that need to be answered or “Critical Tasks” that need to be reviewed or completed. If you put these up front, there’s obviously a higher chance they will get answered or completed. Be careful though! If everything is critical, then nothing is critical. Be cautious and selective when deciding what is critical.
  • Tailor it. Just like every incoming President is given the opportunity to tailor their daily brief around their preferences, make sure you understand the needs and desires of your executive and tailor your brief to them. Some may like longer briefs with more detail, some shorter, some want them in the morning, some in the evening.

  • Be consistent with format and content. You don’t want it to change every day. Create standard sections to make it familiar and easy for your executive to get through it. You may want to include sections like the following:
    • Critical Questions
    • Critical Tasks for you to complete
    • Critical Tasks I completed
    • Updates
    • Non-Critical Questions
    • FYIs…

      Standard sections will help your executive move through it faster and more effectively. This will help them to look forward to and appreciate the daily briefing. Only add new sections when necessary. When you add these new sections (or remove old sections), briefly explain the purpose and your goal in doing so.
  • Be consistent with frequency and timing. Most often these briefings are daily. However, if you aren’t sending them daily, make sure to send them regularly and at roughly the same time (like Monday & Wednesday or once a week on Friday). I appreciated getting mine at the end of the day. I know others like them first thing in the morning. Figure out what works for both of you then work to ensure consistency.

This best practice helps executives with their preparation, planning, and prioritization. It keeps them on top of things and is an opportunity to give visibility of the value you bring while providing a tool to help them achieve their goals.

Emmre makes it easy to create powerful executive briefings for your executive. The executive brief section allows you to create a template with customizable sections you can use each day. You can pull your task, their tasks, and questions right out of Emmre so you don’t have to do any extra work. 

As your executive answers questions and comments on your brief, those items are sent to you directly in Emmre. The best part is you can send these powerful executive briefings whether your executive is in Emmre or not. If they are not an Emmre user, you simply click the “copy link” and send them a link to their briefing through email, Slack, Teams, or a text message and all their interactions still go directly to you in Emmre.  

The President gets his “Presidential Daily Briefing” every day along with thousands of executives across the country. It’s a powerful tool! Consider implementing this best practice to provide new value to your executive and strengthen your strategic partnership.

Emmre - Software for Assistants and Leaders

Emmre is executive assistant software created by an executive and assistant for executives and assistants. Emmre's mission is to help supercharge productivity and maximize the strategic partnership between executives and executive assistants.

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