Welcome to the Emmre Blog

@Emmre, we want to help Executive Assistants & Executives maximize their strategic partnership by sharing learnings from our successes & failures.

Why do I never have enough time to get things done?
Why is everything the top priority?
Why can’t I get home earlier and spend more time with my family?

The answers to these questions always seemed out of reach.


My personal life and career changed dramatically in 2016 when I was encouraged to hire an Executive Assistant (EA).  I was hesitant, but thankfully I took the advice and added an EA to my team.

The only problem was...I had no idea what I was doing!

During the first 15 years of my professional career, I learned a lot about leadership and business.  I earned a business degree from Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!), an MBA from the University of Iowa, and took executive leadership courses at the Kellogg School of Business and Harvard University.

I’d been the President of a non-profit board, led the brand management of a three-hundred million dollar window brand, ran a manufacturing plant, led a sales branch, started a social company in Africa, and was the CEO of a software company that was acquired by a public company all before jumping in full-time to start Emmre. (That’s a story for our next post!)

Yet through all that experience, no one taught me when or how to hire an executive assistant or how to effectively work with one.

So there I was, with a brand new executive assistant ready to help me out, having no clue where I should start…  

Do you have a sense that you need an Executive Assistant or are not utilizing your Executive Assistant well?

This is the blog I wish I had read when I first hired (actually before I hired) my first executive assistant.  I also hope it’s the blog my EA wishes she had read before she started her role as an executive assistant. 

It’s going to cover the lessons we’ve learned from our experiences, hours of research, and the countless tests and experiments (both successful and unsuccessful) we’ve tried over the years.  It will cover topics like training, time protection, communication, task management, calendar management, travel, tools, meetings, hours, remote vs non-remote, confidentiality, and much more!

Note: Executive Assistant, EA, or Assistant is what I typically call the role, and probably what I’ll call it throughout this blog.  Because administration is such a broad category, there are many different “titles” out there.  Whatever you call the role, I believe it is the most important role you’ll ever hire! 

So, why write this blog?

My friends will tell you that I am a very private person so writing a blog is not something that would naturally rise to the top of my list of things to do.  Honestly, it took a lot of years of not operating at my best to realize that there had to be a better way.  For the past 5 years, I have been truly blessed to have worked with some great EAs.  I would not be overstating it to say that it has changed my life for the better.  

However, I have talked to too many overworked leaders and heard too many stories of either burn-out without an EA or feeling frustrated with their lack of effectiveness with their EA.  I’ve also talked to too many executive assistants who feel underutilized, unfulfilled, unappreciated and often feel out-of-sync with the executives they work for.  

I finally realized I had to share what I’ve learned.  

Why read this vs other content for Executives and Assistants

I know there is a lot of good information and great resources out there.  More successful leaders and better writers have written on this topic, many of whom I’ve read and have learned from over the years.  I hope to share the best of what I’ve learned with you, but I’m also hoping to give you a different perspective.  

The vast majority of content that I’ve come across in the assistant space is written from the perspective of the assistant for other assistants. However, since I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to work with great assistants, my perspective will be that of a leader or executive. 

My goal is to write about how to strengthen the partnership between the executive and assistant rather than focusing on one individual role or the other. Throughout this blog, I’m sure there will be times when I am talking directly to executives about certain topics.  My hope is that this perspective is also highly valuable for assistants to better understand their executives. At other times, I will be talking directly to assistants. I believe this will be valuable for executives to read as well to help them gain a new perspective. 

Everything that is written in this blog is intended to help your partnership get stronger, and my hope is that it helps at least one person be a better boss, a better leader, a better assistant, a better spouse, or a better parent. (Hopefully a couple or even all of these things!) 

Two different perspectives!

As you get a behind-the-scenes look at my journey as an executive, you’ll also get to hear first hand from some experienced executive assistants. With our goal of helping improve the executive-executive assistant partnership, we believe getting to hear both perspectives on specific topics will improve the value for you both. So you will be hearing from executive assistants that I have worked with in the past, EAs that are part of our advisory board, or guest bloggers, all of whose experience I’ve learned from.  They will be sharing additional insight and perspective on posts that I write as well as writing some of their own.  I hope that sharing these two perspectives in tandem will add value and insight that a single perspective just couldn’t provide.

I believe whether something is written from my perspective or from one of our executive assistant’s perspectives, both executives and assistants can gather key takeaways.  I hope to stay as far away from theory as possible and give you concrete action items that you can put directly into use with the relationship you have with your executive or assistant.  Everything we write about will be the lessons we’ve learned through our own experience on the way to building an effective working partnership. 

What types of things will we highlight on our journey?

In June 2016, I began my search for an executive assistant.  In the next posts, I’ll share my heart and the passion that led me to leave my job as CEO of a software company and start Emmre, a software company specifically designed to help executives and executive assistants maximize the effectiveness of their partnerships.  I’ll also write about my personal journey of discovering my need for an executive assistant.  Here are some other posts you’ll see in the near future to give you a taste of what to expect…

      • Why I Started Emmre
      • What Finally Pushed Me To Hire An Assistant & How It Changed Everything
      • The Best Exercise We Did to Improve Our Partnership
      • How Reading Together Keeps You On The Same Page & 5 Good Books to Start With
      • How We Plan to Eliminate the To-Do List of Shame

Special Thanks!

As we are in the early stages of launching Emmre and are now beginning this blog, I just want to say how excited I am to be a part of your journey to an improved partnership.  With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I am incredibly thankful for everyone that has supported Emmre so far and helped get us to a place where we are now ready to launch this blog and will be ready to launch our software in January. 

A special thank you to my wonderful wife Erin, my 5 amazing kids, my co-founders Trey and Cam and their families, and Kristie who was my Executive Assistant throughout the majority of this journey and is now a part of our advisory board. I also want to say how thankful I am for all of the assistants out there and for the amazing work they do everyday, and finally, for every one of you taking time to read this blog.  I hope you find value in it and that it helps take your partnerships to a new level. 

Next Steps?

Whether you are an assistant, an executive with an assistant, an executive preparing to hire an assistant, or an executive unsure of whether you really need or want an assistant, we plan to add value for you.  I hope you join us on our journey.  From hiring, to onboarding, to creating our own executive/assistant software tool, you can learn from what we’ve gotten right and the things we’ve done wrong.  

We’ll be releasing a new post every week, starting with the ones I mentioned above.  To get each post emailed to you as soon as it’s published, subscribe to the blog below. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope to see you next week!  

Have something you want to hear about or have a specific topic you hope we cover?  Let me know in the comments below, email me at Don@emmre.com, or hit Emmre up on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

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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