Hello Amazing people,

I am going to support a partner in my company on top of the CEO/Founder and COO. He never had an EA before… He doesn’t know how I can help him. He asked me to think of ideas to brainstorm together. I am pretty new in the company (2 months) and I do not fully understand all the sides of his role as I was focused on my CEO and COO. He mainly work on our company marketing and branding.
We have a first 1-1 tomorrow and I am trying to think of on thought provoking questions.

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You will help him by making sure his day is well organised, making the most efficient use of his time, prioritising activities which will impact his goals, giving him the headspace to think and plan. You will also, as you learn more about his role be able to prepare briefings for him, perhaps assist with marketing activities/ events that align with your skill set.

To do this you need to understand :

1. How he likes to receive and digest information? Email/OneNote/ Microsoft ToDo / WhatsApp?

2. When is he at his most effective am/pm?

3. Does he like to have breaks between his meetings to either action or prepare for his next meeting?

3. Agree on colours to categorise his diary to make it super simple for him to see what he’s going going on in a day. Ensure that he doesn’t have any issues ie colour-blind

4. Ensure that his rhythm of business is in place so that he meets with key people. …

Hope that gives you some ideas …

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Awesome!!! Thank you so much!!!!!!

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Ask him what he needs to make his work life easier. Even if in the beginning is just scheduling meetings and uploading business cards to his contacts. Find his busy work he doesn’t have time to do and that can shift to you. Overtime your role with him will grow. These type of professionals are my favorite to support. They have no expectations since there hasn’t been a previous admin. You’ll be great! The 1:1will be helpful

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Thank you so much!

My first question in this scenario would be "what are your greatest challenges" - and then from there, how you, as his EA, can help alleviate those. I would even speak to him or email him today and ask him to think about those. A lot of executives who have an assistant for the first time, do literally have no idea, and can be somewhat territorial over their calendar, etc. So if he is of that mindset, you can suggest starting with baby steps - helping him schedule meetings, checking in first before moving things. You can also use what you do for the CEO and COO as an example of things you can help him with. You may end this meeting with no set conclusion, but only with things both of you can think about - and that's OK.

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You’re awesome! Thank you so much for the gems! I will do that!

Not an EA but love all the support that is being provided, shows how amazing TA’s are! I wish other business lines/professionals were the same way in freely providing guidance and support.

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I like to go over an “Exec Bio” with them. Just basic info I’ll need to know. Family info, birthdays, car info, preferred travel preferences, restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings/ ordering out, allergies, etc. For the real business side- how does he like his calendar handled- colors, scheduling breaks, how busy does he like to be, how does he like to schedule his “heads down” time vs meeting time, does he prefer a meeting cut off time each day/week, who are his VIPs, what’s his preferred method of communication, does he need reminders for the next meeting, if he’s busy and you need an answer to something who’s his back up? He might not know some of these answer right away but it gives you a good starting point. Especially if he realizes his calendar is a little crazy. For one of my execs I plan all his 1:1’s on Thursday and Fridays and alternative virtual and in person to break up the day. Then the rest of the week he has for business meetings and time to actually work at the office. He found that he was more productive this way

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All of these suggestions are great! Another thing to discuss is how he processes information. I used to have an executive that had trouble digesting numbers, but loved it when I put the info into charts or graphs. (She was more visual than linear.)

Also, feel him out about how he may want to keep up with what you may be working on for him (besides the usual scheduling, travel, etc). I’ve worked with execs who just like to give you a deadline and then let you go to it and I’ve worked with those who are all about the processes and like to know where you are in the process as you move forward.

I could go on and on but there are so many great things here!

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I agree with the others have said. If his job posting exist anywhere or maybe you can ask him for it read through that; and then ask him if he's willing to share his resume with you so that you can get to know the job he does better and also get to know him.

You can ask for a copy of his job description and day-to-day duties. You'll get the hang of it, OP! Good luck!

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