Everyone's time is valuable these days - especially your CEO's precious hours spent in the office. Depending on your position and where you work, it's important that any time you spend with your CEO is productive, yet efficient.
Studies show that an executive's time is roughly 30% meetings, 30% lost to email and the rest is traveling, phone calls with just a small amount going to working alone, about 6 hours on average. So maximize your CEO's time in the office with a few simple habits.
1. Have an Agenda
If you're lucky enough to get on your CEO's calendar, then make sure you are prepared for the meeting. Think about the purpose of the meeting: is it to provide an update, present a proposal, or something else? Whatever it is, you'll want to have an agenda that covers only the relevant topics that your CEO needs to hear and save extraneous stuff for another time. By sticking to the agenda and honoring your CEO's time, you'll gain their respect and have an easier time getting on their calendar the next time around.
2. Coordinate with their Assistant
Speaking of calendars, most CEOs aren't truly in control of their schedule. When they are in the office, most of those precious hours have been managed and delegated by their trusted assistant. If you've sent an email request for a meeting, how about a personal follow up with the assistant if you're still waiting to get on the schedule. Stopping by their desk for a brief hello won't hurt, and it gives you a chance to quickly check in with their trusted ally. This personal touch with the CEO's scheduling partner increases your chances of seeing them while they are in the office.
3. Don't take it personal
CEOs are pulled in a million directions, and at this point in their careers, the good ones have made a habit of saying "no". Know that they have to say "no" to get through their day and don't take it personal. If they do say no, think about what you can do to get to a "yes" next time; were you unprepared at the last meeting, did you check in with their assistant, or are they just having a bad day? Focus on what you can do to improve your chances the next time around. Try sending a follow up email and provide a compelling business reason about why they should meet with you and the team.
4. Use email wisely
Everyone, including your CEO, has quite a few unread emails sitting in their inbox. A CEO's inbox is especially overloaded with messages from board members, investors, old acquaintances, and of course employees who are all reaching out. To ensure your email is read, use a compelling subject line and keep the content brief. If you lucky enough to have a meeting while they're in the office, prep them with a short email about what you'll be covering in the meeting, and attach any documents that they can read beforehand to save time. This preparation step ensures that you both have a productive time while your CEO is in the office.
5. Get creative
How about scheduling a meeting outdoors? If you don't have any powerpoints to present or lengthy paperwork to review, a quick walking meeting is a great way to check in with your CEO while getting a breath of fresh air. Or even a quick coffee or juice break is always welcome in the middle of the day to recharge before heading back indoors. You'll both come back invigorated and ready to tackle whatever awaits at the office.
Ultimately, however you manage to meet with your CEO while they're in the office make sure you have clear expectations, respect their time, and are prepared. These steps maximize everyone's time, leaving everyone feeling productive!