• Many executives can’t remember details and current status
  • Remind them by using creative methods to update progress
  • Use these as opportunities to make yourself stand out
You’ve got a good grip on all of your projects. There are times when things do get crazy busy and you’re putting out fires left and right. But at least, you’re making progress at work most of the time.

When you’re in the zone at work and firing on all cylinders, it feels fucking awesome. The feeling of positive progress and getting shit done brings a true sense of purpose and creates the kind of joy from work that makes you want to kick more ass.

Unfortunately, there will always be some roadblock, challenge, issue or problem that will make it hard to keep your momentum going. It’s inevitable and unavoidable.

One of the worst kinds of momentum killers is when one of your executives finds out about an issue and wants an immediate report or update, even though you already gave them a heads up on it.

Now, you’ve gotta drop everything, have another sucky pre-meeting and scramble to put together yet another presentation update to remind them of what you already told them. It’s such a huge fucking waste of your time, but you gotta do it.

Why Executives Can’t Remember Shit

It’s easy for those at the working level to know all the details about current projects. In fact, it’s expected. When you’re neck deep in all the grunt work, it’s natural to know where everything stands.

However, as you’re asked to take on more projects and responsibilities, you get spread thin and it gets harder to stay on top of all the issues and tasks. Your brain only has so much capacity to remember all the details.

With each level up in the organization, the responsibilities grow. Your manager’s boss and their boss will each have increasing responsibilities. The number of departments and functions that they have to manage and oversee expands.

At the executive level of the organization, the amount of work and responsibilities that an exec must handle can be staggering. Most executives will have a good sense of what’s happening, but most will never know all the details. They only have a high-level understanding. They’re not down in the weeds, nor should they be. That’s where you come in to save the day.

Some executives can’t remember shit and rely on their working level staff to fill in the gaps and remind them of the key details. Some executives are just fucking clueless and these are the worst ones to have to deal with. In either case, don’t see this as a negative thing, but see it as an opportunity to boost your personal brand and be recognized as a valued contributor.

How To Say “I Fucking Told You Already” Without Having To Actually Say It

One of the most annoying things in life is having to repeat yourself over and over. It’s one thing to have to deal with that as a parent but it’s entirely another issue when you’ve gotta deal with it at work. It’ll make you feel like you’re about to lose your shit every damn week.

When your forgetful exec asks you about the same issue again, you have an overwhelming urge to reply, “Why are you asking about this again? I already fucking told you about this during the last meeting review.”

But, you know better. Saying that to your exec or putting that kind of reply in an email would be a huge career limiting move and you’d be screwing yourself.

Essentially, you’ve gotta tell them “I told you already” without actually saying it to them. And, you’ve gotta do it in a way that doesn’t make them look bad. It takes careful planning and wordsmithing.

Here are a few tips to help you get through this.

Review Meeting Minutes Together (Don’t Just Resend)

Hopefully, during your last review meeting with your exec, you were taking better notes and capturing all of the key points including their direction, decision and/or conclusion. The end result of all of this should have resulted in meeting minutes.

When your empty suit asks about the same project or issue again, don’t just send the meeting minutes with some snarky email. If possible, use this opportunity to schedule a short 30-minute review session with them to share updates and progress, not to point out that you already told them about it.

Update Prior Presentation With New Info & Present Again

Since the last review meeting, there has probably been some new progress from all your efforts. You’ve been able to get shit done and successfully crossed over some key milestones.

So, if you’re department leader or CEO is asking again about the same item, you can leverage this into some more face time to show how much you’ve been kicking ass since the last review. To do this, simply update the last deck with key progress achievements, prep for the executive presentation like a pro and present the new info.

Have Your Manager Update The Executive

If there’s one great reason to have a manager, it’s to escalate and offload interactions and communications with executive leadership. You need to focus on monotasking to get shit done and the only way to do this is to have your manager deal with executive requests.

This is why being in middle management sucks sometimes. Middle managers have to support working level staff members while also shielding them from unnecessary work. Ask your manager to take the lead on updating the executive so that you can keep grinding.

Ask If They Want Weekly Or Monthly Updates

If your executive has got a lot going on, it’s likely that this repeat request won’t be the last. The reason why they may be asking again is that this is important enough to grab their attention.

Rather than seeing this as an annoyance, you gotta see this as a perfect way to have more face-time with your leader. Not many of your working level coworkers will get this kind of chance to show their value to the top ranks of the organization. These folks will always complain that they’re not getting the recognition they fucking deserve.

However, in this case, you do. Ask your exec if you can have a short 30-minute update review meeting with them either on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Make it a set schedule.

Use Executive Reminders To Your Advantage

It’s really easy to get annoyed and pissed off about having to drop everything you’re doing and repeat the same story to your executive. It’s totally understandable. After all, this task is taking valuable time away from your real efforts.

However, you can’t think of it this way. You gotta spin it and use it as an opportunity to boost your career by developing a more direct relationship with your executive. Not many people in your org have these kinds of opportunities.

It’s not like you’re having to create all new content and information. You can simply update the current content with new information and progress to make yourself stand out and look good. It’s also the perfect venue for you to escalate issues directly to the top so that they can clear any roadblocks for you.

So, don’t get irritated about forgetful executives.

This is your opportunity to solidify your awesomeness to the top dog. This a good thing - for sure.

Feel Better,

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