Should a CEO ask for daily updates?

by Greg Skloot
Leadership Team   |   2 Min Read
CEO asking for daily updates

In general, daily updates are a bit excessive because many initiatives take multiple days to make progress on. Here’s why so many CEO’s value written updates:

1. Meetings should always be discussion, never updates

A good executive team meeting should never involve sharing status reports. Instead, status updates should be done in writing in advance so the meeting can be focused on strategic discussion and problem solving.

2. Getting status in writing drives accountability

Consider the mantra “if it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.” Getting top objectives and concerns in writing makes everyone accountable for the results. If status is shared verbally in a meeting, it’s easy to have initiatives get lost in the shuffle and lack follow up to ensure they got done. Getting in writing can be as simple as filling out a quick form once per week:

3. A week is a good time frame to make solid progress

While many tasks take far longer than 1 day, many can see reasonable progress with in a week. If sharing updates becomes a burden or goes outside the standard tools the team uses, it is far less likely to get done. Asking for daily updates can feel like micromanagement, where weekly updates are valuable for effective team alignment and transparency.

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4. The team can use the updates to guide their own priority list

When each team member can see everyone else’s update, it may trigger them to alter their focus or jump in to help on a different initiative. The updates should be simple bulleted lists that are easy to read.

5. We can identify problems before they escalate

Another great benefit of doing weekly updates is quickly surfacing problems before they escalate into catastrophes. For example, supposed there was a technical issue that effected a major client this past week. Doing a written status update is a perfect medium to highlight that so it is transparently shared with the team (and team lead). From there, the team lead may want to escalate it up the chain, or get involved herself.

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