Dos-si-er (noun) a collection of documents about a particular person, event, or subject.
Do you maintain a dossier on your executives? This is something I started in my first position as an Executive Assistant, but I don’t find it widely practiced among admins. I've come to refer to mine as my bible. It has all the pertinent information on my executives; credit cards, travel documents, passwords, travel reward programs, professional associations, and other miscellaneous information. I keep mine in a 3-ring binder and it is always close at hand, but definitely UNDER LOCK AND KEY. Obviously the executive dossier contains sensitive information, so it should never be left unsecured.
I have never entered a new position to find an executive dossier already established, but I have received notes of gratitude from almost every admin who has filled a position I've left for creating the dossier on the executives they now support. It makes life so much easier to have all that information within arm’s reach.
When I begin supporting an executive I like to schedule time for an “interview” with them. This interview is the first step in creating the dossier and includes questions about their immediate family, preferred communication style, travel preferences, food allergies, professional licenses, boards, and more. Depending on the comfort level between you and your executive, the next step is to photocopy credit cards, rewards programs cards, any licenses, travel documents, and any other info you may need to access. If your executive is hesitant to provide this information, please don’t fret. Some are comfortable turning over everything immediately, while others need time to build trust with a new admin before they are willing to share these details.
My executive dossier includes:
o Organizational charts
o Professional bio
o Personal data sheet including:
- Home address
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Spouse’s info
- Wedding anniversary
- Children’s names and birth dates (and grandchildren)
- Travel preferences
- Food allergies / Medical info
o Spreadsheets of reward program information
o Spreadsheet of professional license and membership information
o Spreadsheet of passwords
o Copies of
- Driver’s license
- Any VISAs
- Passport photos
- Credit cards
- Insurance cards
- Professional membership cards
- Travel rewards program cards
Do you maintain a dossier? If so, what else do you include?
The Audacious Admin is Debbi L. Shaffer, an outgoing, resourceful and highly motivated executive assistant with 20 years of experience specializing in C-Suite Executive Support.