Execution Rhythm: The Weekly Leadership Meeting
Updated: Jun 1, 2022
One of the biggest factors in becoming excellent at execution is how you structure your meeting rhythm. How often you meet and what is discussed and acted upon. This post is focused on the weekly leadership meeting.
The weekly team meeting can really be a despised, boring event. That is why most CEOs, division and department leaders do not have them weekly, but push them to monthly. And who can blame them? Because for the most part, it's just the executives sitting in a meeting doing reports making it mundane and a meeting in which it's difficult to focus! Most of the members of the meeting have their computers open because they are catching up on emails, looking at calendars or checking things on the internet. So, these are all reasons these important meetings are pushed to monthly, but the most important reason they are boring is because the most important conversations are probably not being had. These monthly falls asleep in your chair meetings are mainly "here's what's going on with me" meetings, not "here are the issues, challenges and events WE are going to be facing and what we are going to do about them".
If these meetings are done right, the weekly leadership team meeting is where the real momentum and traction happens. It can motivate, energize and help your team to stay aligned and focused on what matters most to you and to them. The primary purpose and structure of the meeting is to refocus or recalibrate to make sure you hit the goals set at the quarterly meetings. Here is my framework to make these weekly meetings executable and improved:
1. Keep it tight and flowing
60 to 90 minutes, no more than 2 hours
Assign someone to run the meeting and manage time
Use a timer to make sure everyone reporting status or giving updates stays tight and has equal time
Always close on time
*Keep in mind, length of the meeting may vary depending on size of the business and number of people participating. Set a time for each section and don't go over time.
2. Set a positive tone
Start off with Good News from everyone, both personal and professional (it's good to start off everyone with a "win")
Connect and check in with each other. Each member should be honest on where they are emotionally at that time from 0 to 10.
3. Track Results and Key Numbers
What are the critical metrics and KPIs this team needs to be watching?
Assign color coding to communicate pacing and status...Red, Yellow, Green, Super Green?
*These numbers may create other opportunities later in the meeting for collective intelligence discussion and questions. Ex: "Why are our sales dropping off?"
Review your quarterly priorities on executive level goals, organization level goals, department level goals, depending on who is having this meeting.
4. Review progress against your quarterly priorities- Are you on track in terms of the Top 3 to 5 quarterly priorities you set from your quarterly review and planning meeting?
What is the progress made on each quarterly priority?
Where are you stuck and need some assistance?
What are you going to do next?
*If there is no progress to report, that means nothing happened in the last 7 days on that issue. (In terms of execution, think about that for a second.)
5. Review Employee or Customer Data- Pay attention to intelligence you have available to you. Even if you don’t have sophisticated systems, this should be a best practice for you and your company.
What is happening in the marketplace and with your customers and prospects?
Are you hearing anything new or different from customers, current employees, exiting employees or new hires?
6. Review Collective Intelligence- These are strategic team discussions or debates and at least 30 minutes of a 60-90-minute meeting when you use the smartest brains in the room to trouble shoot or figure out the critical things you need to do and move ahead.
Has anyone gathered any feedback that would be good to give to the group?
Are there any short-term tactical issues impeding our progress?
Are there any things we parked in the parking lot that need discussion or are there things we need to park for a future time?
You can also have a team member make a short presentation on a topic for discussion.
7. Tune up your meeting on a regular basis
Be disciplined. Refine and update your weekly agendas to make sure they stay efficient and fresh.
If they get a little rough and ragged. Get some input from everyone and reset the agenda.
Ask yourself: What can you do to make your weekly meetings one of the most valuable meetings of the week?