Running Your Leadership Team Meeting
Tasked with running an important meeting? Sure, anyone who’s had a career for longer than five minutes knows the gist of a “meeting” but do you really understand the assignment? Fortunately, we’ve assembled key factors to keep in mind for organizing a stellar gathering. Let’s take a look at the most important meeting of them all, the Leadership Team Meeting:
If a company is a pool, then the Leadership Team is the waterfall from which everything flows and is replenished. These individuals are leading by example, making the need for alignment all the more critical. High-performers handling high-expectations, everyone in this meeting is at a level where complicated, nuanced topics should be encouraged, succinctly and efficiently. They’re people too, though, so don’t let culture fall by the wayside here -- fully embrace it!
The Setting: This goes for any meeting but especially this one: Prepare. As they say, time is money, and when we’re talking about the highest paid members of the org in one room, it’s important to run the meeting efficiently. Save time by sharing the agenda with everyone beforehand, allowing the meeting to start swiftly. On that note, be respectful and start on time. Iron out the Zoom connection prior to the top of the hour, not once you’re supposed to begin.
Take a moment to provide updates -- just because you’re all leaders doesn’t mean everyone knows everything. In fact, make sure to assign someone the task of taking notes, capturing all the details in an easily shareable format. This is a group of movers and shakers, they can’t always allot the time for this meeting, but culture being important, make it possible for everyone to still feel included. To that end, in a room full of leaders, no one person should be droning on -- plan ahead to share the mic with others in attendance.
The Vibe: Just because this is a Leadership Meeting it doesn’t mean it needs to be so serious. Take time to celebrate both the tiny successes and the big wins achieved since you last met. Check in with everyone, not just about their teams but also how they’re personally doing; you’re cultivating a caring, communicative culture here. In that regard, periodically use this time to shore up values, objectives, and ethos, keeping sights aligned to better lead by example.
The Nitty-Gritty: Okay, but this is the Leadership Meeting so it is time to be real. If you aren’t using the time to dig into issues, you aren’t running the meeting efficiently. Don’t shy away from (respectful!) debate and discussion, bringing to light what’s all too easy to keep hidden away. This team’s job is to facilitate the best possible running org, and that starts right here in this meeting. Be sure to keep realistic goals/KPIs at the forefront as you address challenges.
The Future: When an emergency arises, you don’t yell out, “Call 911!” you point someone specifically to the task. The same should go here for follow-ups: don’t assume anyone’s going to undertake the project, pointedly request their responsibility. And discuss expectations so it’s clear what they need to bring to the table next time. Be careful about open-ended discussions; ensure everyone is satisfied with decisions and fully understands the scope while wrapping up.