Meetings Every Founder and CEO Should Lead Regularly
10 min Read
When your whole company works in the same room, news gets around fast. Casual discussions during lunch, impromptu meetings, and overheard phone calls usually keep everyone well-informed. But as a company grows, more formal communication methods are needed to ensure everyone is in the loop. And when communication breaks down, it leads to a set of common issues.
Now, with the rise of remote working, effective communication becomes even more critical. And, when a company expands, it becomes important to have more structured ways of sharing information. When communication isn’t clear, it often causes a set of common problems. Do you relate with any of these issues?
Your team is unaware of what’s going on: When you or your team promise to do things but don’t follow through, the team can start to doubt that anything will actually happen.
Your team does not see the big picture: Many of your team members don’t have enough information to understand why certain decisions are made or what others are working on.
The team lacks clear instructions and a clear reporting manager: It’s tough for your team to know what’s expected, especially when things keep changing.
When you give your team a task, they never update you until asked: Work is not complete until reported as complete. It’s very hard to keep track of everything you assigned if updates are not provided.
The team feels their hard work goes unnoticed: Work that isn’t easily seen is often overlooked, along with the effort it takes to get things done.
Then at some point, it becomes necessary to have regular meetings to tackle these problems. Founders and CEOs go from having almost no formal meetings to having a calendar so packed with them that there’s hardly any time left for actual work.
So, which meetings are crucial for founders and CEOs, and how can you conduct them to prevent these problems?
Here is how the Weekly CEO Meetings Schedule should look like:
Meetings are like the main way leaders in a company talk to each other. When I work with a Founder or a CEO, I ask them to make a list of all the usual leadership and team meetings, and how often they occur.
I’ve seen a clear pattern: I can guess a lot of the important things leaders worry about just by looking at their meeting plan. If certain meetings are not happening, there are usually some problems.
Here are the meetings I think are really important to make sure information is shared well. Every CEO should have these CEO Meetings in their weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and quarterly plan.
Weekly Core Team Meeting
This is sometimes called a leadership meeting, or just ‘the Monday morning meeting.’ No matter what you call it, it’s the time when the leadership team looks back at what happened, agrees on the plan for the week, and talks about any problems they’re facing. Team members can make sure everyone is doing what they said they would.
The Meeting should follow a three point agenda:
- What are the three Major Breakthroughs in the last week?
- What are the three Major Breakdowns in the last week?
- What are the areas in which one needs support from the leadership team?
It’s important to spend time getting the update right. If you and your team can leave the meeting knowing what’s happening, you can avoid a lot of other meetings that might fill up your schedule.
Ending the week with an update might seem like a good idea, but in practice, it doesn’t work well. Most updates end with a sense of urgency, which is better suited for the beginning of the week.
When your core team members are together in one place, it’s crucial to make the most of the situation.
The key to a great update is preparation. When leaders come with their numbers updated and a short report on important things in their area (instead of making it up on the spot), it gives more time for discussion and solving problems together.
Bi-Weekly Core Customer Success Meeting
In this meeting you sales people and account managers update you about what’s happening around your core customers, this includes those 20% of your customers from whom you 80% of the revenue is generated.
The meeting should follow a structured three-point agenda:
- Major Breakthroughs:
- Discuss three significant positive developments in the past week.
- Share successes and accomplishments related to core customers.
- Celebrate achievements and recognize outstanding efforts that contribute to business growth.
- Major Breakdowns:
- Identify three significant challenges or setbacks encountered in the last week.
- Address obstacles and discuss strategies for overcoming difficulties.
- Foster a transparent environment where problems can be openly acknowledged for effective resolution.
- Areas Requiring Leadership Support:
- Outline specific areas where support and guidance from leadership are needed.
- Encourage team members to seek assistance and provide solutions collaboratively.
- Ensure that potential roadblocks are identified early, allowing for timely intervention and resolution.
This meeting is crucial for staying informed about your core customers. It serves as a proactive measure, enabling your team to handle emergencies promptly and respond effectively to direct calls from customers regarding new opportunities. Keeping a finger on the pulse of these key accounts ensures that you are well-prepared to navigate any unforeseen challenges or capitalize on emerging prospects in a timely manner.
Monthly One-on-One Growth Sessions
Growth Sessions where you talk with team members to help them grow and understand what’s expected. It’s like coaching. You discuss challenges, ways to improve, and what’s most important.
If you’re using Growth Sessions just to check what tasks are done, it might mean you’re too focused on the day-to-day work. Instead of telling them what to do, ask yourself, “What questions would I ask if I were in their shoes?” Those are the questions to ask. Be curious about what motivates their answers; understanding motivation can really improve how they work.
After a Growth Session, agree on the next steps. If they can do it on their own, let them, or your to-do list will be full of other people’s tasks (a common problem for CEOs).
Understanding the pulse of your core customers is the melody of success
The key to a great Growth Session is holding back a bit. The more you help your team find their own solutions, the better it is in the long run. As my mentor once said, “Coach the person, not the problem.”
Quarterly All-Team Meeting
The “All-Team Meeting” is when everyone in the team, whether they’re working from home or in the office, comes together. You as a Leader share updates about each part of the company, make important announcements, and talk about the company’s goals.
It’s a good time to celebrate important achievements and recognize the team’s hard work each quarter by showing what they’re doing.
During this meeting, team members can ask leaders questions. Sometimes when we talk with others, we assume they know what we’re talking about, but that’s not always true. This is called the ‘curse of knowledge.’ Allowing the team to ask questions helps them understand better, so they can see the whole picture.
When leaders answer questions, it helps them stay responsible to their team, and responsibility leads to better results. Of course, leaders don’t have to know everything. If they don’t know the answer, they can say, ‘That’s a great question, and I don’t have the answer. But here’s what we can do to figure it out.’
To make the All-Team Meeting good, leaders need to choose what’s really important for everyone in the company to know. Keep it interesting so that everyone stays interested and excited.
How Effective Are Your Meetings?
Making your team meetings better might seem like it takes a lot of time. But, even though they use up 20% of your time, they can actually give you 80% of the power to lead as a CEO. Because, in the end, your success depends on how well your team works.
Some companies can manage by having these meetings more frequently than what I suggested, but if it’s longer than that, communication problems usually start to happen.
Meetings take up 20% of your time, but they give you 80% of your power. I recommend Reading the book: The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch.
Remember! Feeling worried comes from not seeing the full picture.
Updates, Weekly Core Team Meeting, Bi-Weekly Core Customer Success Meeting, Monthly One-on-One Growth Sessions, and Quarterly All-Team Meeting help information and feedback spread out as needed. Maybe these meetings can make everyone a bit less worried and a bit more focused on the mission ahead.
Implementing these meetings in practice is crucial, and it demands focused and dedicated efforts. However, as with anything significant in life, it’s not just about initiating these meetings; it’s about maintaining consistency in this practice. This is where the Radical Results Growth Accelerator Program proves invaluable. Participating in this program and collaborating with a Best CEO coach not only simplifies implementation but also guarantees consistency and results. It provides the structured support needed to embed these practices into the fabric of your business for sustained success.
Get more customers, increase your sales, and attract clients who pay premium price.