As a leader of a company, branch, or team, you have a few secret weapons to help you get things done.
One of the secrets is what I call the “weekly execution meeting.” The weekly execution meeting will only be effective if you have carefully chosen goals and the right KPI's in place for every person.
If you have these, then your weekly meeting is the most important thing you do as a leader every week. They should also be the most productive, but often aren't.
First, you need to understand that being the hero and saving the day will not grow your company. Your team has to grow the business, not you.
Second, being the villain and making others wrong won’t grow your company either. Once you understand that leadership starts and stops with your behaviors, then here are a few of the key things I've found make the difference to leading a team that get things done and one that doesn’t when it comes to the weekly meeting.
Before the meeting starts, spend time thinking about who you want to be as much as what you want to say or do. When you get this right everything else is easy. This is your chance to demonstrate leadership, engage your people, and create accountability.
Using the RESULTS.com software (you can view a demo here), here are the seven things that I've found work well to keep a team on task, and hitting it out of the park:
1. Good News Story
Start with a non-work story of something good from each person in last week (went to gym x times, caught some fish, was in the garden, child’s birthday etc)
2. What's up?
A brief summary of main things going on in the coming week. Keep it on time and summarized. Look for’ parking lot’ or training items and capture them for later. When you do this ensure you tell the person, e.g. "I'm sure others have the same issue (or) I'm sure someone has already dealt with this, let’s park it for now"
3. Team Goals Review
Look at the Dashboard of overall team results vs. their goals for the period. This is where the peer pressure starts and your life as a manager becomes easier. Each person is graded either red, yellow or green for each of their KPI's, and for their progress on executing their goals for the period (usually quarter). When you compare the people on the team side by side like this every week, those who are performing stand out from those who aren’t. Don’t get into individual stuff here - instead look for themes or areas that singling out for attention or training could benefit the majority.
4. Individual Goals Review
Have each team member share what they achieved last week, explain where they are in relation to their goals and then have them commit to the 1 key thing they will complete in the coming week to move them towards their goal.
It is important to remember your role as a leader is to coach and challenge. Don’t be the hero. Don’t be the villain. Don’t make anyone wrong. Ensure that the team are involved in challenging and coaching as well. You want to grow leaders and succeed as a group. If you get this piece right and create a safe and powerful space people will open up and you will find the roadblocks and opportunities. If people’s weekly priorities are not clear, ask questions like, "If you could only complete one thing this week to ensure you hit your quarterly goal, what would it be?" Ensure everyone has a commitment to something “doable” that they will complete within the week that is moving the company forward.
5. Parking Lot
Capture the key ideas and problems throughout your weekly one-on-one meetings, the previous meeting’s input and other data. Pick a couple of topics from the list and have the team wrestle them to the ground. Ensure everyone contributes and make it something that everyone will get value from if possible. This is not the time to read the policy on blah, blah, blah. It is the time to get your people to support and help each other to greater success. Ideally, this will be the longest part of the meeting, if you can keep the previous areas tight.
6. Core Values Story
I think it is crucial that every team member shares a core values story about someone else in the company, either living the values or not. This keeps your values alive and helps all of us remember what we stand for and why we are here. Ensure the story is related to a particular value. This might seem corny but if you are serious about your values will become the highlight of your meeting and really help your culture develop. Never judge or criticize, just coach and clarify.
7. One phrase close
Each person does a temperature check regarding how they are feeling through a one phrase close. e.g.: Pumped, ready to roll, over it, tired etc. Don’t comment, just ensure you follow up everyone and connect them back to it and get yourself and the team on the same bus.
So there is a very quick overview of the weekly execution meeting – the meeting where you make sure stuff gets done. You have many other weapons as a leader, but if you get this one right, you probably won’t need any others.