I read a survey recently where participants were asked “What frustrates you most about meetings at work?.”
The top reported frustrations about meetings were:
- No clear purpose or objective for the meeting
- Meeting doesn’t start on time, stay on track, or finish on time
- Repeating information for late arrivals
- Too long
- Not organised. No agenda
- No specific action items or tasks assigned
- Allowing attendees to ramble
- Weak presenter (unprepared, not inspiring or motivating).
Some writers say there should be fewer meetings. What nonsense! The number of meetings is not the issue – the problem is most companies do not know how to create and run great meetings.
Meetings are crucial to drive effective business execution. Whether it is a weekly team meeting, a project meeting, or your weekly one-on-one meetings with your direct reports – it is vital leaders learn how to run effective meetings.
As a leader, your aim is for everyone in your team to finish each quarter with a sense of satisfaction and achievement. You want everyone being able to say “We hit our targets, and we nailed our project milestones,” rather than having a whole lot of projects still up in the air, with staff still grinding away day after day, and never feeling the thrill of victory. You want the team to be able to pop the cork and celebrate their achievements at the end of every quarter, not feel like failures.
Everyone has a huge ‘to do’ list of things they could be doing – but what is the one thing – the one tangible bite-sized action they can complete this week that will move each project forward?
If they can just get that ‘one thing’ done – that is the secret to strategic execution. Anything else they may accomplish during the week is a bonus – but everyone must know what their one thing is relating to each project. In many cases this also means being able to say “no” to anything else that comes up, and protecting your people from distractions.
Business execution is not about working hard, or being busy. It is about everyone taking the right action – each and every week – and nailing that one thing.
Leaders must follow up at every meeting and hold each of their people firmly accountable for commitments made.
Fortunately, business execution software makes the leader’s job easier. You can create specific meeting agendas, and then use the software to drive the meeting and keep things on track. You can track everyone’s progress, and assign new tasks. It makes the job of holding people accountable so much easier.
Running effective meetings is one of the key skills business leaders must master.